Time i$ Money

Anna Salcedo–

A commonly used cliche is “time is money”. Time is what gives us money. But what exactly does this cliche mean? It is defined as spending your time wisely because our time is a valuable resource that needs to be savored and carefully used. There is no exchange value on time nor can we trade it. Time is a concept of how we choose to live our lives. People could spend their time with their families or working 24/7. We need to be careful on how we distribute our time and energy. In correlation to time, money is another valuable resource that we have to use wisely. If we waste our money, we waste our time. When you are shopping, you are stwo-time-value-of-money-formulas-57a520e15f9b58974aa1f9f4pending time and at the same time, you are spending money.

However, you need to put in the time to make the money. You are not making any money by simply breathing and passing time by. I have a job where I am a lifeguard at the YMCA and i get paid roughly $8.40 per hour. I have to put in my time to make money. If i do not go to work or work at all, i am making absolutely nothing because i am not putting in the time to work and make money. Therefore, as the Dallas Feds explain “The real cost of living isn’t measured in dollars and cents but in the hours and minutes we must work to live” (195). It takes time to work your way up to a satisfying paycheck. For example, you have to spend years at a company to move up to a higher position that has a higher pay. Therefore, your time spent at the company leads you to becoming wealthier than you were before. Wheelan also brings up plenty of examples of how many hours it takes to buy a single item. For instance, one of his examples was about how an average worker in 1919 spent 2 hours and 37 minutes just to earn enough money for chicken.

In Charles Wheelan’s epilogue, he says “Economic theorists predict that time will become more important than money.” Time is an extremely finite resource that we have yet to use wisely. I believe that we waste more time than money. In a sense, i do believe with the economist’s theory that time will become more important than money because we are constantly worried about running out of time. However, i also believe that time and money are equally important because we need time to make money. For example, when people are in debt with a gang member, one of the members will go to the person who owes money to the ring leader. However, the person does not have the money to pay him. He will say “I will give you the money just give me time”. Time and money can be exchangable in a sense that if you give a person time, they will give you money. Moreover, you could think of time as an incentive for money. If you work longer, you get paid more.

Overall, i agree with the cheesy cliche that time is money because time gives you the money you need to live and survive. Time and money just need to be balanced and used wisely.


Wheelan, Charles. Naked economics: undressing the dismal science. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2010.


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