Before You Buy the Ferrari, Maybe Buy Some Time

In my book Nobody Cares: The Ultimate & Only Self Help Book You Will Ever Need (I know, I’m the epitome of modesty, am I not?) I present perhaps the most important truth I have ever discovered — time won’t necessarily buy you money, but money can definitely buy you time.

Or, stated more simply: “Time is money” is incorrect; rather “money is time.”

So, before you buy the Ferrari, consider buying some time. Time to think, time to breathe, time to play, time to enjoy and teach your children, time to travel (nothing like a little time travel!), time to plot your next brilliant move.

But time doesn’t come cheap, and the clock is always running. Time will eventually run out, and then you won’t be able to buy as much as a nanosecond more for even a billion in gold.

So, as I like to say, you’d better start stacking the Benjamins, and/or reduce your expenses and shorten the time needed to get them Benjies.

This is the equation: More money for less work — or more highly paid work — (or more work accomplished in less time)= More Time for Not Working. Which is why dish washers make $7.50 an hour and drug traffickers make $7,500 an hour. Risk/reward and supply/demand always dictate price/profit.

You may find that you’ve stacked up enough loot to get that Ferrari! But you know, you may find that after you have that Ferrari it doesn’t make you as happy as…wasting time at the beach with a $29 hibachi, some red snapper and a couple of margaritas…while reading all those great works of lit you’ve never before had the time to get around to.

A study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (link) confirms that having time makes us happier than having “things.”

“People who spent money to buy themselves time, such as by outsourcing disliked tasks, reported greater overall life satisfaction,” said Ashley Whillans, an assistant professor at the Harvard Business School and lead author of the study, which was based on a series of surveys from several countries. Researchers did not see the same effect when people used money for material goods (my emphasis).

But, despite its benefits, the practice of buying time is not as popular as one might expect, they found. Even among more than 800 Dutch millionaires surveyed, all of whom surely could afford to do so, only a slight majority spent money on timesaving tasks.

So, get smart. Outsource as many of your mundane tasks as you can (cleaning, landscaping, proofreading, general maintenance of all the damned things that you own) and use your time savings to enjoy life with those you love and value most. Or, perhaps, use some of that saved time to become more efficient at creating and maintaining passive income, which is the best method of all for making every hour of your day an hour that is enjoyable and energizing, rather than tedious and boring.

As it always is in life, nobody cares what you do unless it directly affects or benefits them, so take care of yourself first.

There’s no time like the present for doing so.

Get the full-monty run-down on how to hack the world to your benefit in my cynical but highly rewarding book, Nobody Cares: The Ultimate & Only Self Help Book You Will Ever Need, available now on Amazon (link.)

If you don’t win, I don’t win.

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