Can You Buy Time?

You’ve likely heard the phrase “money can’t buy happiness,” Well, a recent life satisfaction study by the BBC that let people “buy time” may have disproved these theories.

In the study, over 6,000 adults in Canada, US, Denmark and the Netherlands were asked questions about how much money they spent to buy time for themselves. The study included 800 millionaires.

The results:

  • less than 1/3 spent money to buy time for themselves each month
  • the 1/3 who regularly did spend money to create more time reported a higher life satisfaction than those who did not

Hmm, so maybe money can’t buy happiness outright, but using your money to create more quality time can increase your happiness. Let’s look further at the study.

The researchers then created a two-week experiment with 60 working adults in Vancouver, Canada. In this experiment, they were asked to spend $40 over the weekend that would save them time. This might include a cleaning service, having lunches delivered or hiring neighbourhood children to do some tasks for them.

On the other weekend, they were told to spend the $40 on material goods such as books, clothes or wine.

The results found that most people experienced more happiness when they used the money to buy time instead of material things.

So what does this mean for you? It means you would likely be happier with more time than more things. But how do we do this?

The first step is to value your time.  Stop treating your own time as less important than anyone else’s.

To find out where you time goes, you can also track your time using a tool like Toggl. Once you track your time for a few weeks, you will begin to see how much of your time is spent on things that really aren’t that important to you,

Here are some ways to buy more time for yourself.

  1. (Work) Hire a Virtual Assistant
  2. (Work) Outsource
  3. (Work) Use a Driver – frees up the time for working or taking care of personal things while you get where you need to go
  4. (Home) Engage a Cleaning Service
  5. (Home) Use a Landscaping Service
  6. (Home) Utilize a Meal Preparation Service
  7. (Home) Hire a Personal Assistant
  8. (Home) Work with a Concierge Service
  9. (Home) Have Groceries Delivered
  10. (Home) Hire a Personal Shopper
  11. (Home) Automate Payments
  12. (Home) Hire a Bookkeeper
  13. (Home) Hire a Handyman

You get the idea. Anything that isn’t a true joy to be doing yourself can be done by others. When you buy time for yourself, you now have extra time for your family, friends, hobbies, travel and those moments that take your breath away…

Garland Coulson “Captain Time”

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