Time is Better Than Money

Ben Franklin’s famous phrase about time is wrong! Money wishes it was time. Here 5 reasons why time is better than money.

Cat asks gorilla, "Meow?" Gorilla resoonds, "Time for you to get a new watch."

Reasons That Money is Better Than Time

  1. You can make more money, but you can’t make more time.
  2. Money has its benefits, but it’s not as good as time.
  3. Money is just a carrot.
  4. Money can really only buy more options.
  5. Everybody has time.

The Quote Investigator confirmed that Benjamin Franklin is correctly attributed with Time is Money Anyone can make more money if they work at it, but nobody can make more time. With all due respect to Benjamin Franklin, time is better than money.

You Can Make More Money

When money is gone, you can make more. Also, when we spend money, it isn’t really gone. You just give it to someone else. Now that person can use it.

When we spend time, it is gone. It is the past. It is a memory. In a way, the only way to save time is to collect memories. That time you spend chatting with a friend can either be a good memory of treasured time with a friend, or it can be time that you wasted by not making money.

And Time flies so fast,

so don’t wait.

Do that thing you want to do now.

The Stoics have a concept called Memento Mori. It is the concept of keeping in mind the fact that you could die at any time. Memento Mori reminds us to treat each moment reverently because we never know which moments will be our last.

Keep this in mind when considering how to spend your time.

Money just wishes it was time. Money is jealous because it’s not rare.

“Money just wishes it was time.”

– Shayne Seymour

Money Has Its Benefits, But it’s Not as Good as Time

Money is awesome because you can trade it for cool stuff. One time I traded money for butterbeer, and it was awesome! Then the person to whom you trade money can trade it for other cool stuff.

Most of the stuff we trade our money for will be gone. We’ll eat it, drink it, break it, or just get tired of it and throw it away or donate it.

Treat both time and money with care. You can use the money to buy experiences, the memories of which will last forever. Later, you can invest more time into quality time with the person with whom you lived the experience, and you can relive it. We call that time well spent.

[special] Side note: this article started out being called Time is Money is B.S. I’ve since decided to tame my blog a tad. Also, Ben Franklin. [/special]

Money is Just a Carrot

Employers think the biggest carrot they have to offer is more money. I was giving two weeks’ notice for a job several years ago. As I told the manager, I wanted to work from home, and I didn’t like the mandatory 60-hour workweeks.

She asked, “What if I get you a $10,000 pay increase?

That sounds like a big number, but she wanted 20 hours more from me every week for that 10 grand. That works out to $10 per hour.

“I can make that mowing my neighbors’ lawns and get exercise and sunshine. I don’t want more money. I want more time.”

She just stood up and walked away.

See how much power time has? She thought she held the cards because she had the money.

See how little power she had?

I found out she left that company about six more months later. She couldn’t keep the kind of people she wanted in her group. She could only recruit people who wanted more money, and those weren’t the best people for what she needed. Are they the best people for what anyone needs?

time better money

Money Can Really Only Buy More Options

Money is just a way to buy more options of ways to spend our time.

If we learn to spend time wisely with fewer options, we make our time more valuable. For example, we can spend time with our families and friends in our dining room. We don’t have to all go to Fiji. More money makes Fiji an option, but time with loved ones is precious no matter where it is.

Everybody Has Time

Some argue about the unfairness of the distribution of wealth in this world. I’m not going to try to sway you either way. You think what you think because of your experiences and temperament.

We can probably agree, though, that some people have more money than others.

What is certain, though, is that everyone has time. It may not seem like it. It often doesn’t seem like I have enough time to help clients, write new content, update old content, market both, and take care of all the non-work stuff.

I have the same 24 hours each day that you do, though. We both have 7 days each week. Although, I do have an idea for 10-day weeks! Let me know if you’d like to hear those. How much we have is determined by what we do with it.

Time is Better Than Money

We can buy more options, but we can’t be more time. We can trade time for more money, but we can’t trade time for more time.

It’s simple math. -ish.

Spend money wisely. Spend time preciously.

Where can you spend time more preciously?


How could you better spend your time?

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6 thoughts on “Time is Better Than Money”

  1. You can trade time for money and get paid once as we do as employees. But a better way is to exchange value for money as an entrepreneur, get pay many times over, and use this passive impact to buy time with those you love.

    • Great point, Michael! Thank you. I didn’t consider that way to spend time more preciously. I mean, I consider that all the time. :) I just didn’t consider it for this post.

  2. I hate registering for Disqus. I understand its benefits, and it is just as bothersome as it is useful. Your piece is so tongue in cheek and fun. I smile and laugh the whole way through reading it. Appreciate your perspective.

    • Thank you, Nicole! I appreciate you too. I’ve added Facebook comments to a few posts, but it doesn’t alert me to comments. I’m going to try the plugin next!

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