Time is Money.
Most people attribute such wise words to Benjamin Franklin, his face still printed on the largest denomination of United States currency that is in circulation today. However, the concept that time is a valuable commodity was understood long before the Treaty-signing and kite-flying American declared so. The idea of buying someone's time and labor extends into historical eras of ancient currencies, but even hourly or daily wages go back almost two-hundred years in America.
As a Spring term Teaching Assistant in the Molecular Biology Lab, I get paid $10.25 an hour. Also as a Spring term Teaching Assistant in the Molecular Biology Lab, my job ceases to exist when the Spring term ends. For my class in particular, that will be in four days. I would love to say that after I have graded the final exams I will then spend my summer days creatively writing and using my hands to construct new things from nature's materials, because that would really be such a lovely way to spend time; but, as we know, time is money.
Man made up time for the convenience of tracking it, and man made up money for the convenience of trade. I doubt our landlord wants me to write his memoir for him, or create a nature mobile from the branches and flowers on his front lawn. So money conveniently allows me and handsome husband to work elsewhere and give him a check, instead of tree-hugger interior decor.
But when our landlord tells us that our rent increases by $15 dollars in August, I start doing the math. Handsome husband and I will be living here until approximately May 2017, perhaps even July 2017. That's $150 to $180, or 14.6 to 17.6 hours of work from a part time job I will only have for a portion of that year. And you might be thinking $150? Big whoop. Maybe you pay that in electric bills, or phone bills, or for fun. But to me, it's a lot. To a newly married almost-college-graduate who gets anxiety when just looking at the cost of two simultaneous Masters programs for her and her handsome husband; not to mention the upcoming potential move across the country, prospective costly babies, a neverending car payment, and every possible emergency situation she can think of. Yeah, it's a lot.
When I was single, I didn't worry about finances. I kept track of them, and I was frugal but kind to my circumstances as an outdoor loving adventurer. I had it good. And matrimonial adulthood doesn't seem to be in the same realm.
But time isn't just money. Time is time, and it can be well spent, too. When I am faced with a potential downward spiral of contemplation of my finances, I remind myself what money can't buy:
Mountains on the horizon. Textures of the Earth. Grass under bare feet.
The early giggles of babies. Good times with good friends. Making my handsome husband smile.
Knowing I'm going to make it. Knowing I can work hard.
Knowing I'm not alone.
"Keep going, and the Lord will help you. At times you may not know quite what to do or what to say - just move forward. Begin to act, and the Lord assures that 'an effectual door shall be opened for [you].'" - D. Todd Christofferson
Time may be money, but money is surely not time. Armed with confidence in my little family of two, and trust in the Lord, I know that we can work something out. It's not going to be easy, and it probably won't be a short time of frugal difficulty either; but when we are willing to put in the effort and all that we have, He blesses us with so much more.
So here's to budgets, savings accounts, and side jobs. Here's to coupons for groceries, needs versus wants, and saving all the pennies. Here's to toiling hard, working smart, and reserving time for what matters most: the things money cannot buy.
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