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Time may be money, but your money buy you no more time

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by DrFrylock, Apr 7, 2011.

  1. DrFrylock

    DrFrylock
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    The great philosopher James Taylor once opined that time may be money, but your money buy you no more time.

    In a gratuitous display of good old-fashioned American brinkmanship, we are but days away from another "government shutdown." Sadly, not being employed by the government, I am unlikely to get any time off because of this.

    I understand that this will cause hardship for people if they aren't getting paid, but then again they don't have to work either. I would happily trade a portion of my salary for an equivalent portion of time off. For me, I'd probably trade 25-33% of my salary for time. Sadly, it doesn't work like that. I actually don't really understand why, but that's how it is.

    FOCUS: Would you be willing to stay in your current job but trade money for time? How much?
     
  2. Kubla Kahn

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    To my understanding this is basically how they run it in Europe no?
     
  3. Guy Fawkes

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    Yes. And I have.

    If this year trends out the way I believe it will, I'll make roughly 25% less than I did in the past two previous years. Why? I only work two days a week. Maybe. And I handed off every single account that is a pain in the ass.

    Also I've started to count the time I spend thinking about work projects and conceptualizing solutions as work hours. It is part of the job after all so why shouldn't it count?

    Plus I don't love the job anymore and can see this gig wrapping up in a few years anyways. I've already started working on whats likely to be next and that has become much more important.
     
  4. Nettdata

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    Likewise. Kind of. I changed my job so I'd have more time with less pay. (Does that count?)

    I'm now working from home (again, finally), on my own schedule, for way less cash than I was making over the last two years. Sure, it's still a lot of work, but it's about half the time at double the productivity.

    I no longer have to commute every day and work in a cubicle and tolerate big corporation bullshit. And knowing that I was sacrificing the freedom I was used to made it that much worse.

    Mind you, I have equity in NewCo and a most excellent shot at a huge payday in the next couple of years, but until then the belt is tightened. For instance, I'm in the process of selling my race car as I'm not going to have a chance to use it over the next couple of years. That actually hurts more than the lack of cash, but it's only stuff. No sense having it sit around in the garage, rotting, taking up space, if you're not going to use it.

    But quality of life trumps material crap, and one of the best ways to achieve quality of life is being the master of your own schedule. You won't believe it until you experience it for the first time, then you'll wonder what the fuck you were thinking.
     
  5. BL1Y

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    Part of this is overhead expenses. Your salary might get reduced by 25%, but not the total cost of hiring you. The company still pays for your insurance, you're taking up office space, a bunch of part time employees put stress on the HR department, IT, etc. If working 33% less meant taking a 50% pay cut, would you take it? I think the deal doesn't look so good then.

    But, this trade off is what ticked off a lot of us attorneys who got laid off. Not enough hours for us? Fine, I'll work part time and take a reduction in pay.

    Nope, not an option, even though the argument from overhead no longer applies. The office space is still leased, the computers are sitting dormant, and my secretary didn't get fired.

    The reason no law firms let people stay on part time was it's more economical to can a few people and just pile more work onto everyone else. Why have 1 person billing 50 hours a week and 1 billing 20, when you can just have 1 billing 70?

    If it were an option (and if I were still a lawyer), I'd gladly take a 30% reduction in pay if I could be guaranteed to never have to work more than 9-6 M-F. But, while some law firms do offer flex time arrangements, they're a joke. Your body might not be required in the office, but your billable hour requirement tends to stay the same. You don't get to say "Sorry, but you'll have to find someone else. I already put in my 20 hours this week."
     
  6. Frank

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    Kind of reminds me of my old manager at my last company, but she actually worked more (12 hours a day during the week, 8 on Sat and 8 on Sun and that's not including work she did at home) but made even less, I think it was around 80K. If you break that down to hourly wage she was making about $17 an hour, less than I was making. And if you take into consideration the marginal tax brackets she's netting much less per hour than someone making $17 per hour working a 40 hour week.

