the “what’s your time worth” fallacy


When I hear people rationalize spending money on services based upon the concept of “what’s your time worth”, I get a little defensive.

In a previous life I was also someone who would value ALL of my time based upon my HOURLY WAGES at my job.  It is easy to make this argument, but it doesn’t really hold water.

Let’s say that I make $50 per hour as an IT Contractor in a job and I spend $50 per week to have my lawn serviced.  I might say to myself, that I don’t want to spend an hour this weekend mowing my lawn and would rather have that time to go to the gym.  I have just traded 1 hour of gym time for $50.  I do recognize that I also get a manicured lawn included.  I have told myself that time at the gym is worth one hour of working my IT job.  While  going to the gym is highly enjoyable and beneficial to my health, it is hard to argue that an hour of gym time is worth paying $50.

The fallacy of the “what’s your time worth?” argument is based on the presumption that all time value is equal, and I do not believe that it is.  In the case of the IT worker, the time is worth $50 on Monday through Friday between 9AM and 5PM. Without a side hustle or other way to make money, the time outside of those hours might be worth $0 per hour.

So to say that I am worth $50 per hour for 24 hours per day in making my choices may lead me to make a poor decision.  

Think about this the next time you are using the time/money/value reasoning.  

Also recognize that mowing the lawn is also a pretty good workout in and of itself!

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