Time is money. It’s become a throw-away line that everyone acknowledges but do we really know the meaning of it? If time is indeed money then it should be given the same respect. If you are following I’m here to suggest we should in fact manage our money the same way we manage our time. Here are 5 great tips from time management that you can and should use to manage your money.
The power of no
One of the most important things in time management is choosing what to say no to. It makes sense because you have a limited amount of time, 24 hours at most in a day, and you can only do so much. What you say no to maybe just as important as what you choose to say yes to. I think you can see where I’m going with this. You likely have a finite amount of money available to you at a single point in time and you have to choose what to do with that money. Just as important is choosing what not to do with the money available.
Quadrant 2 management
The time management matrix is one of my favourite time management tools. You can read more about the details of quadrant two management in this article here but to put it in short quadrant two management is all about taking care of important things before they become urgent and delegating or delaying on things that are not important. I think you can see clearly the link here. A lot of people tend to struggle with dealing with emergency to emergency and are forever stuck financially firefighting. The quadrant two methods are about preparing and leads to the use of tools like insurance and investment.
Another important principle of time management is the principle of focus. Allocating time to a specific objective or task is good. Focusing on a particular objective or task is great. Success in time management stems from doing your most important tasks really well and other tasks well enough. We need to develop a culture of correctly identifying the most important thing and then focusing on it. As it is with time management so it is with money management. Focusing on the most important things and doing as much as you can on the less important things with money will make life worth living.
The structure is another key lesson we learn in time management. All the other tools, tips and tricks are great but without an overall structure, you are pretty much shooting in the dark. You may find success but it is more likely a result of luck where there is no structure. This is where tools like time blocking and scheduling come in. Structure helps to guide your focus. Structure helps to inform your Quadrant two management. Structure helps you to choose what to say yes and no to. And I hope you can see clearly the link with money management here. I suppose we can call structure the financial plan whereas the other things mentioned here are personal finance practices.
I was recently contacted by someone asking me to help them plan and allocate their time. They work a full-time job and have a budding side hustle and other self-development activities going on. Given that they were suffering from burnout they wanted some help with organising their time. I gave them a simple piece of advice which was to measure their time. Start tracking how they spend their time and that will help them find the best way to organise their time. Using a simple excel sheet to graphically represent their time usage. It worked. You need the same approach to money which is to track how you spend your money to identify where changes can and should be made.
So you see, if time is indeed time is money, we should be managing the two the same. Are there any other time management rules or ideas that you think can be applied to money?