How do you value your time?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
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TD2626
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by TD2626 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:33 pm

Obviously, if someone is employed hourly and is literally choosing between working and getting paid for those hours or taking time off to, say, clean the house or mow the lawn, then the math (work vs hire a service) suddenly becomes "real" and a lot more important!

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Toons
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by Toons » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:41 pm

I am 66 years young. :mrgreen:
The clock is ticking.
I consider every moment "precious".
Having said that,
I buy the best quality I can afford.
I seek convienience in most areas of life now.
Even if I have to Pay for it....
That is what I saved and invested for.
For quite a few decades I would tell myself,
"If you have a choice between an elevator or steps,choose the steps"
Now,I am one of the first to hop on the "elevator".
The clock is ticking.
:happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

nova1968
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by nova1968 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:59 pm

knightrider wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:13 am
I'm the kind of person who parks a mile away to avoid paying $20 for parking. I recently got married so this behavior is creating a lot of conflict. My spouse believes in "paying for convenience". I need help in how to value my time so I can find some common ground with my spouse.

If I take my annual salary and divide by 2500 hours , I get an hourly rate of $45. But when I come home I am not being paid . So what is the value of my time when off the company clock? Is it zero, minimum wage or still $45?
I might park a mile a way to save $20 if I am by myself, however parking a mile a away when you go out to dinner with your spouse or when your out on a a date might not be a good idea.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Thu Oct 05, 2017 3:24 pm

As I have mentioned, I'm very frugal, but I'm also lazy. When you opt to by an optional product, it often cause no extra work. When it does, that's a different equation. Similar to the OP, I once was going to a local casino because a family dinner was scheduled in the buffet restaurant. I was driving around and saw an employee standing around. The conversation went something like:

"Where is the XYZ restaurant?"
"Right in through those doors."
"Good, I'm in the right place. Where do I park for that?"
"Well, there's some back there" (points off) "and some over there, or you can use the valet for $5."
"Oh, where's the valet?"
"You hand me your keys."
"Here you go."
This week's fortune cookie: "The stock market may be your ticket to success." I sure hope so!

TheHouse7
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by TheHouse7 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 4:22 pm

I get hung up on the ammount I could have worked. DW comes up with appointments during time I would make overtime. Then I start thinking how much it is costing me. Other times I can spend 9 hours round trip to save $300 on something she wants to buy. I enjoy spending time with her.
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J295
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by J295 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 7:36 pm

I place a ultra high value on my time, but probably not in the sense of the OP question.

I've gladly passed both pre and post retirement on trading my time to obtain more money.

finite_difference
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by finite_difference » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:03 pm

FrugalProfessor wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:53 am
msk wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:39 am
FrugalProfessor wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:25 am
My effective marginal tax rate is 45%. If I can spend $1 less, it's the equivalent of earning an extra $1.82 (=1/(1-.45)).

Don't forget taxes when valuing DIY activities (mowing lawn, paying for parking, making own meals, etc).
Unfortunately taxes are the great distortion of modern societies and DIY. Flourishing economies require that the most efficient person ought to do specific jobs. DIY uses an often mediocre person with an incomplete toolbox (skills and physical tools) do jobs that re far more efficiently done by specialists. There is no simple fix that I can see. One day somebody will come up with a taxation system that fixes these anomalies, hopefully. Manufacturing is already highly efficient since we are becoming a throw-away society, but we have not yet found a way to fix things and do maintenance efficiently tax wise.
Every single time I pull out my wallet to complete a transaction, I think of the distortions created by taxation. It definitely biases me towards DIY projects, and I'm mechanically inept. It is definitely economically inefficient.

My understanding of the tax code effects other behaviors as well. When giving someone a $1 tip that is appropriately reported to the IRS, for example, I realize that 6.2% goes to social security (twice if self employed), 1.45% goes to Medicare (twice if self employed), as much as 38% goes to federal gov't (albeit admittedly lower for most jobs receiving tips), as much as 10% goes to state gov't. The sum of the above leaves as little as $0.45 left on a $1 over-the-table tip.

Why would I voluntarily turn $1 into $0.45 through the simple exchange of $1? Surely $1 is worth more to me than $0.45 is to the person receiving the tip.

Don't get me wrong, I tip, but do so begrudgingly b/c of the economics. Most of the time, however, I avoid scenarios in which tipping is required (I take public transit rather than taxis, park own car rather than valet, eat in over eating out, etc).
I think your reasoning is flawed on multiple levels:

1. The value of a dollar is worth much more to someone who is poor (and likely in an occupation where you receive tips) than someone who is rich (45% marginal tax). Probably a factor of 10 or more.

