“Time is money says the proverb, but turn it around and you get a precious truth. Money is time.” ~George Gissing
We’ve all heard the phrase “time is money.” But what does that really mean? And why does it matter?
Time is the most precious of all resources. Once spent, it can never be reclaimed. Money is certainly a critical resource too, or as Zig Ziglar once said: “Money isn’t the most important thing in life, but it’s reasonably close to oxygen on the ‘gotta have it’ scale.”
So, given that time and money are two of life’s most important resources, discussing the relationship between the two might help your teen get the most out of both someday.
Here are eight time and money conversation starters. Four explore how time is money. Four more consider the inverse.
- Time spent being idle is money that could have been earned in wages. “That babysitting job down the street earned $40 versus the $0 earned staying home to play video games.”
- Time wasted dilly-dallying while making a product or delivering a service is money that could have been earned by producing and selling more units. “You could mow two more lawns and make twice as much today if you really hustled.”
- Time learning a valued skill is money in the form of greater future earnings. “Spending a couple hours each day this summer learning how to build an app might land you a paid programming gig next summer.”
- Time investing in the market is money earned in compound returns. “Contribute some of your first summer job earnings to a Roth IRA and you’ll accumulate thousands of dollars tax free by the time you’re old like me.”
- Money available to pay someone to do a task for you is time freed up for family, leisure, or a more lucrative task. “Pay your little brother to help with the mowing, and you can spend more time drumming up new business and earning more for the two of you.”
- Money in reserve is time you have to make the right decision. “If you have some savings set aside to cover living expenses, you can negotiate patiently for a better job out of school instead of accepting that first lousy offer in a panic.”
- Money in reserve is time you have to correct a bad decision. “With some savings set aside, you can quit that job with the abusive boss or leave that abusive partner immediately and take the time required to find a better situation.”
- Money in reserve is time you have to pursue your dreams. “With enough money set aside, you can go ahead and ditch that lousy job and spend full time days building your own thing.”
Can you think of others?
A thoughtful discussion with your child about money takes time, but it costs little and pays off handsomely. That’s time — which is money — well spent.
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