What’s $168 worth?

Which has more value to you, $168 or one hour of your time? Hard to answer. But what if the question is asked this way: which has more value to an elderly parent: your money or your time?

There’s no doubt that both money and time are major factors in our lives especially when one or the other is in short supply. But isn’t it true that if we want more money we can take on another job or a bank loan? How though, do we stretch our 24 hour day into 25? An article in Psychology Today magazine asserts that time is more valuable than money because you can use your time to make money, but you can’t use money to purchase more time.

Here’s an experiment to test that assertion. Offer your elderly parents money to replace your regular visit or phone call. Which one will they view as more valuable?

Now back to my original question. Let’s say you win $168. The catch is you have to give $7 back. The remaining $161 is still a pretty good return. After all, you started with nothing.

We all started with nothing. Our parents not only gave us life but in most cases, did their best to raise us. There are 168 hours in a week. Could we give our parents one hour a day? We’d still be left with 161 hours to do whatever we need or want.

All the money in the world will not buy anything our elderly parents need more than our time. It’s a worthwhile and satisfying investment.

Karen Schwartz is a communications consultant and freelance writer.