Your Time Is Money


What will you choose?

“Time is money.”  Undoubtedly you have heard this iconic American phrase.  It is one of my father’s favorite things to say.  When I was a kid, anytime we had to wait an unnecessarily long time, my dad would grumble “what’s taking so long?  Time is money after all.”  Like me, you might wonder how right he was.  Maybe time is money for big-wig executives or salesmen working on commission, but what about the rest of us?  My time certainly is not all that valuable.  If I spent an hour reading instead of working, I would lose less than ten dollars of earnings.  Turns out, everyone’s time, not just business owners and managers, is worth something.  In economics, it is a principle known as the time value of money.

Essentially, the time value of money explains that, all things being equal (ceteris paribus for all of you Latin scholars who like to impress people with your vocabulary skills), money is worth more now than it is later.  Why is this?  Essentially, money is worth more now because money is only useful in the present.  You cannot buy ice cream with future money, you have to buy it with the dollars you have now.  Since money is only useful now, people are willing to pay for the privilege of using money now instead of later.

Another factor that contributes to the “time is money” phrase is the underlying force of opportunity cost.  I call it a force, because much like the forces of nature (gravity, friction, thermodynamics etc.), opportunity cost is unavoidable. It’s a tradeoff really.  The law of opportunity cost states that the cost of doing one activity is the value of all the possible alternatives to that action.  For instance, the opportunity cost of going to the beach is the loss of the satisfaction (in economics called “utility”) that you could have received from going to the mountains.  Opportunity cost can be monetary or not.  If you have ten dollars, you can choose to either spend it on a movie, or lunch, or gas, or whatever.  The opportunity cost of seeing a movie is the delicious hamburger and a milkshake you could have ordered.  Unfortunately you do not have enough money and time to do everything you would like to.

What in the world do the time value of money and opportunity cost have to do with you?  I’m so glad you asked, particularly since I was already planning to answer your rhetorical question!  Here’s what we know: time really is money so wasted time equals wasted money. Shredding documents is a complete waste of time.  Therefore, if you shred your own documents you are wasting money.  Are you paid to take care of unnecessary documents? Unless you are a trash man or something similar, you should spend your time doing your job, not mindlessly feeding papers to a machine.  You are important; you have better and more valuable things to do than play paper boy.  Let Tarheel Imaging and Microfilming take care of your paper mess for you.  It is our job to help you do yours.  We exist to save you, and people like you, from wasting time and money.  Think about the opportunity cost of doing your own shredding.  Think of the value of the time you are wasting.  Think of Tarheel Imaging.  Make the right choice.