Remember the movie, The Matrix?
(How could you not).
The character, Neo, was given two choices – the blue pill or the red pill.
Now imagine the blue was money and the red, time.
Which would you choose?
Time is the great equaliser.
We all have 24 hours a day.
Regardless of who or where we are…
How much we earn or how hard we work.
Only 1440 minutes a day to do all we need to do.
Money, on the other hand, is the great divider.
Causing huge rifts between wealth classes…
But it’s limitless – we can earn as much as we want to…
As long as we work and sacrifice for it.
(And have a bit of luck on our side).
It’s often argued that time is more valuable because it’s limited.
I am sure billionaires on their death beds such as Steve Jobs or Paul Allen would have paid anything for more time.
In fact, psychologists believe in the benefit of spending money to save on time.
According to a recent study from Harvard University, it can boost your happiness.
It found that:
“Despite rising incomes, people around the world are feeling increasingly pressed for time, undermining wellbeing. We show that the time famine of modern life can be reduced by using money to buy time.”
Researchers surveyed more than 6,000 people in the USA, Canada, Denmark and The Netherlands…
They asked them about life satisfaction and how they spend their time and money.
The findings were that people who spent money on time-saving measures seemed to get a life-satisfaction boost of around 8%.
The researchers took the study one step further.
They gave 60 adults in Vancouver, Canada, $40 on two consecutive weekends.
On the first weekend, the volunteers were told to buy something with the money.
On the second, they were meant to make a time-saving purchase.
They found the time-saving purchase made the volunteers happier.
Paying more for a convenient service gave them more freedom.
And relieved them of ‘time pressure’.
They were able to seek enjoyment in those added spare moments.
So what are time-saving purchases?
In the UAE, we are especially fortunate to enjoy unique conveniences.
Groceries are a phone call away – at any time of the day.
So are food deliveries.
Your morning Starbucks is delivered to your door.
Maintenance and cleaning services are readily available at the click of a button.
All of these shave off minutes, possibly hours, from our day.
Allowing us to allocate the time to something we value.
Like playing with the kids.
Throwing around a ball with the dog.
Enjoying a home-cooked meal.
Dr Elizabeth Dunn, psychology professor and senior author of the study, says:
“The benefits of buying time aren’t just for wealthy people”.
She goes on to say:
“People often complain of being in a time bind not only because they are objectively busy, but also because they perceive a lack of control of their time.”
I personally believe it’s about striking a balance.
Money doesn’t buy happiness but it can buy time.
And that’s kind of the same thing isn’t it?
But too much of anything is never good.
Which is why managing both resources is fundamental.
And will help to avoid selling yourself short in the future.
How your financial planner can help
As financial planners, a big part of what we do involves managing your money.
The other part is helping you prioritise the important things in your life…
It’s about helping you find your balance today and in the future.
There’s no point focussing all your time and money on building the biggest nest egg possible…
If you’re unable to enjoy little pleasures today.
We ensure you’re not over-sacrificing…
That your financial plan complements your life and goals now as much as it will in the future.
It’s about helping you to invest at your own pace…
In products that suit you and your goals…
Not off-the-shelf portfolios that are either too aggressive, standard or complex.
Chat to us for a personal look into your finances.
And if you’re looking to strike that perfect balance between enjoying life today and making provision for tomorrow.