Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Trent said what I meant

I have been mulling over this post by Trent for a while. It resonated with me a little more than I expected, but I like the conclusions I've come to.

I've been accused of caring too much about money and being willing to get stressed out and sacrifice time with friends to make a buck. I've definitely booked too many mystery shops on weekend days, spent too many Saturday nights at the parties of strangers instead of with my boyfriend, and stressed about making it to focus groups or spent too much downtime at work on survey sites.

My free time has more value than my work time.

Yes, it does. Generating additional income streams isn't useful when they're not passive, and this is what I was trying to say in that post. These additional revenue streams aren't worth it when they're cutting into my free time--you have to pay me a LOT more to get my attention then. Three dollars for a 15-minute survey? No, thanks. Fifty dollars for a half-hour focus group? NOW you've got my attention, and possibly my lunch hour, but only if you're not too far away from my midtown office.

The value of my time is more than just dollars and cents

I don't think I'm quite used to the fact that I can, in fact, meet all my obligations and needs and some of my wants on the paycheck I bring home from one day job. Because that is the case, I can apply a different per-hour value on my time. The value of sleeping in, or lounging around with Peanut playing video games, or taking a walk in lovely weather, or reading a great book, or even reading blogs--these aren't wastes of time (unless I'm doing them unconsciously). The point shouldn't be how much am I making per hour, or how much am I worth, but how much enjoyment am I getting out of this time? That's part of the reason I chose my job to begin with--I have so much fun doing it and find value in it, that it doesn't matter (as much) that I'm making a pretty low salary. Not hating what I do all day has a value. Time spent not worrying about money (earning it, saving it, spending it) has a value. Love has a value.

While I might argue over $10 in a grocery store line, I won't stress myself out over $11 mystery shops and $2 surveys.

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