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Calculating the Value of Time: How Much is Your Time Really Worth?

Get The Most Out Of Your Time

It starts with knowing what your time is worth. For instance:

  • People who spend their time doing more profitable work make more money. 
  • People who spend their time investing in others build better relationships. 
  • People who spend their time creating a flexible career enjoy more freedom. 

Understand that there will be tradeoffs, but that it can be managed.

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Calculating the Value of Time: How Much is Your Time Really Worth?

Calculating the Value of Time: How Much is Your Time Really Worth?

https://lifehacker.com/calculating-the-value-of-time-how-much-is-your-time-re-1749954358

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Key Ideas

Get The Most Out Of Your Time

It starts with knowing what your time is worth. For instance:

  • People who spend their time doing more profitable work make more money. 
  • People who spend their time investing in others build better relationships. 
  • People who spend their time creating a flexible career enjoy more freedom. 

Understand that there will be tradeoffs, but that it can be managed.

Monetary Value of Time

We all have some idea of how much our time is worth. On extreme ends, it is easy to know if a task is worth your time. For instance, if someone offers you $0.07 per hour and another $7,000 per hour, you would have no problem to decide.
However, in the middle of the time-value spectrum, it is less clear if a particular task is worth your time. While everyone has an hourly value, few people know the exact amount.

The Real Worth Of Your Time

Use the Realized Income Methods to calculate the value of your time. It is based on the income you received and will help you make better decisions on how to spend money day-by-day. You need two numbers for your calculations.

  1. How much time you spend to earn money.
  2. How much you earn during that time.

Track Your Time

Measure the total amount of time you invest each year to earn money. It includes the time you spend to commute to and from work, and time spent working on a side hustle or dropping your kids at daycare.

If you're unsure how much time you spend working, use 2,500 hours per year as a starting point as most full-time employees or entrepreneurs will fit around that amount.

Track How Much Money You Earn

If you're an hourly worker or a salaried employee, look at your latest paycheck and multiply it by the number of paychecks you receive per year. Also, include money from side hustles and freelancing gigs. 

You are trying to calculate your take-home pay.

The Value of Your Time

Divide your total money earned by your total time spent.

For example, let’s say you spend 2,500 hours per year earning money:

  • If you make $46,226/year, your time is worth $18.49/hour. This is the 2014 median income for women in the United States.
  • If you make $62,455/year, your time is worth $24.98/hour. This is the 2014 median income for men in the United States.

If you are surprised by the numbers, remember that we rarely calculate how much time goes into earning money outside of the working hours.

Checks and Balances

  • Take-Home Pay Method. This method is based on the pay you take home.
  • Market Rate Method. This method is useful to test your numbers. Check the rate you could expect to earn if another company hired you for a job you were qualified to perform.
  • Cost-Based Method. This is the rate you would pay someone else to do the work that you do.

What Value You Can Expect

Expected Valued Methods are based on the value you expect a given hour of work to create in the long-run. This method can help you make strategic decisions about where to spend your time.

  • What projects should you focus on? 
  • Which uses of time are not valuable and should be eliminated? 
  • Should you start a business that could pay off really well in a decade?

The Growth Multiple Method

This method calculates how your work of today will pay off long term, but does not tell you how to use your time more effectively. It works on the assumption that your actions from this year will continue to drive growth over the next 12 months, so the real value of your time is higher than your realized income today.

Take your net income from the previous year and multiply it by a reasonable growth multiple.

The Expected Value Method

  • Break your time out by task.
  • Find a unit of measurement that connects the tasks you work on with the income you earn.
  • Estimate the expected value of each task.
  • Add all the expected values together to calculate the total expected value of your time.
  • Add extra variables as desired, like how much happiness a particular task brings to your life.

This method is highly individualized.

