What motivates you more, time or money? For me, it’s time all the way. I long for more concentrated time with my spouse, more time to spend with my family and friends, and more time off from work to go on adventures. Making my budget work with my salary has never been an issue — but having control over my time? That’s vitally important to me. I keep a detailed spreadsheet of how I’m spending my PTO. And flexible scheduling (like half-day Fridays in the summer) and the ability to work from home are two of the things I like best about my current job.
Whether you’d rather have a few extra bucks in the bank or a few extra hours in the day, here are a few ways to get what you want (and make the most of what you already have):
1. Know Your Values: Take a step back and ask which means more to you: money or time? As you go through different life stages you may find that your preference changes, and that’s ok. What means most to you right now?
Tip: This is a great question to ask your partner, since they may have a different perspective. If that’s the case, consider how you will respect their values as well. For instance, if your partner values money, it may be a good idea to have some money set aside that they can spend independently. If they value time, maybe you’d be willing to take on more jobs around the house to give them the time to do the things they care about.
2. Value Time More? Consider This:
a. Spread out your vacation time: Are you really using the time away you’ve already earned? Many people I know who value time still have quite a bit of PTO in the bank. Even if you don’t have a ‘big trip’ in your future, give yourself permission to take time off for the things that matter to you — a three-day-weekend getaway with your partner, more hours in your garden when the weather is nice, or a quiet afternoon relaxing with a book and a cup of tea.
Tip: Worried things will fall apart at work while you’re away? Why not take a half-day off instead? Then you can get a little work off your plate before you give yourself a break. But remember: when you’re off, you’re off — don’t be sitting in the garden checking your work email!
b. Explore flexible scheduling: Over the last few years, more employers seem to be allowing people to work from home more often, move around their hours when needed, and even take advantage of “summer hours” where you can work more Monday-Thursday to get out a little earlier on Friday. A few years ago, my co-worker found herself working quite a bit after her three boys went to bed in addition to staying in the office until 5pm or later. She wanted more time with her kids, so she started leaving work mid-afternoon a few times a week with the promise she would make up the time after 9 pm.
Tip: Check and see what your company is willing to accommodate. Analyze how you could reorganize your work schedule; then, go to your manager with a proposal. Remind them of the good work you’ve done and illustrate how you’d continue to perform to this level with this new schedule. Focus your conversation on the value to your organization, not just the value to you.
c. Put your time toward what you value most: Sometimes there’s not a lot you can do to add more “non-work” time into your life, but you can make sure you are using your time away from work to the best of your ability. Do a time audit: What activities are wearing you down and taking you away from the things you love?
Tip: Are there tasks that are clogging up your week that you could pay someone else to do, like mowing the lawn or cleaning the house? Check out this blog article to find ways you can buy yourself more time.
3. Value Money More? Consider This:
a. Ask for a raise: It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? Know that you’re more likely to be successful if you take the time to do your research, list out the ways you’ve demonstrated your value to your company, and practice your “ask.” Find out more about how to ask for a raise in this blog article.
Tip: Not getting much traction on a salary boost? See if there are other ways you can increase your take-home pay, like participating in a performance incentive plan or asking for a percentage commission on the work that you are bringing in to your company.
b. Develop a side hustle: Your employer isn’t the only place where you can bring in more money. Are there ways you could make a little extra on the side through freelance gigs like copy writing, public speaking, handyman work, or catering friends’ parties? The sky is the limit! Learn the 3 ingredients it takes to start a side hustle.
Tip: Just because you place a higher value on money doesn’t mean you have unlimited time to devote to your side hustle. Determine how many hours you are willing to invest in this venture, set clear goals of how much money you are looking to bring in, and then stick to it!
c. Put your money toward what you value most: Bringing in more money is great, but you also have to make sure you are using the money you have well. Take the time to track your spending each month: Are you spending your money on the things you care about most? What expenses could you reduce or cut?
Tip: I’m a big fan of the money tracking app Mint, which helps me see the way my husband and I are using money across all of our accounts. It makes it super easy to find where we are overspending and helps us ensure our goals remain our highest priority.
Which do you value more, time or money? Let me know below!