I'm going to reply to my own post and expand on a couple more things. Let me know if it is considered better etiquette to edit even if it has been around for a few days.

The article just seems so...short sighted. Like, no doubt is trading money for time something we all do, but I don't think of it as virtuous or something to be sought out. I have a feeling most people err on the side of doing it too often, not too little.

One thing I think this article discounts is the idea that doing things instead paying to have them done often confers knowledge onto you that you wouldn't have otherwise. Sure, learning to change your own oil or fix up a porch seems boring and time consuming at first, and maybe it is worth paying if you'll only do it once, but then again, some of those things are things you could do over and over. The fifth oil change is pretty fast and you save all that time of bringing the car somewhere, being without it for awhile, and picking it up later. One can even use these skills in the future to trade time for money, if you are good enough at doing it. Your friend needs small-scale construction work and is willing to pay some amount? Cool, I can make some money doing something I already know how to do, hang out with my friend for the day, and get some practice in. (After all, you've retired on savings and have few commitments on any given day.) My friend also gets to hang out, will learn some things themselves, and won't overpay a contractor taking advantage of his ignorance. Cultivating such independence seems worthwhile in and of itself.

Given this, I think the tasks most worth trading money for time over are the ones that don't teach anything valuable, and tasks that take up a large amount of time and are easily parallelized. I hired people to move my furniture because I don't think I have much to learn about carrying heavy things, and they have lifting tools and a crew that I don't. Before I sold my car, I learned to change my own oil because I was tired of paying that tax every few thousand miles, figured I'd continue using it in the future, and didn't want to continue deflecting upsell attempts by the guys at the garage. I think it was worthwhile and even though I'd rather not own a car, if I do buy one I would continue learning small facets of maintenance that reduce my total lifetime hours thinking about my car, even at the expense of present free time.

For what it's worth I'd probably take the higher paying job and move closer to it. I realize I'm ignoring the purpose of the example there but I just thought I'd mention it.

What's Your Hourly Rate?

by katydee 1 min read11th Sep 201314 comments


Here's an interesting post about calculating the value of your free time and why it might not be as simple as some tend to think.