Keep in mind

  • Misguided success. Don't waste time becoming successful at the wrong thing. Know your core values and what you want out of life.
  • Tradeoffs and Opportunistic addition.  Opportunistic Addition refers to choices that would decrease the value of your time if you spent all of your time on them, but increase the value of your time if you do them at opportunistic moments.
  • Non-negotiable free time. Don't convince yourself to work another "productive" hour that will harm the quality of your life.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Net Worth = Assets - Liabilities

Your net worth gives an overview of your financial situation at this point. It is the difference between what you own and what you owe.

Your net worth is positive if your assets exceed...

Calculating your assets and liabilities

Assets are anything of value that you own that can be converted into cash. Examples include:

  • Investments
  • Bank and brokerage accounts
  • Retirement funds
  • Real estate
  • Personal property: vehicles, jewellery and collectables.
  • Cash

Your liabilities represent your debts, such as loans, mortgages, credit card debt, medical bills and student loans.

Find your ideal

Determine your target net worth - where you want to be in the near-term and long-term future.

The following formula is helpful:

Target Net Worth=[Your Age−25]∗[1/5∗Gross Annual Income]

A 50-year-old with a gross annual income of $75,000 might aim for a net worth of $375,000 ([50 - 25 = 25] x [$75,000 ÷ 5 = $15,000])
Your net worth can be much more or much less than the amount indicated by the guideline.

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Investing defined

Investing is about laying out cash or assets now, in the hope of more cash or assets returning to you tomorrow, or next year, or next decade.

Most of the time, this is best achieved th...

Productive assets explained
  • Productive assets are investments that internally throw off surplus money from some sort of activity. 
  • Each type of productive asset has its own pros and cons, unique quirks, legal traditions, tax rules, and other relevant details.
  • The three most common kinds of investments from productive assets are stocks, bonds, and real estate.
Investing in Stocks
  • It means investing in common stock, which is another way to describe business ownership or business equity.
  • When you own equity (the value of the shares issued by a company) in a business, you are entitled to a share of the profit or losses generated by that company's operating activity.
  • Equities are the most rewarding asset class for investors seeking to build wealth over time without using large amounts of leverage.

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What early retirement means
What early retirement means

Early retirement is not defined as when you stop working forever, but as having the freedom and flexibility that saving up enough money can give you if you want to leave a job.

...
How to retire early

A good early retirement strategy is built on maximizing three aspects: Income, expenses, and savings.

To build your early retirement strategy, you need to determine your retire early or financial independence (FI) number. It is the amount of money you need for work to become optional. Be aware that the number will (and should) change as you change, and your desired lifestyle evolves.

The money you need for early retirement

Based on a series of papers known as the Trinity Studies, you need to save 25-30 times your expected annual expenses to have enough money to last you for the rest of your life.

This multiple is based on the percentage of your investment growth that you would be able to withdraw per year. A safe early retirement withdrawal percentage is between 3%-4%.

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The Half-Life of Facts
The Half-Life of Facts

Facts decay over time. And the time it takes to disprove or replace half of it can be predicted.

Data in medicine become half as relevant in 2-3 years. For exact sciences, 2-4 years.

Half life of facts and compound knowledge

If we want our knowledge to compound, we’ll need to focus on the invariant general principles.

Half-lives show us that if we spend time learning something that changes quickly, we might be wasting our time. 

Insurance Is A Bet

Generally, insurance is understood as a bet. We pay a premium and are secure about some uncertain future costs which may be substantial for us.

If we check the calculations of our monthl...

The Insurance Calculation

The calculation for insurance runs like this: The company is profitable when the cost of premiums that we pay is greater than the future claim that we may ask for (having a certain probability).

Cost of Premium > (Cost of claim) x (Probability of claim)

Reasons We Buy Insurance
  1. We believe that the probability of us experiencing the event that we are insured against is high.
  2. The claim that we may get in event of something happening is substantial with the cost of premium being on the lower side (basically a bargain).
  3. To offset substantial costs by paying less. This is when we know it's a bad deal, but the potential risk can be catastrophic and severe, so we are happy to pay more to avoid a probable calamity later.
Financial planning

 ...is the process which provides you a framework for achieving your life goals in a systematic and planned way by avoiding shocks and surprises.

