Time vs. Money Dilemma
At a basic intuitive level, we all know or have a rough idea of what our time is worth and can quickly make a decision about it depending on what the task or situation is. For example, the average person would accept N50,000 to take pictures of nature under the scorching sun for 10mins, however, it would most likely be rejected if just N100 was offered.
On one extreme (N50,000) end of the spectrum, it is easy to know if a task is worth it or not and on the other end (N100) it is easy to also deduce, however, what becomes confusing is when you begin to have cases that move toward the middle of the time value of money spectrum. This is where most of life’s decisions lie.
- Should you pay N30,000 for a 1hr:30mins flight from Lagos to Abuja or spend N10,000 going by road and arrive in 6hours?
- Should you go to the market and spend 5hours cooking and cleaning up or pay a caterer to sort it all out?
- Should you do your laundry or handover to a dry-cleaner?
- Should you pay for someone to clean your house or you resolve to do it yourself?
- Should you spend the weekends working on a side hustle that would earn you N100,000 straight away or work on your long term business idea that may generate millions in the next few years?
We are faced with a myriad of choices like the ones stated above, but the problem is that most people base their decisions on gut feeling or instinct and have not bothered to sit down to calculate what their time is actually worth.
How to calculate the value of your time
This article would focus on the ‘Realized Income Method’ which is based on the income you have already received or earned. To use this method you will need two numbers;
- The amount of time you spend to earn money.
- The amount of money you earn during that time.
Step 1: How to Track Your Time
This requires you to measure the total amount of time you invest to earn money, not just the hours you spend at work.
For example, if you live in Lagos and work at an 8-5 job but spend 2hrs daily commuting to work; it will cost you a total of 13 hours to earn money daily. In addition, you should also add any time you spent working on a side gig.
If you find it difficult to place a finger on the number of hours you work, you can use an estimate of 2,400 hours.
If you work 8-5 (9hrs) and spend 1hr commuting to work – that’s a total of 10hrs a day.
If you work for 48 weeks in a year (52 weeks – 4 weeks for leave days/vacation) that gives you a total of 2,400 hours (50hrs X 48 weeks).
You can make adjustments based on your realities, but the above example gives you a rough idea of the amount of time you burn to earn money. If you want to go more detailed into the exact number of hours, there are apps that can be helpful in helping you track specifics like the amount of time you spend on a particular task or time spent surfing the web and browsing your phone.
Step 2: How to calculate how much you make
This is fairly simple if you are a salary earner as all you have to do is take a look at your monthly pay (net of taxes) and multiply by 12.
It is also important to include the money earned from your side hustles and freelance activities.
Step 3: Calculate your time worth
To do this, you will divide the total money you earned by the amount of time you spent working.
Time worth = Amount Earned/No of hrs spent working
What do I do with these numbers?
Now that you have an estimate of what your time is worth per hour, you can use this information to create a framework for making better decisions on a daily basis.
For example, if you know your time is worth N20,000 per hour, paying a caterer N10,000 to cook for you will make more sense than going to the market yourself and doing the dishes and spending 3-5 hours.
If you know your time is worth N10,000 per hour, then you can afford to pay a drycleaner N5,000 to do your laundry instead of spending hours doing it yourself (except you really enjoy doing it).
Is it better for you to shop online and pay for a watch with extra shipping charges or spend an hour to commute to the store physically and save money?
I’ll leave you with quotes by Naval on the “How to Get Rich Podcast”.
- Nobody is going to value you more than you value yourself.
- You have to set a very high personal hourly rate and you have to stick to it. It should even seem absurd to you.
- Always factor your time into every decision
- If you can outsource things for less than your hourly rate then outsource it.
This article was inspired by James Clear on his article on “The Value of Time: How Much is Your Time Really Worth?
Steps to take to bag international scholarships
Here are the steps you should take if interested in pursuing international scholarships.
Studying abroad gives you exposure among many other things, and that is precisely why many Nigerians have been looking for ways to study abroad. However, not everybody is privileged with the resources to study overseas and this is where the international scholarship option comes in.