2. The person is probably in a very low tax bracket, and pays little tax. (Or no taxes if not reported.)

3. Paying into social security benefits is worth a lot more to someone with low income.

I think tipping well is at least as good as giving to charity, if not better in some ways since you are directly rewarding hard-working individuals, and there is no admin overhead.

I suppose if you donate to a charity you get a tax break, and then charities can gift money to people who need it without any tax. But you give up a lot of control, and a gift received from charity is not quite the same as something you received for working. So I think both are good.
The most precious gift we can offer anyone is our attention. - Thich Nhat Hanh

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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:10 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Consumer Issues forum (how you spend your money and your time).
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Atilla
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by Atilla » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:35 pm

If it's something I enjoy or don't mind doing - my time is worth $0.00.

If it's something I'd rather farm out, my time starts at $75/hour and goes up from there depending on aggravation level.
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Maya1234
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by Maya1234 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:44 pm

Atilla wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:35 pm
If it's something I enjoy or don't mind doing - my time is worth $0.00.

If it's something I'd rather farm out, my time starts at $75/hour and goes up from there depending on aggravation level.
+1

I do most of my own cleaning and laundry because I actually like doing it even though I could easily afford weekly help. However we pay for lawn and snow plow service as I would hate to do,those chores. You couldn't pay Me to do them.

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Jazztonight
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by Jazztonight » Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:57 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:03 am
When I'm by myself, I do as I please. When my wife is with me, I do as she pleases, unless it is something that means a great deal to me and then we have a long discussion followed by a compromise. Whether or not I save $20 in parking fees is not a great deal to me so I would do it if my wife requested it. If you rationalize your disagreement with your wife as a matter of dollars and cents, you are in for a "long row to hoe" as we sometimes say in these parts.
+1

OP, you're dealing with two different issues here: 1. Bogleheadedness, and 2. Matrimonial peacefulness.

The last 13 years of my work career I worked part-time, and the company would no longer cover my parking expenses. Because of neighborhood parking restrictions, the closest I could park for free was a mile from the office. Rain or shine I walked that mile, to and from work to my car, and never complained once. I wasn't about to pay for parking and I wasn't going to risk a parking ticket. Also, I knew that walking that 2 miles a day was good for me.

But my DW is not interested in walking even a block extra if it's not necessary, even though she's pretty thrifty. So, either I drop her off at the restaurant (etc.) door and park a few blocks away, or I bite the bullet and pay for parking.

This is not going to change, and I'm the one who has to accommodate in this situation. I'd say that you probably should, too.
"What does not destroy me, makes me stronger." Nietzsche

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CyclingDuo
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by CyclingDuo » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:26 pm

Atilla wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:35 pm
If it's something I enjoy or don't mind doing - my time is worth $0.00.

If it's something I'd rather farm out, my time starts at $75/hour and goes up from there depending on aggravation level.
We got a quote from a local lighting electrician to have 6 lights changed in our kitchen, plus above cabinet lighting and some dimmer switches. We were to purchase all the fixtures, and the company would do the install of the lights for $1900! :shock:

To heck with that. I'm no electrician, but a little help from Google and this past weekend in 5 hours time - I knocked it all out myself with the old DIY method. 5 hours time included climbing in the crawl space attic for the can lights, but at the rate of $380 an hour - it was worth it, satisfying, and it's done despite aggravation with some of the drilling I encountered.

Pretty easy to figure out. Paint, mow, nail, repair, replace, shovel, landscape, reprogram - I'll take it all on. It's part of earning my Renaissance Man status. And the money saved is well worth it.

Humble thyself - and put some backbone into it. Regardless of age, feeling of entitlement, or aggravation level.

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abuss368
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by abuss368 » Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:33 pm

Toons wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:41 pm
I am 66 years young. :mrgreen:
The clock is ticking.
I consider every moment "precious".
Having said that,
I buy the best quality I can afford.
I seek convienience in most areas of life now.
Even if I have to Pay for it....
That is what I saved and invested for.
For quite a few decades I would tell myself,
"If you have a choice between an elevator or steps,choose the steps"
Now,I am one of the first to hop on the "elevator".
The clock is ticking.
:happy
Hi Toons -

That was an excellent post and moving.

