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Time Is Money: Essay

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Time is money, just as money is time - but is one really worth more than the other? You spend at the bare minimum twelve years of your precious time preparing to waste the next forty at some menial job just to make money and retire to live out the next fifteen years of your life at some lake in the middle of Michigan. Time is free, and everyone has the same amount of it, unlike money. Time isn't just something that can be taken away as readily either, but money can through the cost of living, taxes, etc. Even the richest men and women in the world, although they may have a seemingly infinite amount of money, never have an infinite amount of time. Yes, they may live longer due to better healthcare, diet, and other factors- but eventually, their time runs out just as it does for the poorest man on earth. The vast majority of the free world is separated by economic class, rather than race or religion, but is an unemployed poverty-stricken Somalian really happier than an elite upper-class American who works an eighty-hour workweek? One has only wealth, and the other has only time, but which one is happier? So, the question is, can time make you happier than money? According to Robert Roy Britt in ‘Time can make you happier than money’, it can.

Britt stated that “People who value time over money tend to be happier” (Britt), which he found out through several studies conducted by various organizations. One such study done on graduating college students by Science Advances found that indeed, time can make you happier than money by surveying 1,000 students on how satisfied they were with their life. The survey included questions related to their positive and negative emotions that they had felt over the past month. The graduates were given the same survey a year later. The study found out that nearly sixty-two percent of the graduates valued time more than money, and from this, they found out that those who valued time more than money were almost twice as happy as those who valued money over time. According to Ashley Whillians, “People who value time make decisions based on meaning versus money. They choose things because they want to, not because they have to” (Britt). Britt, in quoting this, strengthens his thesis statement by arguing that people who make decisions based on meaning rather than money are happier than those who put money first. I agree with Britt. Would you rather spend forty years on a job where you hate every minute of it but it has a high salary, or spend those same forty years on a job that you love and are passionate about but with a much smaller salary? To me, the answer is simple: I would rather have a job that I absolutely love rather than one I despise because I would look forward to going to it every day, thus making me a happier person overall. Another similar study conducted to 4,000 United States adults also reinforced Britt's thesis. This time instead of using college students, middle-aged adults were asked to rank activities based on importance. To no surprise, activities such as spending time with family, friends, and outdoors were chosen as the most important while career was ranked 8th. According to this study done by the Pew Research Center, those surveyed who ranked time spending activities were happier than those who hadn't.

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Aside from this, money can buy some happiness. The perfect balance between happiness and money is 95,000. Of those surveyed who made this salary, the vast majority reported that they were happier than individuals making more or less. “Once the threshold is reached, further increases in income tend to be associated with reduced life satisfaction and a lower level of well-being”, - according to Natural Human Behavior (Britt). This is saying that the more money you have, then the more money you can spend but only to a certain degree. Now, rather than be on materialistic goods or even time-oriented activities and experiences, you typically need money to spend on leisurely activities. Sure, the best things in life are free - such as spending time with family and friends, but money makes that precious time more enjoyable. Would you rather spend your personal time with friends and family by taking walks or by going to a leisurely activity such as bowling or a trip to an amusement park? Both are nice, but a trip to an amusement park will be more memorable and enjoyable. Another point brought up by Britt was that the older someone gets, then the more time they want to spend with friends and family rather than at a job. I also agree with this as it is especially true with parents with aging kids. As parents find their kids growing up, they want to spend those last few precious moments with them before they're thrown out of their lives. Now, rather this be through college, work, or starting their own family, the chances are they're going to be too busy to be spending time with their parents which just emphasizes this point even further.

Overall, I agree entirely with Britt that time can make you happier than money. Through the multiple studies done on young adults, middle-aged adults, and the fifty-plus crowd, they all yielded the same results. These studies were somewhat biased, though. They were biased because each one was done in a first world country. To fix this, I would suggest conducting similar studies in third world countries to see if you get the same results. I once again personally value money over time. Rather than getting a job, I chose to spend my high school career devoting my time to meaningful activities, such as spending time on friends and hobbies rather than on a minimum wage job, because face it- you're only a kid once. You're going to be working for the better part of your life after high school, so it only makes sense to kick back and relax before adulthood settles in. I could never see myself ten years ago as a senior in high school, but here I am. It seems as if each year is faster than the next, and the years don't stop coming, and they never will until it's your last. I already wish that I had more time to be a kid, and I would pay anything to have my childhood back, but once it's gone it's gone forever. The most famous last request for those on their deathbed is to have more time. To have more time to spend with family, to have more time to spend with friends, and lastly to have more time to do things that they always wanted to do but never could because they were too focused on a meaningless career. So yes, time does make you happier than money.

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Time Is Money: Essay. (2022, August 25). Edubirdie. Retrieved March 2, 2024, from
“Time Is Money: Essay.” Edubirdie, 25 Aug. 2022,
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