Thursday, April 26, 2012

Time is money

I would assume that most people understand the value of time on at least a basic level. Who hasn't lamented that "there aren't enough hours in a day" during a busy spell of life? It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life just to run out of time to do all the things that we intended to do. There is another value to time that may be a bit less obvious. There is a saying that "Time is money" which is generally used in the business world to mean that time not spent making money is time spent losing money. If we really think about it, time really is money in the sense that we get to decide how to spend it in the same way that we would spend dollars. However time is a very limited commodity–we cannot produce any more than we are given every day or are allotted in life–it is also a very valuable commodity. And because it is a valuable commodity how we spend it tells us what we value.

One of the things that my wife and I have decided to do is be more intentional about spending time together. Yes we spend a lot of time together but, for instance, right now we are in the same room sitting a foot apart from one another. Yet as I am typing away and she is doing other things we might as well be worlds apart. It's not that we don't spend quality time together. What we are trying to do is to carve out even more quality time together. One of the places that where we found that we have time to spend together is in the mornings during breakfast.

It started off that we went to Panera Bread for breakfast twice a week. I would drive her to work–we only have one car–and on the way we would stop and get a bagel and coffee. It was great to spend about fifteen to twenty minutes sitting and talking. Unfortunately the extra driving was costing us about an extra tank of gas every week or two. That added to what we spent at Panera, we were spending up to an extra $200 a month to spend about an extra 3-4 hours a month together. We liked spending the time together but didn't want to spend that much money.

And that is where we came up with the idea for Café Mannino.

It is our own personal eatery where we are spending quality time together. What we decided to do is to still get ready like we were going to leave early in order to go to Panera. Then we toasted a few bagels in our own toaster and poured a couple of cups of quality Trader Joe's extra dark coffee. Because we didn't have to fight traffic we actually spent a whole 30 minutes together. The first week stuck to the same schedule as our old Panera schedule. The second week we decided to expand to five days.

So over the course of a month we are now going to spend an extra 10 hours together all the while saving anywhere from $120-200. That is the equivalent to an extra day off of work every month.

I share this as an example of how we were able to squeeze a bit of quality time out of each day that adds up over the long haul. We decided that spending time together in the mornings was more important than other things that we could be doing. It took a bit of creativity and sacrifice but it is something that can be done if it is important to you.


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