Time or Money: Which is more valuable? This has been a hotly debated topic throughout human history, yet the question still remains. Although, it seems pretty clear that the answer should be time over money. I would even argue that time is the most valuable resource. If you are money-poor but time rich, you may feel otherwise. However, people find many reasons why time is more valuable than money.
7 Reasons to Choose Time Over Money
1. You can’t buy more time.
You can use the time to make money, but money can’t buy you more time. It is impossible to create additional hours in the day, no matter who you are. Time is the great equalizer. Everyone receives 24 hours in a day, no more, no less.
However, the difference lies in how you spend it. Someone who accomplished a great deal in their lifetime likely spent it learning and mastering new skills. One thing is for certain, though. Success requires time and hard work in order to achieve your ambitions. These things simply cannot be bought.
2. In the end, people ask for more time, not money.
When people enter their final days, you rarely hear them ask for more money. Most wish they had more time with the ones they love or doing things they never got to do. While money can greatly improve your quality of life, it cannot extend it.
Many people even keep a ‘bucket list’ of things they want to do before they die. The entire concept builds upon the idea that you have a limited time to complete them. If you are among this group, you already understand why sometimes you must choose time over money. You cannot put a price on memories and time spent with loved ones.
3. You need time to spend money.
You could have all the money in the world, but you would still need time if you wanted to spend it. While some may want to accrue money just for the sake of having it, most would prefer to splurge a little. The world’s elite has fortunes to support lavish lifestyles to last a hundred lifetimes over. However, it would still require more time than you think to spend $1 billion.
Money holds no value to you after you are gone. Certainly, it can benefit those you leave behind, but it has no use to you personally. Since you can’t take money with you when you die, it further proves that time is more valuable than money.
4. There is more potential with a day off than with a day’s pay.
The hours you spend at work are rigidly defined in financial terms. Your time has a set value when you are on the clock. Although, how you spend your free time is completely up to you. And what you do with that time is only limited by your own desires. Greater things have been achieved in a single day than with what you would take home after an eight-hour shift.
Furthermore, who you spend your time with is equally valuable. Being present and enjoying the company of friends and family is priceless. On the other hand, it is just as vital to ensure that you take time for yourself. Your mental health can also greatly benefit from some time alone and self-care. However, time is the essential factor.
5. Only time can heal certain wounds.
Just as time is the great equalizer, it is also the great healer. Some hurts run deeper than any scan can read. Modern medicine and technology are ineffective to treat these wounds. Even time cannot completely erase the scars. However, time does help the pain fade from memory.
Time also grants us the gift of perspective. It also grants us more objectivity as time passes. We can look back through new eyes to analyze and reflect. This distance can make it easier to identify our strengths and weaknesses, allowing us to grow as people. These kinds of lessons can only be gained through life experience.
6. You can’t regain lost time.
Losing money is a terrible thing. However, given enough time and wise financial planning, you can earn it back. Once time slips past you, there is no way to regain lost moments. No amount of money can recreate missed holidays, birthdays, and other important milestones. When you view time from this perspective, time becomes an invaluable resource.
Time is certainly not a resource I want to waste either. This point should also make you evaluate how you spend your time. Wasting time in front of a TV or with toxic people may not be the best use of it. Consider what you really want from life and who you want to spend it with. After re-evaluating, you may have a new set of priorities.
7. Choosing time over money promotes greater long-term happiness.
A recent study investigated the correlation between time and happiness. Specifically in relation to the survey question in which 80 percent of working adults wish they had more time with their families. Many participants responded that they constantly felt rushed due to the demands of their professional and personal lives. The term “time famine” describes the overwhelming feeling of these pressures.
Those who said they felt time scarcity were less happy and also more prone to depression and anxiety. Focusing on time over money can relieve this stress and promote greater long-term happiness. The key is time management. While these obligations will always be there, finding ways to save time can help us spend more of it with those we love.
Prioritizing Time Over Money
These are just seven reasons why time is more valuable than money. In truth, you likely already have more money than the time remaining. Perhaps you will feel the same once you realize that when the sands of time slip through your fingers, it’s gone. It may have you reprioritizing so you can maximize the sand still left in your own hourglass.
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.