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A weekly reality check on sensible investing and financial decision-making for Canadians. Hosted by Benjamin Felix and Cameron Passmore.

Apr 1, 2021

Technology has made our lives easier but it has also fragmented our leisure time, creating a near-universal feeling that we have too much to do and not enough time to do it. Today we speak with Harvard Business School Assistant Professor Ashley Whillans about how our views of money and experience of time poverty impact our sense of well-being. We open our conversation by exploring the idea of time poverty, with Ashley unpacking the many factors that contribute towards feeling time-poor. Diving into the specifics, we talk about how different income groups experience time poverty and how these feelings are influenced by job satisfaction. After looking into differences in how we value time and money, Ashley shares research into how lower-income women benefit as much from being given extra time as they do from being given money. We then discuss the predictors of whether someone will prioritize time or money before chatting about the best practices and tips that will save you time and boost your well-being. Later, we hear Ashley’s insights into why wealth doesn’t lead to happiness and the need to engage in meaningful activities that increase the value of your time. With such radical changes in our work environments, we reflect on how work-from-home often deepens our feelings of time poverty. We wrap our discussion with Ashley by touching on retiring early versus working for longer, why you don’t need wealth to feel consistent happiness, and how you can incorporate time poverty into your financial planning. As Ashley’s research shows, money can be as integral as time in living a happier, more fulfilling life. Tune in to hear more about the connection between time poverty and your well-being.

Key Points From This Episode:

  • Introducing today’s guest, Assistant Professor Ashley Whillans. [0:00:02]
  • Ashley unpacks the concept of time poverty. [0:02:24]
  • Exploring the relationship between time poverty and well-being. [0:03:17]
  • Whether financially wealthy people feel less time-poor. [0:06:58]
  • How job satisfaction impacts dissatisfaction and feelings of being time-poor. [0:10:00]
  • The data underpinning why people are so bad at valuing their time. [0:10:59]
  • Why, for lower-income earners, it can be valuable to trade money for time. [0:13:37]
  • What predisposes people to feel more time-poor than others. [0:16:12]
  • The causal link between preferences for money, time, and well-being. [0:21:51]
  • Hear how Ashley designs her studies to get truthful answers. [0:23:22]
  • How you can think of time while boosting your well-being. [0:26:20]
  • Ashley shares her best practices for maximizing your time. [0:28:22]
  • How our mindsets can influence our sense of time poverty. [0:31:08]
  • Time-focussed versus money-focused and why money doesn’t lead to happiness. [0:33:14]
  • Tips in making small changes that increase the value of your time. [0:37:08]
  • How work-from-home has affected our time-poverty. [0:38:28]
  • We hear Ashley’s views on the value of working longer to have a more secure retirement. [0:40:49]
  • Why you don’t need to be wealthy to experience consistent happiness. [0:44:17]
  • Incorporating time poverty into your financial planning. [0:46:06]
  • How Ashley first became interested in time poverty and happiness. [0:47:46]
  • Ashley shares how she defines success in her life. [0:49:47]