    I remember constantly thinking to myself I'd rather stay entry level than get promoted to that job.

    As for me, there's definitely a number that would get me to work 80 hours a week, I don't know what that number is and for better or worse it's never been offered to me. For now I'm happy working my flexible 25-30 week in the office making less than I would otherwise be able to in a better market.
     
  7. bewildered

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    Has anything been decided from these meetings yet? I read that article and it looks as though the powers that be just had some meeting behind closed doors and no solution was decided on.

    I ask this because my fiance is in the military and there has been talk of not writing paychecks for a little while (read: months) until this whole budget thing gets decided on. Apparently, his higher-ups are expecting that everyone still come into work and work for free, and then eventually get back pay. Fiance finds this laughable as they owe him backpay already for some other things. I'm thinking that a lot of folks are going to stay home if they aren't getting paid.
    (It isn't like he's making a fortune by enlisting in the Marine Corps. I find this whole thing pretty ridiculous.)

    Focus: My sister went to school for landscape architecture. She had a friend who went to work for a firm after graduation. When all this financial stuff started hitting the fan, the owner of the firm gave all his designers/landscape archies a vote: Either take a certain % pay-cut, or vote someone off the island. Luckily for my sister's friend, everyone voted for a pay-cut. Everyone was too scared that they would be the one to lose their job.

    They weren't exactly making bank before, and THEN they got a pay-cut. Having a shitty job is better than having none a lot of times.

    It seems that the private sector is kind of picking back up now. Maybe it's just this area, but the people that I know seem to finally be getting jobs. I have a friend who was the top of his chemical engineering class and he finally got a job offer after having graduated in 2009 (He went to grad school in the meantime but he hates it and just wants to work. Kudos to him, he deserves the awesome job offer that he received).
     
  8. jordan_paul

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    No I would'nt trade money for time. I'm in the prime of my life right now so I'm trying to work as many hours per week as possible so later in life I can actually afford to work 2 days a week like Fawkes and Nett up there. Investing is key too.
     
  9. Veovis

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    I may be on the verge of doing just that. Unless I can get some sort of new arrangement to not have to be in the office. I have to make easy choices as to whats best for the family, me at an office or more time helping my oldest son.....son wins hands down.

    So having a little less money, bah, it's worth what I'm likely to get in return.
     
  10. lostalldoubt86

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    I already work for minimum wage only 3 or 4 times a week. I would much rather make money than have time off. Then again, I would rather have a job that pays more than minimum wage.
     
  11. eric

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    I've mentioned this before, but last summer the wife and I sold the bulk of our items, 2 of the 3 cars, the house, and moved to the cottage. The wife also took a one year leave without out pay from her job, and I reduced my hours fairly dramatically until recently. Our total income dropped by at least 50%, yet with no expenses aside from the day-to-day stuff (food, electricity, phone, internet, etc) we've actually been able to save more money than with both of us working.

    Working from home again has added a minimum of 1 hour a day to my free time by simply not commuting. Plus, in a couple weeks when the lake thaws I'll be starting my day by fishing for lunch. When there's a lull in my day I can go kayaking, fishing or just go for a swim once the lake warms up enough.

    I wish I had more control over my hours, however the nature of my business is that clients are paying the big bucks for me, not some junior engineer. And my clients wouldn't go for "I only work 20 hours a week so it will have to wait till next week". They want their shit now. I do occasionally turn down jobs. I wouldn't do it with my major clients, but I in effect turned down a potential new client just before Christmas by purposely bidding extremely high. They came knocking on my door in early December looking for a complicated little plastic design with surfacing, that had to be sealed (waterproof). As per usual, they left everything to the last minute but wanted to hit this tradeshow in March with production units. I worked the schedule back from that date and I'd essentially have to spend 12 hour days right up to Christmas to get the files out in time, so I worked out my quote then tripled it.
     
  12. Harry Coolahan

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    I realized a couple weeks ago that starting in November my student loan payments will bill me at $900 per month, essentially forever.