:sharebeer
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

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jabberwockOG
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by jabberwockOG » Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:25 pm

I value my time in retirement between $0-320 per hour - the range based on my own personality quirks and my perception of the task's duration, level of effort, and attractiveness (fun or no fun to do) - all 3 of which are interdependent.
Some example's
1. Valet parking - I'd rather walk 5 miles than let a valet/stranger drive my car.
2. Pay parking close by - I will happily pay extra for a larger secure parking spot because I hate dings/scuffs. If spaces are small/too close or is a sketchy area I won't park there regardless of cost or lost convenience.
3. I enjoy working on my cars - oil, filters, plugs, brakes, etc. so I rarely take it to the shop and would not do so for convenience. An exception is something like rotating tires - it is too heavy, too long duration, too dirty, and boring - not fun so I would happily pay to have it done.
4. I do lots of typical diy around the house projects but won't get up on the roof because of the risk of falling/injury so I happily pay a pro, same for taking down trees around the house.
5. If asked to provide my professional guidance or technical assistance to folks I don't enjoy helping my rate is $320 which is what I would typically bill my time at when still employed and frankly is just a way to make them go away since I have little interest in working at that level ever again.
6. I mow/blow/edge my own yard on a weekly basis. In my area even with a small yard this would cost me $50 per week to have done for me. I could argue my time is worth more but even though I don't enjoy lawn care I do enjoy the feeling of easily saving $50 per week.
7. Wife and I love ethnic foods and are happy to pay to eat nicely prepared meals that we would be challenged to prepare ourselves. But there is no way I'd pay premium money in a fancy steakhouse for the kitchen to cook us an expensive steak. That's just too easy to buy premium meat and do at home to pay silly prices in a steakhouse.

moneywise3
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by moneywise3 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:07 am

If it is affecting your love life, then no amount of money is worth it.

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dodecahedron
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by dodecahedron » Fri Oct 06, 2017 3:54 am

learning_head wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:10 am
FrugalProfessor wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:53 am
My understanding of the tax code effects other behaviors as well. When giving someone a $1 tip that is appropriately reported to the IRS, for example, I realize that 6.2% goes to social security (twice if self employed), 1.45% goes to Medicare (twice if self employed), as much as 38% goes to federal gov't (albeit admittedly lower for most jobs receiving tips), as much as 10% goes to state gov't. The sum of the above leaves as little as $0.45 left on a $1 over-the-table tip.

Why would I voluntarily turn $1 into $0.45 through the simple exchange of $1?
Point taken... but in all fairness, most jobs that assume tips pay way less than above numbers. In all likelihood, $0 for both federal and state taxes, leaving it to be more like $0.92.
Actually, for the jobs near the poverty level, federal and state refundable tax credits can turn that $1 into more like $1.30. We have negative effective marginal rates at the bottom of the income range.

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Toons
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by Toons » Fri Oct 06, 2017 6:07 am

abuss368 wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 9:33 pm
Toons wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:41 pm
I am 66 years young. :mrgreen:
The clock is ticking.
I consider every moment "precious".
Having said that,
I buy the best quality I can afford.
I seek convienience in most areas of life now.
Even if I have to Pay for it....
That is what I saved and invested for.
For quite a few decades I would tell myself,
"If you have a choice between an elevator or steps,choose the steps"
Now,I am one of the first to hop on the "elevator".
The clock is ticking.
:happy
Hi Toons -

That was an excellent post and moving.

:sharebeer
Thanks Kindly Abuss,
Much Appreciated,
:happy :happy
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

stan1
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by stan1 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:31 am

I don't mind doing some housework and laundry or walking to get where I'm going. I hate mowing the grass and my vision makes it impossible for me to do a good job painting a room these days. You can guess which ones I pay someone else to do.

Dottie57
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by Dottie57 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 8:57 am

Time is my most precious commodity. I will never have more of it than I have right this minute. I save and invest to make my time in the future better.

I refuse to spend my time doing that which does not improve my life (after spending and saving goals met) - I will spend money to gain time and life enjoyment.

cantos
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by cantos » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:01 am

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:25 pm
I value my free time at $0/hour. Everything else is just silly, except maybe minimum wage.

For example, if my free time was valued, for some reason, at a figure higher than I could get a local teenager to mow my lawn, then logic would dictate that I should apparently pay someone to mow my lawn. That is to say, if I thought my free time was valued at $20/hour, then I can pay someone $10/hour to mow my lawn and apparently "save" $10/hour. As if I would be going to work instead of mowing the lawn? No, the options are either sitting on the couch or mowing the lawn.
Exactly. All these posters who value their free time based on salary, my question is this: can you make the same rate whenever you want? Can you work 16 hours a day at that rate if you want? Is someone paying you that rate to walk across the parking lot? The answer is of course not.

