Respecting Yourself – The Time Value of Money

In my finance class at UBC, we were introduced to the concept of the time value of money which effectively is a concept that time equates to money. Most of us see it in the adage that a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush or that $10,000 dollars today is worth more than $10,000 next year (we know it’s inflation but we often forget that inflation is nothing without time). Time, arguably, is our most precious commodity.

With that knowledge in hand, we should think about how to apply that principal to benefit our lives. What if we applied the time concept of money to our time? If we did, then we would have the power to make better decisions on what to do with our time and, possibly, be more at peace with our struggle to not find enough time to do the things we want.

Since I have thought about this, I decided to apply it in principle and see what would happen. I started by asking myself “what is my time worth”? It’s not an easy question to ask of ourselves but it is on point in terms of how we should carry out our day to day tasks. Say for example, that the amount is $60 dollars per hour (1 dollar a minute). That would mean that any decision on whether to do something (less than enjoyable of course) will hinge on some simple math. Here are some examples that I came across:

  • Lineups at the gas station means I would wait 10 minutes to get gas at 15 cents per liter cheaper. I have 50 litre tank therefore I could save $7.50 but it would cost $10 of my time. Wait till it gets more expensive and fill up without a line.
  • Fixing a faucet in my house. 3 hours to do on my own or 200 dollars for a plumber. I’ll do it on my own since $180 (my time) is cheaper.
  • Doing my monthly bookkeeping at 10 hours a month or outsource for $250 per month. No brainer for me.

As I applied and continue to apply the principal, I find I am more at peace with what I accomplish in a day because I am being fully conscious and aware of where I spend my time. I know when and, when not, to outsource.

At Agustus Tax Counselling we understand the time value of money and want to pay homage to your time. Asking a tax professional that can explain it in layman’s terms about anything relating to your taxes will save you a lot of time. Maybe you want to talk about your tax return before you file, interpret a letter from the CRA, thinking about a lifestyle change in your career and the tax implications, or just trying to see if you claimed everything that you are entitled to claim. Researching on the internet or going to a class will take hours. There is no such thing as a small question when it comes to learning about your taxes when it can save you time and money in the form of larger refunds.

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