Time Is Money Essay

1728 words - 7 pages

Time is Money

How do we get this adage of “time is money?” Some say that it came about in 1748 when Benjamin Franklin actually coined the term, “Time is money” when giving advice to a young tradesman (Pausch). Why did this concept of time being worth money come in to our culture? Time evolved into being worth money because it cost money to allocate time to activities other than work. Either you work and get paid or you partake in another activity and forgo your distribution of capital.

Think of the common phrase “let’s spend some time together.” Why do we use the term “spend” when we talk about time? The idea stems from very commonsensical ideas. For example, if someone earns $60,000 a year, their allocation will work out as follows (assuming no tax):

• $30,000 every six (6) months
• $5,000 every one (1) month
• $2,500 every two (2) weeks
• $1,250 every one (1) week
• $250 every one (1) day (assuming a 5 day work week)
• $31.25 every one (1) hour (assuming an 8 hour workday)
• $0.52 every one (1) minute

When paychecks are broken up into time and viewed on a per minute basis, activities are perceived in a whole new light. Now if someone has to make the choice of cooking dinner or calling in delivery they have to do a cost-benefit analysis. Will the benefit outweigh the cost of performing that activity? If it takes a person an average of 60 minutes to prepare dinner vs. taking two minutes to call in an order for delivery, the cost must be weighed. To cook dinner at home, the 60 minutes to prepare that meal equals $31.25. A delivery takes five minute to call the restaurant plus the cost associated with the meal, let’s say $25.00. The total cost of delivery is $27.60. The decision, then, must be made as to what each person values more, time or money? It could be that some people use that time, when cooking dinner, to also spend time with their family, or it is an activity that they find particularly rewarding. In which case, the decision to spend time with their family or partaking in a rewarding activity has just cost them $3.65. This might be a cost that some people are willing to pay. However, let’s change the scenario. Assume our subject makes $600,000; now that same time will cost them $261.46. Now, when determining the cost of participating in an activity, each person must evaluate their economic situation. The less someone makes, the less it costs them to partake in activities outside of work. However, this seems counter-intuitive. The lower a person’s income, the more they will need to work to survive. If someone makes only $10,000 a year, they bring home only $0.09 a minute. It takes an incredible amount of $0.09 minutes to pay the bills for someone making $10,000 vs. someone making $600,000 a year and bringing home $5.21 a minute.

This concept is nothing new. Farmers were first given a day wage and had to work from dawn until dusk. People, realizing that working a 12 – 16 hour day depending...

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