Wednesday, January 24

What is your time worth?

So what is an hour of your time truly worth? This is a good question, and one that I came across on Canadian Financial Stuff so I thought I would weigh in on this topic.

My income comes from consulting, so from that side I know exactly what an hour of my time is worth... whatever my clients will pay for it. That said, it can vary pretty widely. My rate ranges from $60 to $110 per hour depending on which client we are talking about, but my actual hourly income may be even more wide ranging because sometimes I have to write off time and sometimes I quote a project cost and get the project done faster than anticipated. So perhaps an hour of my time is worth anywhere from $5 to $200+ depending on who I am asking to pay for it.

But that is purely external. What is an hour of my time worth to me? Avoiding an unpleasant hour is worth a lot. I pay a house cleaner to come to my home once a month and even though it's expensive I feel that it is well worth it. However... I would like to make that twice a month but I feel that the expense would be too much then.

Sometimes I value my out of work time fairly cheaply, because there are a lot of time wasters that I do not pay to avoid. For example, shopping the bargain stores is definitely a time/money trade off that I make quite frequently.

And other times I seem to be unwilling to part with time that would save or make me money. For example, making an extra trip to return overdue library books, or finally getting around to submitting a rebate form. I also spend for convenience pretty often in the area of food.

So overall... I think that there is no single answer to this question. Both internally and externally there is a great deal of variation in what the evidence shows. But in thinking about this question, I have realized that there are many opportunities to value my time more highly, so perhaps I will be able to make some improvements.

And I'm going to find that rebate and submit it RIGHT NOW!