Which is also why, when comparing two jobs, one that pays less salary with less hours but a higher per hour rate, really isnt comparable. I don't care if your per hour rate is $1000 an hour if you can only get that rate for 5 hours a year and make $5000/year. Id rather make $100000/year on a much lower hourly rate.

The book your moneybor your life popularized the time=money equation. It is a valuable tool but it has weaknesses. Dont let that equation dictate your life.

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sunny_socal
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by sunny_socal » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:05 am

It depends on what I'm doing. I don't attempt to value my time based on my day job.

On weekends I 'pay myself' per the prevailing wage:
- If I'm just sitting around, my time is worth $0/hour (eg. watching football) [I hardly ever just sit around]
- Working on my car, $80/hour. I DIY all basic maintenance (oil & filter changes, tire rotations, brake jobs, replace broken parts)
- Working on my house, $100/hour. I can DIY most things (basic electrical & plumbing fixes, irrigation, flooring, paint)
- Mowing the grass, weeding, $10/hour (I pay my kids to do this most of the time)
- Running errands, $0/hour

Some things I will farm out, it would take me too much time/effort to either learn the procedure or to buy/rent the tools:
- Large auto repairs (eg. alternator & belt replacement, air conditioner)
- Large home projects (eg. glue down hardwood floors, applying stucco)
- Large landscape projects (eg. laying pavers, pouring concrete)

I probably save $5k/year by doing the simple maintenance tasks myself. A couple weeks ago I replaced our broken water heater, it took me several hours. I likely saved $1k in labor alone. I buy high quality tools as part of the work, they will last decades.

mak1277
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by mak1277 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:16 am

Flip the question around....if someone offered you $xx or $yy/hour to do something, would you do it? What is your threshold for taking on additional work?

There is no reasonable amount of money someone could pay me to mow their lawn, fix their plumbing, or do their dishes. I wouldn't mow my neighbor's lawn for $1,000....

DrGoogle2017
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:26 am

I value my life more than my time. I now park a little further so I can walk, in the past I would do the opposite. We pay for valet parking because it reduces stress, especially when we go out to eat in a nice restaurant. My husband and I try to do most things ourselves, hoping to keep our brain not degrading as much. So far we fix everything we can, we have not called anybody.

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bottlecap
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by bottlecap » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:28 am

This is so personal that anyone who gives an opinion is wrong. You must make your own decision about this.

Everyone's free time is obviously worth something, otherwise we would make our own clothes.

But what it’s worth is up to you. Mathematical equations won’t figure it out for you.

JT

LiterallyIronic
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:36 am

mak1277 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:16 am
Flip the question around....if someone offered you $xx or $yy/hour to do something, would you do it? What is your threshold for taking on additional work?

There is no reasonable amount of money someone could pay me to mow their lawn, fix their plumbing, or do their dishes. I wouldn't mow my neighbor's lawn for $1,000....
:shock:

I'll mow it for $20.

Maya1234
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by Maya1234 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:36 am

mak1277 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:16 am
Flip the question around....if someone offered you $xx or $yy/hour to do something, would you do it? What is your threshold for taking on additional work?

There is no reasonable amount of money someone could pay me to mow their lawn, fix their plumbing, or do their dishes. I wouldn't mow my neighbor's lawn for $1,000....
+1 on the concept. Personally I like doing dishes but 100 percent on mowing lawn...plumbing

I like cleaning and organizing ( a friend recently called my junk drawer "a thing of beauty". I recently scrubbed out a friend's fridge when she was in the hospital because Although I considered hiring someone to do it I actively find it enjoyable. But we have a lawn service, a snow plow service, hire pros for all repairs and home maintenance because you couldn't pay me or DH ennough to do those things.

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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by barnaclebob » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:39 am

The value of your time outside of work depends on how much you enjoy the activity you are doing. Sitting in traffic for an hour to save $30. Heck no.

Spending an hour changing my oil, rotating tires, topping off fluids in my car to save $30 (synthetic oil). Absolutely.

I also factor the time involved in finding a competent person to do house maintenance coupled with the chances of them not doing it to my satisfaction. That combined with the fact that I like being self sufficient and DIY means I don't hire much out.
Last edited by barnaclebob on Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.

BuckyBadger
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by BuckyBadger » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:39 am

Maya1234 wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:06 pm
Something like that is not just a matter of time. Who wants to have to walk a mile ( especially a person who like most women aren't wearing shoes that are comfortable for that walk if you are just going out to dinner or do something that wasn't planned as a hiking/walking/ athletic activity.) Who wants to chance it that on the way back you'll be walking back in cold/ wet conditions if that's even a remote possibility.

