Time frugality

I was coming home the other day, after a late night in the office. It was around 9:30pm, and on the subway ride home, I thought of the two options I had: 1) switch to another subway line that gets me home in 30 minutes, or 2) switch to another train that takes me home in 12 minutes for an additional $5. It was a simple decision for me: save time and get home faster was worth paying extra money.

This examples describes the thought that I had on my mind lately: what is more valuable, time or money?

I noticed that when me and my friends were younger and poorer financially, money was a very important thing to have. I worked 12 hour shifts, 15 days a month, at a cell phone store to make $400/month (which was a pretty decent pay for a college student in Russia). I had no free time and no life aside from work/school, but I did make some money.

But as we become older, we start to realize that time is just running faster and faster, and there is not enough of it. This makes me think about making the best use of my time, and paying money to save time (think house cleaning, virtual assistants, taking a train vs taking a bus). I will easily pay for services that save me time, and instead use it to be with friends, family, or do important projects and things I enjoy.

I’m interested to hear how other people optimizing and saving time, and meanwhile, here are a couple of good resources on this subject:

  • Ramit has a good post with video in which he addresses the time vs money question.
  • Ari Meisel has a lot of advice on optimization and doing less on his blog
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