Try making a budget
  • Create a full inventory of expenses in front of you: Categorize them into fixed and variable; urgent and non-urgent; necessities and luxury; avoidable and unavoidable.
  • You can create a hierarchy of needs and decide which one’s to address first. It’s all about prioritizing. 
  • Accept that you have limited resources and unlimited wants. But you have to manage your resources. The sooner you accept this fact, the better you can control your impulses towards avoidable expenditures.
Maintain a personal balance sheet

It’s a statement wherein you can jot down your assets and liabilities.

  • Pull together your bank statements and other proofs of the liabilities
  • List down your assets like the bank balance, all investments, home value, and value of other assets.
  • Take a sum of all the assets to arrive at the total value of your assets.
  • List down your liabilities the (car loan, home loan, credit card balances etc.)
  • The sum of all the liabilities will show the value of the money you owe.
  • When you subtract the value of liabilities from assets, you get your Net Worth.

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A Monthly Budget For Your Money

No matter how little or how much money you earn, creating a monthly budget is one of the most important aspects of managing your finances. What gets measured gets managed.

...

The Envelope System

The Envelope system is a way to track your variable expenses like food, entertainment, and drinks.

This method, preferably used weekly, allocates a certain amount in each category in labeled envelopes (food, drinks, movies, etc.). Once the envelope is empty, you are done spending in that category.

How to Create a Good Budget

The principles that make a good budget, something you can stick to:

  • Being Realistic: Being too strict is a recipe for failure.
  • Making Adjustments: A budget is not set in stone, but a fluid thing.
  • A Team Sport: If you live with a partner or spouse, you have to agree mutually on how to budget the financials.
  • Expect the Unexpected: Keep an emergency fund, ideally 3-6 months of necessary expenses.
  • Budgeting the Expected: Certain upcoming expenses need to be budgeted in advance, like property tax, holiday shopping, etc.

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The Golden Rules of Personal Finance
  • Spend less money than you earn
  • Always plan for the future: you should always look forward beyond the current month
  • Make your mon...
Characteristics Of The Wealthy
  • They live in homes just large enough for their needs and drive used cars.
  • They have affordable interests.
  • They don’t worry about having the highest credit scor...
Rich And Wealthy

By making wealth your priority now, you could be both later. Establish a strong financial foundation that will give you financial security and peace of mind moving forward. 

Living paycheck to paycheck is a guaranteed way not to build wealth.

If you’re just starting on your personal finance journey, it might not be time for you to start acquiring these assets yet.

How To Become Wealthy
  • Investing in stocks is simple if you avoid lucky stock picking. Keeping long-term perspective, invest early, especially in low-cost index funds.
  • Rental properties.
  • Small business ownership.
  • Delaying gratifications.

4 more ideas

Personal Operations Category
  • Task management. This one is most commonly taught and includes systems like Getting Things Done.
  • Knowledge management. This is embodied in systems like productivity educa...
What's on your plate

Prioritizing tasks at work involves getting all your tasks and commitments in one place.  Take a piece of paper and make a list of everything you need to get done. Questions to help you:

  • Do you have commitments to others like your boss, partner, kids, or clients?
  • Do you have anything you need to submit? 
  • Do you have any financial tasks that need to get done? 
  • Do you have any planning that needs to get done? 
  • Do you have any administrative tasks? Legal, insurance, staffing, or training?
  • Do you have any professional development tasks that need to get done? Training, areas to research, skills to develop, books to read or study, or classes to take?
Brainstorm your goals

Find your goals. Without them, it is impossible to prioritize your tasks. Try to set 90-day goals, which is long enough to make meaningful progress. Questions to prompt goals:

  • What’s the one thing you could do that makes everything else easier or unnecessary?
  • If you were giving advice to someone else in your position, what 1-3 things would you tell them to focus on?
  • What do you want to have accomplished over the next five years?

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