Convenience isn't just about time. It's about comfort too.
From the woman's perspective, this is a valid point. I'll hike 10 miles in appropriate footwear and clothes. I'll walk a mile to a thing if I'm going somewhere and I'm wearing shorts and sneakers. I'm going to get pretty cranky if someone asks me to walk more than a block or so if it's 1) hot and I'm wearing a nice outfit, or 2) I'm wearing heels. This is an issue that men, in general, don't usually deal with.
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:25 pm
I value my free time at $0/hour. Everything else is just silly, except maybe minimum wage.

For example, if my free time was valued, for some reason, at a figure higher than I could get a local teenager to mow my lawn, then logic would dictate that I should apparently pay someone to mow my lawn. That is to say, if I thought my free time was valued at $20/hour, then I can pay someone $10/hour to mow my lawn and apparently "save" $10/hour. As if I would be going to work instead of mowing the lawn? No, the options are either sitting on the couch or mowing the lawn.
How are these the only options? Do you not have hobbies or other activities?

I love nothing more in this world than playing tennis with my husband and with my friends. You'd better believe that I'd pay someone $10/hour (Or $20, or more!) to do yard work if it meant that I'd have the time to spend a beautiful day outside playing tennis for several hours. Or, honestly, snuggling up on the couch with my husband watching football. What we call our "Lazy Football Sundays" are more valuable to us that your dismissive concept of "sitting on the couch."

Everyone values the things that they do differently. I value my couch time with my husband on the weekends because we both work long hours and don't even get to see each other all that much in the evenings. A Sunday morning spent playing tennis and a Sunday afternoon watching football is, as the commercials used to say, priceless.

THY4373
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by THY4373 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:56 am

FrugalProfessor wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:25 am
My effective marginal tax rate is 45%. If I can spend $1 less, it's the equivalent of earning an extra $1.82 (=1/(1-.45)).

Don't forget taxes when valuing DIY activities (mowing lawn, paying for parking, making own meals, etc).
My marginal rate is a bit less than yours but I agree that has always played a huge role in my thinking. I recently passed on applying for my boss' job (he went to another group in my org) in part because it would have required more hours of my time that would have taken away from my tax free activities of DIY and credit card arbitrage (manufactured spending) for travel awards and cashback. It just didn't make economic sense.

THY4373
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by THY4373 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:06 am

jalbert wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:18 am

If your free time is only worth what you earn working, why aren't you working a second job? If you are working as much as you need or want to, your free time is worth more than you earn, which is why you aren't working at that time.
I agree with your sentiment to a point that at some level you cross a line where your free time is so valuable you won't want to work more. But for many it is not as simple as just working a second job. Many of us are salaried and so we cannot just work extra hours at our day job to make more money at least in the immediate sense. Obviously working extra hours, gaining extra skills might lead to more money in the long run. At the same time many employers limit their employees moonlighting. My organization has an ethics department and they will generally not allow somebody to moonlight in the same general area as their day job. Thus it would be very difficult for me to make the same kind of money I do in my day job because what I am most skilled at is out of bounds. Thus working a second job is not really option for me unless I want to make a whole lot less.

The way I work around this is to save money but doing a lot of stuff myself and doing stuff that isn't a job yet makes me money (credit card award arbitrage).

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whatusername?
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by whatusername? » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:12 am

I don't need to value my time, I just need to know if it is more or less valuable than the cost of the alternatives.

For example, I enjoy mowing the lawn, so the question is whether the $30 I'd pay a service to do it is more or less expensive than the half hour it takes me to mow. Turns out, it isn't. On the other hand, the couple of hours it would take me to clean my house is way more valuable than what the housekeeper charges to do it as it's a task I loathe.

When it comes to work, my free time is generally more valuable than the "overtime" (although I work on salary and don't get overtime, it all gets factored into end of year bonus comp).

I like walking, and if the weather's nice out I would happily park in a cheaper lot even if it meant a longer walk. In the rain, however, your wife is right: pay the $20.

mak1277
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by mak1277 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:16 am

BuckyBadger wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:39 am
LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:25 pm
I value my free time at $0/hour. Everything else is just silly, except maybe minimum wage.

For example, if my free time was valued, for some reason, at a figure higher than I could get a local teenager to mow my lawn, then logic would dictate that I should apparently pay someone to mow my lawn. That is to say, if I thought my free time was valued at $20/hour, then I can pay someone $10/hour to mow my lawn and apparently "save" $10/hour. As if I would be going to work instead of mowing the lawn? No, the options are either sitting on the couch or mowing the lawn.
How are these the only options? Do you not have hobbies or other activities?