    I'm all for living poor because most of my hobbies are not very expensive, I don't mind living in squalor (as many can attest to), and value my time a lot more than some shit job.

    But, $900 per month out the window means that I'll have essentially no choice but to work a lot more. I've gotten away with living on about $1K per month in the heart of DC, but in about six months my expenses will double and so will the time I spend working (more than double, really, since right now I'm partly living on student loans and savings).
     
  13. TeslaCoil

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    Absolutely. I feel like if I had more time I would need less money because I would be able to spend more time cooking and tending to other frugal lifestyle things (shopping at a thrift store or just shopping around online for clothes, cooking less expensive ingredients to make meals from scratch rather than buying convenience foods at the grocery store or eating out). I actually enjoy cooking and other things, I just find that it ends up at the bottom of my priority list because of time limitations.

    I think I would trade 20% of my income to work 4 days a week rather than 5. And that one extra day off would be Wednesday so I would only have to work 2 days in a row, ever.
     
  14. walt

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    Time has always been more valuble to me than money. Working in the medical field has been great for this. When I worked in the ER, it was 3 12 hour shifts a week. When I took my new job last year in an office I was kinda hesitant because I wanted to have at least one weekday off, as it's easier to get in and out of lumber stores and such when you're not fighting the weekend crowds. So I figured it couldn't hurt to ask when they interviewed me, and I explained my reasoning, as well as I have found I never call in, because if I'm sick, all I have to do is get through a day or two, not a whole week before I get a day to rest. They were more than happy to oblige. In turn I am flexible and am more than happy to work extra to cover vacations, call in, etc.

    Now all my co-workers tell me how I've got it made, how nice it must be, etc.; and I tell them all you have to do is ask. I did the thing where I worked 60-75 hours a week in EMS, and am much happier working half that.

    Also, the pay difference between 4 and 5 days a week is pretty minimal.
     
  15. Clutch

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    Where I work they allow you to "buy" extra paid vacation days--which cost essentially a day's pay--but they spread it out as equal reductions in your checks for the rest of the year. Apparently that is easier for payroll to deal with than letting the salaried employees just take unpaid days off.
     
  16. Wadget

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    I'm young so maybe I'm just naive but, this is a line of thinking a few of my friends seem to share that I just can't get my head around.

    I go to uni and work part-time and actually have a fair bit of spare time which I could spend working if I wanted too, but I don't need the extra money so I pretty much just hangout and play guitar instead.
     
  17. Frank

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    Well, the concept is that you would trade in some of your guitar playing time now to earn extra money so you can buy things you would have otherwise waited to acquire later or save the money. That way you can work less when you're 40 and spend more time with your family.

    In theory it seems like a great idea, and for some people it probably is, but most kids (myself included) would just end up living in a bigger apartment/house or drinking more expensive beer.
     
  18. mya

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    Not to mention that if you work hard and move up the ladder at whatever it is that you do when you are young, you have more responsibilities which frequently translates into more work. At that point in their career (from what I have seen) very few men are willing to say, "hey, wait, I am working too hard and it is taking away from time with my family" so keep putting in the hours. Plus people generally adjust their lifestyle to fit their paycheck, so by the time you are 40 with a family with 2.3 kids and a golden retriever, you also have a house in the suburbs, a mortgage to match, and pressure to keep up with the Joneses.

    For me, I went from nursing hours with having time off during the week to a M-F job. I was itching to have a "normal" job again because I never warmed up to the 13-14-15 hour days worked on average by a hospital nurse. What I didn't factor in was now nice it is having time off during the week to get shit done, go to your own doctors appointments, go renew your license at the DMV, etc. I would trade in salary to have even part of a day off a week so I don't have to feel guilty about scheduling a dentist appointment during hours where I am supposed to be seeing patients, and therefore, making money for the practice (I didn't have such guilt feelings until I was the one who was supposed to be billing)