A better way to treat yourself: Spending money on time

June 7th 2019 | Categories: Financial Planning | Budgeting & Goals |



There’s no shame in treating yourself to something nice when you have a sudden windfall of cash – but there could be smarter ways to achieve this.

While a spa day or a fresh wardrobe feels great at the moment and maybe even for a while afterwards, there’s a lot to consider when you start to think about maximising the mileage of your money. That is, spending like you spend your time – or spending to save time.


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Know the time value of your purchases

When buying new technology, like a phone, you’d do as much research as possible to ensure you’re getting the best value – so why not bring that same logic into your smaller purchases. Not from the perspective of the quality of the item, but more in terms of the benefits it brings to you.

Think about the price per hour of a product. For example, a high-quality set of sheets might cost as much as $150. While this seems much more mundane than a set of spa treatments coming in at the same price, when you look at the longevity of the sheets, they have a clearly greater value. Let’s say you have such a great experience at the spa, you feel relaxed for as much as a week. That’s 168 hours or around $0.90 per hour of relaxation – seems like pretty great value!

Now compare that to a great set of sheets that offer a restful, comfortable sleep for at least the next six months. Assuming you enjoy an average of eight hours of sleep each night, that means the sheets would have a value of closer to $0.10 per hour.


Spending money on a better night’s rest may have longer lasting benefits than a, particularly good spa day.


That’s not to say there’s no benefit in enjoying a massage or two – but when thinking about treating yourself, first ask if there’s an area of your life where you spend a lot of time (be it work, sleep or leisure) that could be improved with the same investment. The result is a slower burn, building towards long-lasting contentment, rather than a few days of bliss.

Other examples of ways to spend money where you spend time include:

When each windfall is spent on something that improves your every day, even just a little, you’ll eventually have a system where everything feels balanced and organised.


Spending to make more time for the things that matter most can help to improve your life in the long-term.


Spend money to save time

On the other hand, there’s also benefit in spending money where you’d like to spend less time. There are certain mandatory areas of our lives that many of us would be happier without – maybe it’s vacuuming, doing the dishes or cooking dinner.

If you can find ways to spend money to eliminate these tasks completely, that may be more important than improving a non-negotiable aspect of life like sleep or work, as it makes more time for leisure. There are plenty of ways to buy time, even with one-off purchases, including:


Cut the chores – make money work for you by spending more to make time.


These two concepts may seem different, but the goal is the same: Spend money to improve your everyday life. Of course, this doesn’t have to dictate every purchase you make, and there’s certainly still benefits to buying experiences no matter how short-lived. But, next time you find yourself with some extra money at your disposal, consider how you can put that cash to work in achieving long-term happiness. This is just one key step to putting yourself in the driver’s seat.

Managing your money doesn’t just mean scrimping and saving – it’s about finding balance and choosing to spend or save in a way that sparks joy in your life. For more information about developing a personalised financial plan, reach out to the team at Invest Blue today.


Financial health is a vital part of life. Make sure your financial decisions leaves you feeling good by getting in touch with an adviser from Invest Blue today.

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What you need to know

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