This will be the first in a (likely non-sequential) series on fixing things for friends, and what to expect out of a “buddy deal”
First and foremost, I like to fix things. ALL THE TIME. This is a blessing to others and curse to myself (kinda). The curse part is my own fault; over time as a keen DIYer I’ve learned how to do a lot of things, and end up offering to help any time I hear of something. As a result I have to balance my own projects and needs with those of others who are now depending on me. Sometimes is sucks, sometimes it’s awesome, but there’s almost always this lingering factor: time.
“Free time” is as out-to-lunch as “spare change”
Lemme break it down for you….
Some years ago, a friend/colleague of mine opened my eyes to the value of time. It’s quite simple, but I hadn’t put it in this perspective before.
Let’s say for example you make $50,000/year. Most people would probably value their time as such:
[assuming biweekly pay, 40 hour work week]
50,000 / 26 = ~1,923 for 80 hours work
1923 / 80 = 23
So my time is worth $23 an hour, right?
In the eyes of your employer, yes; however, the true value of your time, in life, is as follows:
[assuming same rate of pay, amount of pay, but different hours…all of them, approximately 8766 hours in a year]
50,000 / 8766 = 5.70
This means that for every hour of every day, asleep or awake, your time is worth $5.70 an hour. Doesn’t look quite as nice, huh? This is a calculation I feel everybody should do for themselves. It makes it a little easier to navigate life and negotiations if you have a baseline to work off of.
More hypothetical: If you’re going to ask a friend to help you move, that is saving you a lot of time, but costing them the same time. In my mind you should be investing at least “$5.70” per hour of time saved – whether you do that via food, beverage or whatever deal you work out, just keep in mind that a savings for you is a cost for them.
But we’re friends, why does there have to be a dollar value?
There doesn’t have to be, but it’s always better to offer something and have them refuse. Don’t appear ungrateful. Also don’t bank on the friendly refusal of your offering. That’s no good either. They may be the type of person who always says “don’t worry about it” or “you’re my friend! you’d do the same for me” but maybe this time they DO need some bucks for fuel, or are in a tight spot. Whatever the case may be, always have something lined up.