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Why Time Is Money in Time Tracking and Payroll

Amy Bourne |

Surely you’ve heard someone use the expression “time is money” before. But do you know where it came from, or what it really means?

Opportunity Cost

The phrase “time is money” was first used by Benjamin Franklin in ‘Advice to a Young Tradesman’ from 1746. Franklin talks about a tradesman who sits idle for half a day and throws away not only whatever money he spends being idle, but also his lost wages.

Over 150 years later, economist Friedrich von Wieser was reportedly inspired by Ben Franklin when he writes about “opportunity cost”, which works this way: a tradesman has to spend two dollars to get to the trading post, and he risks not making it back if nothing sells. But he might make connections that will earn him ten dollars over the next two days, whereas if he stays home to save the two dollars, another trader might take that future business. So, two dollars is the opportunity cost.

Maximizing Your Time

Going to a trade school or college is an opportunity cost: the cost of spending your time and money getting an education compared to working in the real world right away and making money. However, going back to what Franklin said about opportunity cost, this would mean that not going out to get further training is an even a greater cost overall because you’d be missing out on a significant pay raise in the long run.

The phrase “time is money” may mean that how you spend your time is more important than the time itself. If you spend your time wisely, it will pay off, but if you don’t spend it wisely or are idle with it, it won’t pay off.

That’s why ExakTime is dedicated to improving processes, eliminating errors and increasing efficiency in time tracking and payroll. We want the businesses that use our product to use their time wisely so that they can dedicate their time to what is most important. Having cloud-based workforce management available anytime, anywhere, and accessible by anybody is going to be the key to success for your business. The “opportunity cost” in this case is the cost of our system, and we think you’ll find that it’s well worth it.

Hope we didn’t scare you away from taking a day or two off this year! Just remember, it’s normal to need some time off to think and plan your next move. When you are ready for your next payroll move, we’ll be ready to help.

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Amy Bourne is the marketing copywriter for ExakTime. She enjoys learning about the real challenges faced in the construction-related field, and providing content that helps business owners work smarter.

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