I love nothing more in this world than playing tennis with my husband and with my friends. You'd better believe that I'd pay someone $10/hour (Or $20, or more!) to do yard work if it meant that I'd have the time to spend a beautiful day outside playing tennis for several hours. Or, honestly, snuggling up on the couch with my husband watching football. What we call our "Lazy Football Sundays" are more valuable to us that your dismissive concept of "sitting on the couch."

Everyone values the things that they do differently. I value my couch time with my husband on the weekends because we both work long hours and don't even get to see each other all that much in the evenings. A Sunday morning spent playing tennis and a Sunday afternoon watching football is, as the commercials used to say, priceless.
This is my favorite answer so far. It's not just about pure dollars saved, it's about the lost opportunity of what other (better) things could be done with your time.

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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by michaeljc70 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:35 am

A lot of people figure out what they make per hour. However, these are hours you would not be working nor have the ability to work typically (I guess if you can work unlimited OT or have your own business it is different). Though I work as a consultant on an hourly basis, I don't use that when valuing time. What if you hate your job and will hate the task less or even enjoy it? I try to think in general terms of how much free time I have and then prioritize it wisely without putting a dollar value on it.

LiterallyIronic
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by LiterallyIronic » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:36 am

BuckyBadger wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:39 am

LiterallyIronic wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:25 pm
I value my free time at $0/hour. Everything else is just silly, except maybe minimum wage.

For example, if my free time was valued, for some reason, at a figure higher than I could get a local teenager to mow my lawn, then logic would dictate that I should apparently pay someone to mow my lawn. That is to say, if I thought my free time was valued at $20/hour, then I can pay someone $10/hour to mow my lawn and apparently "save" $10/hour. As if I would be going to work instead of mowing the lawn? No, the options are either sitting on the couch or mowing the lawn.
How are these the only options? Do you not have hobbies or other activities?

I love nothing more in this world than playing tennis with my husband and with my friends. You'd better believe that I'd pay someone $10/hour (Or $20, or more!) to do yard work if it meant that I'd have the time to spend a beautiful day outside playing tennis for several hours. Or, honestly, snuggling up on the couch with my husband watching football. What we call our "Lazy Football Sundays" are more valuable to us that your dismissive concept of "sitting on the couch."

Everyone values the things that they do differently. I value my couch time with my husband on the weekends because we both work long hours and don't even get to see each other all that much in the evenings. A Sunday morning spent playing tennis and a Sunday afternoon watching football is, as the commercials used to say, priceless.
Heh. I sit in front a computer all day at work, programming. Then I go home and sit in front of my computer playing Steam games. Or sit in front of my TV playing a console game or watching TV/movie. Sure there are other things I like doing. I enjoy bowling. I even have my own bowling ball and bowling shoes. But it still costs too much to go very often - $6 for an hour, so I hit up the bowling alley every six months or so. Golf is even worse. Yeah, I have my own clubs. But I use them every year or two, because it's $10 to play the cheap seven hole course. Then there's the travel time. I have a $20 annual membership to a place with laser tag, miniature golf, etc. But it's a 15 minute drive, so who wants to do that after dinner? Plus I'm way too tired after work to do anything. Sure, the weekends, but I'm not going to call up someone every weekend and ask them to hang out with me - everyone else has their own lives. Hobbies are just too expensive and take too much time.

So motivation to get off the couch? Good luck with that. I mean, my to-do list includes "find someone who can install more insulation for us." I just need to Google it and make a phone call. I'm not even the one who has to do the installation, just find someone to do it. And that's been on my to-do list for literally a month.

A night sleeping for nine hours and then taking naps between episodes of Futurama, that would be priceless. I look forward to retirement so I can do absolutely nothing. :) I'm not "dismissing" sitting on the couch - I love sitting on (or sleeping on) the couch.

rxtra8
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by rxtra8 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:39 am

Toons wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:41 pm
I am 66 years young. :mrgreen:
The clock is ticking.
I consider every moment "precious".
Having said that,
I buy the best quality I can afford.
I seek convienience in most areas of life now.
Even if I have to Pay for it....
That is what I saved and invested for.
For quite a few decades I would tell myself,
"If you have a choice between an elevator or steps,choose the steps"
Now,I am one of the first to hop on the "elevator".
The clock is ticking.
:happy
+2

I am 67 years of age. Time vs money changes as you get older; time becomes very expensive even if you are not working. You cannot pay for more time.

