The Relationship Between Time, Money and Happiness

Time and money and happiness are intrinsically linked.

Figuring out how to manage the resources of our money and time to maximise happiness is a bit of a balancing act. Too much time spent pursuing money and you’ll miss out on meaningful time.  

Spending all your time on distractions and low value activities and you’ll miss out maximising your finances. Here’s a few tips on getting the time, money and happiness balance right.

“Happiness, not gold or prestige, is the ultimate currency.” —Tal Ben-Shahar

Managing your time and money

Where did it all go??

Ever had that thought at the end of the day about your time, or the end of the month, about your money?

Time and money are both incredibly important resources in our lives. How we manage them can either serve to increase our happiness or leave us feeling stressed; like there isn’t enough time or money to go around.

We need two basic tools to get our days and our finances under control. A spending plan for our money and some sort of time management system, be it a planner, to-do list or scheduler app to manage our hours.

time and moneyGetting these systems in place gives us real insights into our habits – both how we spend our time and our money. It allows us to prioritise how we manage the two to get the most out of each day, each pay check, and stay on track with our goals.

Becoming empowered with your money and time management is a big step toward increasing our happiness, lowering stress and living our best financial life.

Cut the crap, focus on what matters and save money

We all get one life and 24 hours each day.

While earning more money is possible, earning more time isn’t.

Given that money isn’t finite but time is, it makes sense that while both are important, it’s time, not money that is our most precious resource.

How are you spending your most important asset?

Are you spending your days on value creating and happiness increasing activities? Or frittering hours away on meaningless distractions and low value tasks?

timeIf you need a rather sobering reality check on how little time we have and the importance of using it well, check out this blog The Tail End by Tim Urban.

How can you create more real happiness in your life AND boost your bank balance? By getting ruthless about cutting out time wasting activities.

Here are some classic time wasters that are costing you hours and dollars:

Scrolling through social media with no purpose 

Spend that time reading a few chapters of a money management book or an investing blog instead.

Spending time with people who suck the energy out of you

You’ve heard me say; we’re  the average of the 5 people we spend time with. Hang out with the right people and their behaviours, including smart money habits, will begin to rub off on you.

Excessive socialising and alcohol consumption

Going out every night of the week will burn a hole in your wallet and leave you feeling sluggish and unproductive the next day.

Watching too much mindless TV or Netflix series

There’s a time and a place for a bit of mindless TV or a mini netflix binge but flopping on the couch every night for hours is just a plain waste of time.

The average Aussie spends 18 hours a week watching TV. That’s two-thirds of a day, think about that over a year!!!

If you’re glued to the screen showing a bunch of ads too, you’re also feeding your mind with a spend, spend, spend mentality.

What more valuable or meaningful things could you be doing with your time instead?

Take that TV watching statistic for example. Imagine if the average Aussie spent those 18 hours differently. Took a few trips to the park with the kids, studied a new language, read a book, learnt to cook a new cuisine or invested time in growing a new business.

Making money and making a life

Having more money for the sake of having more money isn’t actually what you want and there’s no guarantee it will lead to happiness.  

It’s what you do with your money to make better use of your time that leads to living a rewarding and contented life.

Money can buy us more choices in life, allow us to care financially for our loved ones and invest in our physical and emotional health.

It’s these sorts of things, not so much the ‘stuff’ that money buys, that brings us a deeper sense of happiness, contentment and peace of mind. This doesn’t mean a few little luxuries here and there can’t boost your happiness. They certainly can, but only to a point.

The key is to have enough time to make the best use of the money you’re earning.

“Success without fulfillment is the ultimate failure.”  Tony Robbins

burnt outWorking 80 hours a week to bring home a huge paycheck only to be too exhausted to spend time with your family or doing activities you enjoy completely misses the mark.

When we’re burnt out bringing home the bacon, the precious little time we do have can too easily be spent in all those unfulfilling, time wasting activities in an effort to ‘switch off’.

You can earn a lower income but if you make smart choices with the money and time you do have, it’s possible to live more securely than someone earning twice your wage.

Stop focusing on money and more of it will come to you

Money is the great facilitator that makes things happen. But focusing all your time and energy getting it can leave you unfulfilled; like the life has been drained right out of you.

An intense focus on money is often driven by a scarcity mindset. This is a belief you have about money, whether consciously or subconsciously, that there will never be enough.

This scarcity mindset has nothing to do with actual dollars in the bank. No matter how much money you make or have, if you hold this belief to be true, you’ll always feel money is a struggle to make and you never have ‘enough.’

Instead, try loosening your grip on the ‘must make more money’ mindset and focus on cultivating a mindset of abundance. Believe that there is enough money, financial opportunities are on their way to you and even if money is tight right now it won’t be your situation forever.

You’ll notice something interesting happen. Money will begin to flow more easily. You won’t feel so weighed down and money won’t dominate your thinking. You’ll free up your mind and energy to make better use of your time.  

Are there any changes you could make about the way you spend your time and money to boost your sense of happiness and fulfillment? Leave me a comment, it might just help someone else too.

2 thoughts on “The Relationship Between Time, Money and Happiness”

  1. Andrew Woodward

    Thanks Warren, glad you liked it and hopefully were able to take something from the post and apply it to your circumstances.

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