If you are interested in studying abroad and don’t have enough funds, you should consider applying for international scholarships. This article lists the steps you can take to bag international scholarships but before delving into that, here are some types of scholarships available to you as an international student:
- Location-based scholarships
- Course or program-based scholarships
- Sports-related scholarships
- Research-based scholarships
- University-funded scholarships
- Organization-funded scholarships
- Government-funded scholarships
Having discovered the types of international scholarships available to you, here are the steps you should take to bag any of these international scholarships.
Research: Research is vital if you don’t want to miss out on good opportunities or make mistakes during your application. Research scholarship opportunities available in your prospective college or location and be on the lookout for hidden scholarships.
Check your eligibility: Having done thorough research and discovered the available scholarship opportunities, check to see if you are eligible for them. Many international scholarships have their criteria and requirement, so you should confirm that you are the right fit first.
Get the required documents: After confirming your eligibility, you should get the necessary documents. If the scholarship requires you to write an exam, prepare for the exam, write a good statement of purpose and prepare all other documents.
Start your admission process: Some international scholarships require that you start your admission process and probably get the admission before starting your scholarship application.
Contact past scholarship winners: You might want to contact the previous scholarship winners to know what they did right and how you can learn from them.
Apply for the available scholarships: The last step is to apply to every available scholarship.
The best way to get funds for your undergraduate, postgraduate, or PhD pursuits abroad is by applying for international scholarships. If you do thorough research, you can find fully funded scholarships that won’t require you to pay any amount. One of the essential steps to getting an international scholarship as a Nigerian is staying abreast of current information and this will require you to network with others.
How to stay employable amidst massive unemployment
Here are some ways to stay employable amidst massive unemployment.
With the advancement in technology and change in traditional job roles, the workspace is constantly changing. The recent Covid-19 crisis and its consequent economic downturn have rendered many people who were employed jobless, thereby increasing the rate of unemployment. Surviving in an ever-evolving and uncertain labour market, therefore, becomes a great deal of work which requires improved thinking pattern, continued professional development, life-long learning, and the ability to adapt.
Here are some ways to stay employable amidst massive unemployment:
1. Build your expertise
Companies and organizations are looking for individuals with ideas and knowledge that will shape the company’s growth. Learning more about your field will give you an edge over others. It will also enable you to discover new tools and strategies to adopt, that will keep you marketable and make you an attractive hire.
2. Be receptive to change and emerging innovations
Life-long learning is a habit that has to be encouraged if anyone hopes to stay employable. To remain relevant in the workforce, you need to build your competence beyond past qualifications and ideas. Receptiveness to change and emerging innovations will keep you abreast with what is in your career field.
3. Enhance your job-related skills
Landing a job is challenging. It is even more difficult during an economic downturn when companies are laying off workers. One of the strategies to stay marketable is to find ways to improve your job skills. Individuals can learn skills that align with current employability needs by taking up training and courses relevant to their career scope.
4. Be Savvy on Social Media Platforms
The recruitment sector is gradually gaining a presence on social media. Many recruitment agencies take to social media to look for and assess prospective candidates for some job opportunities. Building a strong social media profile and network will help to build relationships with peers and potential employers. This network will increase your chances of landing a job. Building a network in career fields of interest will keep you abreast of information and opportunities in your career path.
5. Refine your soft skills
As traditional work environments are replaced gradually by remote or virtual workspaces, companies are looking for individuals with soft skills like leadership, managerial competence, creativity, time management, good communication skills, etc. Individuals looking to stay employable have to develop soft skills that will help them remain economically viable. Many organizations do not just want to hire skilled people but also self-regulated and innovative individuals able to carry out tasks independently.
6. Be Confident
Self-confidence will make you more assertive about your skills, knowledge, and abilities. Confident individuals can communicate their ideas more eloquently and convincingly. This personality will make them stand out and portray them as relevant hands needed in any organization.
Staying employable in today’s ever-changing and competitive work environment is a process of evaluation, learning, and adaptation.
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