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Toons
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by Toons » Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:51 am

rxtra8 wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 10:39 am
Toons wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 2:41 pm
I am 66 years young. :mrgreen:
The clock is ticking.
I consider every moment "precious".
Having said that,
I buy the best quality I can afford.
I seek convienience in most areas of life now.
Even if I have to Pay for it....
That is what I saved and invested for.
For quite a few decades I would tell myself,
"If you have a choice between an elevator or steps,choose the steps"
Now,I am one of the first to hop on the "elevator".
The clock is ticking.
:happy

+2

I am 67 years of age. Time vs money changes as you get older; time becomes very expensive even if you are not working. You cannot pay for more time.

:wink: :thumbsup
"One does not accumulate but eliminate. It is not daily increase but daily decrease. The height of cultivation always runs to simplicity" –Bruce Lee

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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by goblue100 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:05 am

I have a sliding scale. I'm willing to mow my own lawn which would value my time at < $30 per hour, but for other chores I'd rather pay $125 an hour rather than tackle it myself.
In my household I always have to be the one to remind DW that her time has some value, and rather than run to 4 grocery stores to get the lowest price on 4 items, it may be better to pay a little more on 3 items and only go to one store.
Some people are immune to good advice. - Saul Goodman

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JPH
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by JPH » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:06 am

Your time is worth $0 if there is no one willing to pay you anything for it.
While the moments do summersaults into eternity | Cling to their coattails and beg them to stay - Townes Van Zandt

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Abe
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by Abe » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:12 am

I don't break down the value of my time per hour. It's either worth it to me or it's not.
Slow and steady wins the race.

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unclescrooge
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by unclescrooge » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:24 am

jalbert wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 11:18 am
knightrider wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:13 am
I'm the kind of person who parks a mile away to avoid paying $20 for parking. I recently got married so this behavior is creating a lot of conflict. My spouse believes in "paying for convenience". I need help in how to value my time so I can find some common ground with my spouse.

If I take my annual salary and divide by 2500 hours , I get an hourly rate of $45. But when I come home I am not being paid . So what is the value of my time when off the company clock? Is it zero, minimum wage or still $45?
If your free time is only worth what you earn working, why aren't you working a second job? If you are working as much as you need or want to, your free time is worth more than you earn, which is why you aren't working at that time.
+1.
Free time is valued at 2x hourly wage.

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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by Rupert » Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:27 am

bottlecap wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:28 am
This is so personal that anyone who gives an opinion is wrong. You must make your own decision about this.

Everyone's free time is obviously worth something, otherwise we would make our own clothes.

But what it’s worth is up to you. Mathematical equations won’t figure it out for you.

JT
+100. The folks saying that convenience is for lazy people are kidding themselves. Even they draw the line somewhere, as I presume they don't grow all their own vegetables, slaughter their own cows and chickens, and, as you say, make their own clothes. The way I see it, I endured a decade of higher education and have endured two decades of long hours at the office so that I don't have to do things I don't want to do. I enjoy mowing my grass; so I do that myself. I hate painting bathrooms; so I'm going to pay someone else to do that. It's a very personal decision. And I don't try to assign a monetary value to everything I do every day. Who wants to live like that?

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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by an_asker » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:51 pm

bottlecap wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:28 am
This is so personal that anyone who gives an opinion is wrong. You must make your own decision about this.

Everyone's free time is obviously worth something, otherwise we would make our own clothes.

But what it’s worth is up to you. Mathematical equations won’t figure it out for you.

JT
The question is "How do you value your time?" not "How should I value my time?" ;-)

BTW, it is funny to see two threads - one discussing the time value of money and the other discussing money value of time!!

an_asker
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by an_asker » Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:53 pm

Rupert wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 11:27 am
[...]+100.[...]
Do you own special Boglehead voting rights - the Class A shares? ;-)

jordank
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by jordank » Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:31 pm

Atilla wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:35 pm
If it's something I enjoy or don't mind doing - my time is worth $0.00.

If it's something I'd rather farm out, my time starts at $75/hour and goes up from there depending on aggravation level.
I fully agree with this, and various previous comments about not forgetting the distorting effects of taxes on the valuation. When I pay $500 to have some work done on my car, for example, I really have to earn $500 + Marginal_Tax_Rate%*$500 to compensate for that expense...

