Lifestyle Balance – 54% of Australian workers are ‚ ‘buying themselves time

I first uploaded this article back in 2012 and revisited it this morning on my updating of my historic posts. At the time it was reported that Australian workers’ lifestyle balance is under such pressure that more than one-half (54%) are spending money on services to save time.

But only 3% spend the extra time gained on work. The AMP Lifestyle Monitor, a survey of more than1400 AMP customers back in 2012, found that for those choosing to buy back time, socializing, work, spending time with partners and family, and exercise are the most popular activities undertaken in the time they save.

In researching more on this topic I came across another post that set out the discussion with “Rich people buy time and poor people waste time.” But what did this mean? It wasn’t that the rich have more money-wise but about the mindset differences.  The simple fact as was pointed out and is true in its simplest form is.

The simple fact is that we all have the same 60 minutes in an hour, 24 hours in a day, and 7 days in a week.  It’s how we utilize that time that dictates if we will accomplish all of the things we wish we could.

Competing interests

The AMP Lifestyle Monitor showed people have competing interests and are spending money on things like prepared food and household services to free up precious time.

Other key findings included:

  • 41% of people surveyed spend money on prepared foods and restaurant meals to save time, followed by 18% on airfares and taxis and 15% on household services such as cleaning, ironing, and laundry.
  • Only 4% said they spend on childcare.
  • 57% of respondents who spend money to save themselves time said they spent up to $200 per month on services. Only 24% spent more than $300.
  • Respondents spend the time they save on a variety of things ‚ 46% with their partner, 46% with children or family, 37% on work, 35% socialising, and 24% exercising.
  • If they had an extra hour to spend on themselves, 60% of respondents said they would spend it on a leisure activity or hobby, followed by 34% on exercise. Only 3% said they’d spend the extra hour on work.
  • It’s understandable in our busy lives that outsourcing some tasks is necessary to allow us to spend time with our family and friends, or things we enjoy.

Lifestyle leakage

However, it was pointed out that it was possible that respondents are underestimating their lifestyle leakage and the amount they spend on incidentals in the course of the day. This includes things like buying lunches and takeaway coffees, which can really add up.’

We can’t ignore that there are tighter money restrictions now and to keep things in perspective we need to do a budget. This also brings back to the saying about buying time. Watch the expenditure on the same things and reap the rewards with the bigger. 

Here are some tips given

  • Work retrospectively to figure out where you’re spending your money and identify wants versus needs
  • For instance, it’s best to prioritize only one or two things you dislike doing the most, like ironing or cooking, and only outsource these tasks.
  • Buy one fewer restaurant meals a week or make your daily lunch and coffee. It’s all about balance.’

How does this link to getting more time?????


One of the biggest things you can do to “buy more time” is to hire others to do tasks that are a waste of your time. The easiest way to figure out which tasks are a “waste of your time” is to do some simple math.

Let’s say you earn $100,000/year at your job or business.  Based on a typical 38 -40 hour workweek, you’d be earning about $50/hour.

So, any task that you could pay someone under $50/hour to do would free up more time for you to work and earn money at a $50/hour rate.

Instead of cleaning for 3 hours, pay someone $15/hour to do it, instead.  If you work those same 3 hours and earn $150, then you will have made $105 more in comparison to the savings of having cleaned yourself.

And if you are making more than enough money, then maybe you can just enjoy those 3 extra hours engaging in some hobby that you’ve been meaning to do or spending more time with your family.  The choice is yours! so you have actually brought more time.

Let’s tap back into the mindset

It’s been documented that the average CEO reads over 50 books per year.  On the other hand, the average American reads 12 books per year, with the median number of books being just 4. Say a lot doesn’t it.

So what do you do?? – the average person spends 4-5+ hours each day watching TV – which is really a full-time job! when you look at it that way it’s kinda crazy and wasteful. 

The choice is yours.