You have just uncovered a lamp with a genie in it. However, instead of offering you three wishes, he says you only get one. In fact, you can only choose whether you want more time or money.
Which one do you choose? Do you ask for more time to do all of the things you want each day? On the other hand, more money also allows you to do more in its own way.
Which is better – more time or more money? Surprisingly, having more money may actually lead you to feel as though you have less time. Therefore, you might have to choose between the two, even if there isn’t a genie making you decide.
We Feel Like We Lack Time
Do you feel like you don’t have enough time? You’re not alone. According to Dr. Ashley Whillans of Psychology Today, people feel like they do not have enough time in the day. She cites research showing that 80 percent of working adults wish they had more time for friends and family. Moreover, 60 percent of working parents feel rushed all of the time.
This feeling of not having enough time causes a lot of health issues. For example,
- Decreased happiness
- Increased likelihood of anxiety
- Increased likelihood of depression
- Obesity increase
It doesn’t matter whether or not people have the time. It matters whether or not they think they have enough time.
More Money = Less Time
Whillans further reports that having more money is likely a cause of having less time. Of course, there is the obvious idea that the more you work to earn money, the less time you have for other things.
However, it’s more than that. It’s a psychological issue.
The more money we make, the higher the price we put on our time. If you earn $50 per hour, then you feel like your time is worth more than if you earned $15 per hour. The higher the value we place on each hour, the more important we value the resource of time. However, as soon as we see something as valuable, we immediately think of it as scarcer.
In other words, when our time is worth more, we perceive that we have less of it to give.
It’s Not Time or Money but How We Spend It
Ultimately, it’s not better to have time or money. Instead, it’s about how we use both of those things. How do you value your time and your money – and what do you do to reflect those values?
One suggestion is that when you have more money, you can spend it on time-saving indulgences. For example, you can hire people to clean your house, walk your dog, deliver your groceries, and water your lawn. Then you can use the time you would have spent on those things to do things that you enjoy more.
Alternatively, you can do those things yourself. If you embrace the opportunity to live mindfully in those moments, then you may not mind not having the time for other things. Furthermore, you may value saving the money instead.
In other words, whether you want more time or money is really up to you. Neither one inherently makes someone happier.
So, which would you rather have – more time or more money? Answer which and why in the comments!