One thing that I would like to add though, however, is the value I always put on learning new skills and acquiring abilities and tools. As an example - I had never felled down a tree myself, until a few months ago. The best estimate for having 2 trees cut down at our property was $1,200. I did some research, and decided I can do it myself. I purchased a decent chain saw (Stihl, $300 with various accessories, face protection, etc). Youtube and the Internet is a great source if information. It took about 3 hours to fell the trees, trim and pile up the branches, and cut up the trunks for firewood.

As a result, I not only saved money, but I now have a chainsaw, and an extra skill.

ps> Yes, I would pay for convenient parking at an event from time to time - something I never did when I was younger and poorer. Nothing to be learned by driving around looking for parking ;-)...

lhl12
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by lhl12 » Fri Oct 06, 2017 2:55 pm

msk wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 10:30 am
Decades ago I consulted a lawyer, and he charged me $250 an hour. I decided that thenceforth I will value my time at the same level. I never did adjust for inflation. Presumably that same lawyer now charges around $500 an hour, but if I need to spend hours chasing something, e.g. an insurance claim or driving a long way to save on a purchase, I still use $250 an hour as my yardstick as to whether it's worth my bother. Set your own yardstick according to your earnings capacity and venture forth. My earnings (job) capacity is nil since I have retired 18 years ago and my investments are passive ETFs so they do not require much attention, but I am happy to continue using $250/hour to avoid aggravations :D
This is exactly how I think of it, though the older I get, the higher I raise my own personal billing rate.

We all have a limited time on this earth. The scarcest resource we all have - by far - is our time. I find that the higher I raise my personal billing rate, the more aware I become about how I am spending my time and the more intentional I try to be to insure I am using that time wisely.

That doesn't mean that I don't do basic chores or low level tasks - I do, partly because it is not practical to do otherwise. Also, there are certain chores that I actually enjoy (or at least don't mind), so I am happy to do those. However if I can pay someone else to (for example) mow my lawn and that gives me an extra 30 minutes in my day (worth $125 at $250/hour) to do something either more pleasant or more productive, then that is a great trade for overall lifetime happiness.

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CyclingDuo
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by CyclingDuo » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:01 am

jordank wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 1:31 pm
Atilla wrote:
Thu Oct 05, 2017 8:35 pm
If it's something I enjoy or don't mind doing - my time is worth $0.00.

If it's something I'd rather farm out, my time starts at $75/hour and goes up from there depending on aggravation level.
I fully agree with this, and various previous comments about not forgetting the distorting effects of taxes on the valuation. When I pay $500 to have some work done on my car, for example, I really have to earn $500 + Marginal_Tax_Rate%*$500 to compensate for that expense...

One thing that I would like to add though, however, is the value I always put on learning new skills and acquiring abilities and tools. As an example - I had never felled down a tree myself, until a few months ago. The best estimate for having 2 trees cut down at our property was $1,200. I did some research, and decided I can do it myself. I purchased a decent chain saw (Stihl, $300 with various accessories, face protection, etc). Youtube and the Internet is a great source if information. It took about 3 hours to fell the trees, trim and pile up the branches, and cut up the trunks for firewood.

As a result, I not only saved money, but I now have a chainsaw, and an extra skill.
^^This. Nobody should die without having felt the personal satisfaction of some good old fashioned elbow grease of completing a new project on their own, and having saved the money doing it! Not to mention the joy of having a new man tool in your ownership now. (Great brand purchase, by the way!) :mrgreen:

Life is a journey. We get multiple options year in and year out to take on challenges such as you faced with the trees. DIY, or pay hard earned money that could be used for something else to have somebody else do it in your stead.

Pretty much echoes the value of DIY index fund investing vs. paying AUM to have somebody else do our investing for us.

Not sure how our society got to the level of entitlement that it has over the decades where so many feel the value of their "time" is worth more than what it actually is worth. Good for the economy though...

:beer

sambb
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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by sambb » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:28 am

some poeple spend money on hobbies, some on cars, some on houses, some on nice dinners, some on convenience services, etc,
It doesnt really matter if they are achieving their savings goals.

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Re: How do you value your time?

Post by bottlecap » Sat Oct 07, 2017 9:33 am

an_asker wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 12:51 pm
bottlecap wrote:
Fri Oct 06, 2017 9:28 am
This is so personal that anyone who gives an opinion is wrong. You must make your own decision about this.

Everyone's free time is obviously worth something, otherwise we would make our own clothes.

But what it’s worth is up to you. Mathematical equations won’t figure it out for you.

JT
The question is "How do you value your time?" not "How should I value my time?" ;-)
Well then I'm flattered that the OP is curious about me. But I don’t think that’s the case. :wink:

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