Everyone wants to have more free time to spend throughout the day, but gaining free time to spend is not easy to do which is why it is so important not to waste time. And one of the most common ways people waste time over the course of their lives is in the name of saving money, that is to say we think that we are saving money but in fact we are costing ourselves time, time which is worth far more than the money we are saving. This is why one of the best ways of gaining more free time is learning to avoid this wasteful mistake.
For example let’s consider a simple task like washing the dishes, let’s imagine a person spends twenty minutes a day washing the dishes. And we are talking specifically washing here, not putting the dishes away or drying them or anything like that, just the washing part. Over the course of the year that would equate to 7,300 minutes washing dishes, which equates to 122 hours or a little over five days.
Washing the dishes for most people has to be done, the dishes have to be washed otherwise they can’t be used for eating and drinking or at least it would not be hygienic to use them for eating or drinking without cleaning them after each use.
But washing them is costing our person, let’s call him Bob, washing them is costing Bob five days a year, five days which could be saved should he buy a dishwasher.
That means with one simple purchase Bob would gain five days extra free time a year, that may not seem like that much but add this up over the average expected adult lifespan and five days becomes three hundred and four days.
Of course not everyone can afford a dishwasher or even has the space for one, but let’s imagine that Bob can and does it is just he would rather spend the money on a holiday or a new phone. This may seem like a smart idea, after all surely it’s better to go on holiday rather than buying a dishwashing machine, and surely spending five days a year washing the dishes is a price worth paying to go on holiday?
But this is actually not a smart idea. The minimum wage in the UK is around £9’s an hour, over the course of one year by purchasing the dishwasher Bob would gain an extra 122 hours free time, if he elected to use that extra time to earn money on a minimum wage, then he would earn close to £1,100.
In the UK dishwashers can be picked up for around £180, that means Bob by spending £180 would have earned himself a return on his investment of over 700%. And that’s just in one year, each year after that the savings would continue, after ten years it would be £11,000, after fifty years it would be £55,000.
To really put things into perspective, that would mean Bob could either spend 122 hours to save £180, or he could spend £180 and net himself enough time to earn an extra £1,100 a year. That would mean purchasing the dishwasher would leave him £900 better off than not purchasing it, and that’s just after one year.
Obviously I should add at this point not everyone can work an extra 122 hours a year even if they had the time to namely because there may not be enough hours available for them to work any extra time, also it is highly likely that the dishwasher though it would save a lot of time, there will still be times when a person has to wash dishes manually. But it is the principle that matters, or rather this is not about purchasing a dishwasher, it is about the fact that frequently the way we think costs us vast amounts of time, that is to say we think that we are saving money but in fact we are losing money. And we are losing money in the worst way possible by costing ourselves time.
So to reiterate I’m not saying that everyone who does not have a dishwasher should go out and buy one, the point I am making is the way we think plays a massive part in just how well we manage our time. For example, imagine persevering with a computer that is well past its best and so is extremely slow.
If you don’t use the computer much perhaps it doesn’t matter because it won’t cost you much time, but if you use the computer frequently and this computer because of how slow it is means it takes you twenty minutes to do a task that would take five minutes with a more functional computer, than for every hour that you use this computer it would be costing you forty-five minutes of your life. That means if you purchased a more functional computer you would gain a large amount of time.
For example, let’s say you use your computer daily to check your emails and it takes you an hour to do so because of how slow it is. Even if by purchasing a new computer it would only save ten minutes a day, over the course of the week that would equate to 70 minutes, over the course of the year 3,640 minutes or rather 60 hours which equates to two and a half days.
That would mean by purchasing a new computer a person would buy themselves in this case an extra two and a half days free time a year, and if they chose to work these hours that would equate to on minimum wage earnings of around £500, the price of a decent computer. Which would beg the question if you had the money to purchase a new computer why would you not? Or rather what is the point of money if you don’t use it to buy yourself the most important thing in the world, time?
Time is a forever dwindling asset which means if you are able to buy more time to do things that you enjoy it is imperative that you do it, yet so often we forget just how much time is worth and so we spend large amounts of it for very little return, all because we mistakenly believe that we are saving money and in doing so giving ourselves more freedom to buy things we want to buy and do things we want to do, when in fact we are doing the opposite. That is to say we are limiting our ability to buy things and do things that we want.
And it’s most often the little things that get us, like refusing to buy that dishwasher, like refusing to get that new computer, like using that old broken vacuum which takes twice as long to use than a new one would and does half as good a job simply because you refuse to pay the money for a new one, like spending that fortune on the gas bill because you refuse to upgrade to a more energy-efficient one because that would cost money, like refusing to replace the dusty old carpets despite the fact you suffer from dust allergies and all the dust in the house is making you suffer simply because you want to save yourself the cost of replacing the carpets with tiles.
If a person doesn’t have the money then that is one thing, but the big mistake so many make is that when they do have the money instead of making smart purchases they attempt to save that money and in doing so cost themselves not only money, but time.
This is why it is so important to always, when considering how to spend your money, make sure that you spend some time thinking about how to use that money to buy as much time as possible, because the more of your money that you spend earning yourself as much free time as you can the longer you will spend over the course of your life doing things that you enjoy.
That’s all from me for today, stay safe!