Thursday, April 08, 2010

Not Enough Time

Jane linked to an article about time-debt, and how we overspend our time like so many of us overspend our dollars. We plan to "pay it back" later, but we won't have any more spare time later than we do now.

Everything in this article is stuff I already know. But it's so hard to deny ourselves activities, socialization, duties, and other time-commitments. But the biggest thing that struck me was my consideration of a job. I cannot reduce any of my penny-pinching do-it-yourself ways if I take on paid employment. (Well, I could if I earned enough, but it would have to be a LOT.) But the reality is that my hours at a job each day mean I'd have to give up something else, and where would those hours come from? Probably do-it-yourself cooking, baking, and other frugality measures. So how much would I have to earn before a job paid off?


  1. There's a lot of other considerations, too. Like when you have a job, even if it's just part-time (and much more if it's full), it is REALLY difficult to come home afterward and be particularly productive. Even easy jobs can wipe you out. Or if they're mind-numbing and monotonous, they can really affect your brain - after you get off work, you just feel like a walking zombie, even if your body isn't tired.

    Which means that whatever time you do have for other things around the house and whatnot takes soooooo much longer. Or doesn't get done, not because you'll excuse it by saying you'll "do it later" but because you just CAN'T make yourself do it right now.

    The job I had in high school (farmer's market) was probably the best I've ever had. I worked from the time I got up to the time I got home and went to bed. It was pretty much non-stop on your feet action the whole day. Yeah, I didn't do anything else - but I was definitely productive, because every minute of my time was spent earning money.

    Sometimes I think jobs should be more like that. I'd gladly give three or even four days of my week to work 13-16 hours a day, if it meant I got ALL of the rest of the days off. I think I would honestly accomplish more...

    Work days just kind of ruin your entire day. Even when they're not particularly long work days.

  2. I know what you mean. I've been keeping at-home office hours 1-5 pm five days a week for the past three months. It's amazing to me how hard it's been to pack all the money-saving things I do around here into the remaining hours. You wouldn't think four little hours a day would matter, but they do.

    You're right, we'd have to earn a LOT of money to offset the things we do as homemakers. And with wages dropping/stagnating, I'm not sure we can find those kind of wages.

    Besides, if we make more money, we'll be taxed more: the Bush tax cuts expire in 2011, and the current regime is adding taxes left and right. So every nickel we save at home is actual more than a nickel of savings when you consider that it's not being taxed.....yet.

    Thought-provoking post!