What do you value more: time or money?

Today is September 10 and the Navigate the Chaos question to consider is “what do you value more: time or money?” As Johann Wolfgang von Goethe noted “Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time.” People who navigate the chaos take care of their time and money; and often place time over money.

Taking care of both time and money requires a great deal of intention, effort, and discipline. The approach one has towards both at a young age will differ greatly during middle age and even more so after that. As you navigate the chaos consider rethinking your relationship to both time and money. Doing so might help provide you with the nuanced strategy you need to translate your next dream into reality.

Researchers who study the intersection of time and money focus on the necessity of money but the limitations of time. Dr. Tina Seelig is one such researcher. In her 2009 Psychology Today article she wrote “Most people look at their bank accounts with great attention and assess how much money they have to spend to invest, and to give away. But they do not look at their time the same way and end up wasting this incredibly valuable resource. In fact, time is much more valuable than money because you can use your time to make money, but you can’t use money to purchase more time.”

Seelig’s comment ‘you can use your time to make money, but you cannot use money to purchase more time’ is an important part of today’s reflection. Another aspect of today’s consideration is to ask yourself how often you assess your relationship to both time and money. You may understand what you value more but how often do you reflect upon your relationship with time and money? As people age

In a New York Times article authors Hal E. Hershfield and Cassie Mogilner Holmes challenged readers to answer the question: what do you value more - time or money? As Hershfield and Holmes stated "In our pursuit of happiness, we are constantly faced with decisions both big and small that force us to pit time against money. Of course, sometimes it’s not a choice at all: We must earn that extra pay to make ends meet. But when it is a choice, the likelihood of choosing more time over more money — despite the widespread tendency to do the opposite — is a good sign you’ll enjoy the happiness you seek."

Author Jim Rohn made a similar observation when he wrote “Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” In one of the great paradoxes of human existence, we can accumulate wealth, but have absolutely no control over the span of time.

As far as whether more money would make us all happier, there's actually conflicting evidence. A famous 2010 paper found that happiness and wealth are correlated up until an income level of around $75,000. But a subsequent 2013 paper out of Brookings found the opposite. Looking at international data, Brookings reported, "If there is a satiation point [meaning the point at which money stops correlating with happiness], we are yet to reach it."

The research suggests that choosing more time over money is a good sign you will enjoy the happiness you seek. Do you feel as though that is true? What do you value more: time or money?