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What's more Valuable- Time or Money?

Lynsey is from Scotland. She likes to write thought-provoking articles that challenge ideas and provide a talking point.


With the slow recovery of the recession ongoing, many of us are taking on extra shifts at work, or second jobs to make ends meet. As a result of this, other areas of our lives can tend to get a bit neglected. I wonder, what is more valuable to you- time or money?

Obviously, money makes the world go round. We need to pay bills, buy clothes and food and even treat ourselves once in a while. But in an attempt to earn more money, what are we sacrificing?

I enjoy spending time with family and friends, and due to work commitments, I have missed weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and other events.I visit friends less and less often because I try to do extra hours at work or pick up other cash- making schemes in my spare time.

I'm glad that I don't have a family. I would struggle with the concept of missing out on the majority of my children's lives. The possibility of not being there when they take their first steps, or say their first words, is too hard to imagine! Yet, thousands of people are in such a situation.

I applaud them. I really do. I admire the fact that they work to support their families, but I truly empathise with the tough decision they have made.

When you are in such a tight financial situation, how hard is it to refuse that extra paid shift? Especially when you think in terms of, "Well, that's the gas bill paid," or "that's another credit card payment."

Even though my situation may need a cash injection, I'm also likely to think, "Is £50 or so really worth a DAY of my life?" Is it worth missing my friend's wedding? Or being unable to visit my gran that one last time in hospital? I don't believe it is.

I simply can't justify spending more of my life with complete strangers than with my own family.

If you look at the figures it can be even more startling. Therre are 168 hours in a week. If we sleep 8 hours a day, that leaves 112. If we are full time employed, there goes another 40 hours. 36% of our waking adult life is spent on work! And that's without even considering overtime!!!

I once done a 65 hour week- spending 58% of my waking week at work- and I only got an extra £50 on top of my regular 40 hour wage. That breaks down as £2 per hour because the taxman took such a big cut. Of course, that wasn't explained to me when I accepted the shifts. Needless to say, it hasn't happened since. That is, I haven't accepted as much overtime again. I've lived and learned- but how many people are so enticed by the extra cash that they don't consider this? I'm now reluctant to take extra hours at work because I almost feel punished for doing so. The more I earn, the more tax I pay... And I won't even get into the tax debate!

All I'm trying to say is that so many of us are working to the bone- exhausting ourselves- to get a pitiful return. All the while, missing out on quality time with our loved ones.

I can only hope that I bear this in mind in future when I'm offered an extra couple of shifts, because I certainly don't want to look back on life in my twilight years and think that I didn't spend enough time with those that mattered.

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© 2012 Lynsey Hart


Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on October 21, 2014:

Hi Availiasvision, thanks for the read and the comment! I completely agree with you- this is why, in my opinion, so many people are diagnosed with stress/ anxiety disorders. This may not be scientifically correct, but the changes to the family roles over the last 5 decades and the increase of these conditions can't be just a coincidence! I'm not saying we should all go back to being housewives 24/7, but it would be nice to take a different pace for a while! Thanks again! :)

Jennifer Arnett from California on October 21, 2014:

I really feel you on that one. I work full-time and write 10-15 hours a week, trying to turn my writing into a career. Add in doctor's appointments, family obligations, and household chores, and I feel like I am on the constant verge of a nervous breakdown. I shouldn't have to desire retirement at the age of 27.

I think that part of the problem is that we aren't a family oriented society anymore. It is way easier to live with two incomes and two sets of hands to do the chores. I find it hard to keep up a home, cook, start a business, and work full-time. I would give anything to spend a month relaxing and working on my writing.

Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on September 08, 2014:

Very true. I do hope that later in life, I stop to realise that my family are more important... At the moment I'm still quit young, so can work and save, work and save. I have stopped taking on too much overtime already though :) Thanks for the visit and the comment!

Sanjay Sharma from Mandi (HP) India on September 08, 2014:

I agree with you. We sacrifice our time for money and more money, as the materialistic race is going on. Instead of ourselves we are working for gadgets and so on.

Lynsey Hart (author) from Lanarkshire on December 08, 2012:


Bunny lover on December 08, 2012:

Some great points made here. I agree that sometimes the wages don't match the sacrifices we make. Nice hub!

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