How do you value your time and money?

Have you met one of those people who serves on two boards, volunteers in the community, plays on a sports team, has an active social life and has two kids? Do you wonder where the time comes from?

Have you gone skiing lately? The lift tickets at the ski hill are (in my opinion) clearly only for the elite (which I am not). After two-nights in a chalet, lift tickets, rentals, food, drink and transportation, I wonder how anyone at the start of their career can afford it.

When it comes to how people spend their time and money, it really comes down to value.

My value for my time is that I only do the things I enjoy doing. I have chosen a career that allows me to be very flexible. For this reason, I’m able to give hours to causes I really believe in (like serving on non-profit boards of directors). I also have time to do yoga and play ultimate frisbee. In the summer, I backpack and climb. When I first started dating my boyfriend, I felt like I had no “time” to commit to a relationship. But I sure found some to spend time with him. And I continue to magically find time to spend with friends who need me, a free movie night or drinks with the girls. It’s all about priorities and what I want to do - I’ll find the time to do it.

For both time and money - I changed my language from “I don’t have enough ____” to “I’ve allocated my ____ somewhere else so unfortunately, I can’t do that.” Because the truth is that I DO have enough time to attend that meeting - but I would rather be in my office taking care of clients. And I DO have enough money to go to that show - but I would rather go to a Canucks game.

My money is carefully allocated. I spend a generous amount on outdoor gear, sports tournaments, and health (acupuncture, yoga, gym, nutrition). A large chunk goes towards insurance (because protecting my income, health, car and belongings is important to me). And the rest is for housing and savings/debt repayment. Most people I know have a knack of finding money when they really want something, myself included.  I chose the more expensive side of town to live in (tripling my monthly housing cost) and I go to alternative health treatments that aren’t covered by my insurance plan. Both are worth it for me and I found the money to make it happen.

In your own life, think about your busiest times and what came up that you were able to spend time on. For money, when was the last time you were able to make room in your budget for something you really wanted? When a family buys a house and one income-earner loses a job - you bet corners are cut all over the place to pay the mortgage; the cuts include things you never thought you could live without.

By paying attention to your priorities and doing things you enjoy, you can manage your money and time by spending it only on the things most important to you.

I'm getting married!

2012: The year to get (financially) healthy