What Is The Origin Of The Expression “Time Is Money” And How Can It Be Applied Today?

What Is The Origin Of The Expression

Self-employed and gig workers are all too aware that time is money

The phrase “time is money” trips neatly off the tongue to remind us that idleness has a monetary cost. In this day and age, when we expect everything immediately and instantaneously, it can be a little nagging voice at the back of our brain, reminding us that while we wait, time is ticking away. We find ourselves asking,

‘So, how much is this costing me?’

This is particularly true for workers in the gig economy or anyone self-employed or paid on a piece rate. Delays can be costly, and many of us do whatever we can to avoid them. However, there is another well-known phrase, ‘more haste, less speed,’ that means that sometimes trying to get something done quickly is not always the fastest way to achieve the desired outcome.

Who said it first?

“Time is money” has been attributed to Benjamin Franklin in an essay he wrote called “Advice to a Young Tradesman” in 1748. In the book “American Instructor: or Young Man’s Best Companion” he penned the words,

“Remember that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labour, and goes abroad, or sits idle one half of that day, though he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness, it ought not to be reckoned the only expense; he hath really spent or thrown away five shillings besides.”

However, it appears that he might have borrowed the idea from somewhere else as in 1719, the newspaper The Free-Thinker had already printed the sentence “In vain did his wife inculcate to him that time is money”.

Who knows if Franklin had seen the original article or if the two writers had the same original idea almost thirty years apart (stranger things have happened), but the phrase has survived over 300 years and become a part of our cultural landscape. It is used to point out that minimizing non-working time should maximize the financial rewards we reap.

How to become a billionaire

However, that does rely on the premise that the only way we make money is through working when we all know that mega-rich billionaires often accumulate wealth on their assets while not necessarily having to work so hard at all. Obviously, they want us to believe it is all down to hard work, but it has recently been revealed that all young billionaires have actually inherited their wealth and have not earned it at all.

There’s a sad truth that unless you have wealthy parents or a massive music star or A-Lister, you can work incredibly hard and still not get any richer. Time is money, but the money might only be enough to keep the wheels turning and not much more than that. It is probably the reason why lotteries and other forms of gambling are so popular. They offer a promise of being able to join the wealthy elites and sit around enjoying one’s wealth without having to graft to get by.

Dreaming of a big win

Lottery and gambling companies sell us the dream. They ask us what we would do with our imagined winnings. Who hasn’t considered what car they would drive, the type of house they would live in, and the holidays they would book when they land the jackpot? This is one of the things that makes online slots, table games and lotteries so attractive. They allow us to dream and are entertaining. As long as we treat them as we would any other form of entertainment and acknowledge that a big win is highly unlikely, they can be enormous fun. After all, you have to be in it to win it.

Even if we do not win the jackpot, most online casinos offer decent odds of paying out – just never quite as much as we paid in. Casinos are businesses and if they did not make a profit, they would not be able to operate. Whatever the size of the winnings, anyone playing at online casinos wants to know that they will not be waiting around for too long to be able to cash out the prize.  The speed of payout is very dependent on the payment method used to pay the stake and the casino where you are playing.

How to access our winnings

In a bricks-and-mortar casino, a player would just take their stack of casino chips to the cashier and exchange them for money. The principle is the same when playing online slots or table games but the mechanics of retrieving the funds are slightly different. As we have established that time is money, the chances are that you will want to be able to access your win as soon as possible. You will need to find the operators and payment methods with the fastest payout and take a look at their benefits. You might not have won enough for a yacht or a holiday to Barbados but you do not want your money sitting in someone else’s account any longer than it has to. Generous bonuses, secure banking, fast payouts, and a great game selection are the ideal ingredients for a great online gambling experience.

Head in the sky but with feet on the ground

While you probably will not make your fortune on the online slots, as long as you set your budget and do not spend more than you can afford to lose, the flashing lights and tumbling reels can be a welcome distraction from your everyday life. Most of us have to work hard to earn enough to stay afloat, but we can always dream of our ship coming in.