Recipe for Happiness: Time vs Money.

Have you noticed how life is just a constant battle of time vs money? People often talk about a work/ life balance but it’s deeper than that really because for some people their work is their life for example socialising with work friends and their life could be their work depending on the job. Time is life and money is work.  

Really the ultimate balance for achieving happiness is time vs money. We need both to be happy. You could have a household income of £100k but be under constant pressure, working from home, commuting, only briefly seeing your family each day. Are you happy or do you need more time to just binge watch TV, lie in the garden or bake a cake… simple pleasures in life! 

Or you could be unemployed with kids at home that bring you constant joy and happiness. You watch TV, play in the garden and bake cakes. But then they need new school shoes, you can’t afford that school trip that all their mates are going on and you’d love to take your baby to some little groups but you can’t afford it! Are you happy? 

The ideal situation is having enough money to comfortably live and sustain your lifestyle whilst having enough time to enjoy life. 

I’ve learnt that you can achieve a balance by using one to buy the other. 

I’ve always worked full time so I’ve always made sure I book holidays to buy back time I’ve lost by going to work. Then I have little milestones through the year where I have to get to checkpoint A to have a daytrip,

Checkpoint B and I get a weeks holiday of pure uninterrupted family time,

Checkpoint C mini break with hubby

Houdini just knew… 🙂

… and that’s how I use money to buy time so that my life isn’t entirely consumed by making money and paying bills. 

The other side is, no money. Quit your job and stay at home because you can’t put a price on having evenings with your hubby, being there for first steps and being the one to put your kids to bed. Well, sadly you can put a price on it, it’s around £1000-£1500 per month to sustain your own home in the UK with an income not benefits. No you can’t put a price on baby smiles but would you be happy if those smiles were in a hostel or on the streets? Or maybe not quite so extreme, living in your parents spare room. Would you be happy? No, you’d need more money to be happy! 

So how can you use time to buy money and strike a balance? 

Simple really, use your time wisely! If you’re unemployed or on maternity leave, don’t sit around crying feeling sorry for yourself because #FirstWorldProblems you can’t afford to go to a YummyMummy group and spend £5 on a coffee, use the time! 

Teach yourself something, research something, sell something! Use all this free time to come up with a plan for striking the perfect balance of time vs money. 

I have a business idea that I just don’t have time to research and implement, if I didn’t work I’d lose money but I could invest my time into how I’m going to earn money.

When I see people getting stressed, 9/10 it’s over a lack of time or money. Think of something that stressed you out in the last month… would more time or more money have made it easier? 

The secret to happiness is to have a balance of both to sustain your lifestyle. Too much of both leads to ungratefulness and taking life for granted, for example rich kids born into money that never need to work. Or worse SAHMs with rich husbands who feel constantly hard done by and refer to their life of luxury as full time work. Don’t get me started on how ignorant that is… 

Too little of both is basically the recipe for stress, it’s constant pressure and imbalance just drowning in your own life. 

The key to happiness is earning enough to look after yourself and your family but not needing to work so long to earn your money that you have no time to enjoy it. 

Decide on what you absolutely need to be happy, if that’s two holidays abroad per year then that’s how much you need to earn. Earn to that level and a little buffer for emergencies and give yourself time to spend it and I think you’ll find happiness… 

Red = bad, Amber = act now to strike a balance, green = good!