"I keep thinking about something that guests said recently on the show we have been living for several decades is kind of a tenant of life structure that are orgnization has created for us. We know where we're going to be at nine AM Monday through Friday. Our weekends are also structured around that because you know, maybe one day or part of days the day that we do all the chores. We didn't have a chance for that was Theresa a mob lay on episode sixty five she was saying it in reference to her research on retirement, but what really struck me is this idea that your job dictates your weekends, even dictates. How you spend your time off. And that's why I'm excited for today's episode. Our guest today believes people would be happier. If they spent more of the money, they earn at work to get back more of their time when they're not working Ashley Willens researches. The tradeoffs we make between time and money and says we often get those wrong. She says, we should spend more money. Not just on things we like, but to get us out of the things we don't enjoy say yard, work cooking or commuting. Ashley Willens is an assistant professor at Harvard Business School. She's also the author of the HP are article time for happiness. Ashley, thanks for coming on the show. Thanks so much for having me. Your research concluded that the happiest people use their money to buy time. And there's that phrase, you know, money can't buy you happiness. But you're basically saying that if more people used money to buy time that they could use that time to be more happy. Yeah. So we really liked to flip this Benjamin Franklin's adage on its head and say, well, if time has money, maybe also we can think that money can buy happier time, my research really focuses on using money to buy cells out of negative experiences. So subtracting negative minutes from our day subtracting time that we spend stuck in traffic subtracting extra work hours were were just spinning our wheels. And really, we should go home subtracting housecleaning, but really any way that we spend money in a way that might save us time such as also buying ourselves into positive experiences has reliable and positive effects on on the happiness that we. Get from our days or weeks or months and our lives. Even though people feel like the world is busier than ever, you know, you point out in your research that the average American for instance, has more time for leisure than they did forty years ago. And so it sounds like you're saying that now that people have more time, they just spend it earning more money or taking jobs that make them busier rather than using the time. Yeah, I think it's really interesting that, you know, work hours have gone down. But people are feeling more stress than I think, it's exactly that's we think that business is a status symbol, we focus. Our attention on getting ahead, especially in North American culture. So I think there's this element. One of the fact that even though we have more free time, we might fill it more with work or commuting really far away. Because we want to have this really nice house that we don't get to spend any of our time. And we don't get to enjoy because we're always commuting to work. Really, far and ubiquitous connection to the internet. Also means that we experienced what's some researchers have called time confetti, so not only maybe a retrying to filler time with more work in being more productive. But also, our time is more fragmented were more distracted, and that also contributes to these higher feelings of time stress, but also time is very hard to track. And so if we have windfalls of time, we often fritter them away. So it's interesting is that in one of our my clobbered or an ice studies. We find that buying time or spending money on time-saving services predicts greater happiness, reduces stress. Not because of the objective amount of time that we saved just to the simple act of thinking about giving up money to have more free time seems to make people plan their time a little bit better. If I'm going to incur this cost to have this free time, then I'm going to make sure I really enjoy the free time that I have. What do you make the argument though, that that future's uncertain and financial security or your financial future is often uncertain too? And so I guess some of the way we've been trained to think about time versus money as that like if you have time now and can make money you need to save. So that in the future when you're not working you have money to spend. Yeah. And I mean people who feel uncertain about their financial future or more likely to value money, and they get more thought his faction out of having that value. And that makes a lot of sense. If you're not sure what you're next five. Six seven years are your overarching goal in life should be Develey money. So that you can feel like your future is secure and safe much to what you're saying. And and I don't argue that that doesn't mean we shouldn't also be thinking around the margins of whether within our discretionary income bucket within the set of money that we spend in in ways that in. Enable us to enjoy our life that we shouldn't also be thinking about saving time. So that's why make the point. And my clobbered resign often argue that we need to be thinking about every time we open our wallet. What is to make a purchase discretionary income purchase? Is this money? Changing the way that I spend my time. What's one way that you have trained yourself to spend money on other things where maybe was counterintuitive of I, but really makes make sense when you value time correctly, you know, going through grad school, you have no time and no money, and you're constantly trying to cut corners in every way that you can and one thing that I did throw all of graduate school was live really far away from my place of employment. I would spend hours on the bus every single day for five years because it was cheaper. I could live in an of slightly bigger apartment with my partner. And I you save money that way. You know? And so when I moved for my my job, I had this intuition. This really strong sense that I should do the same thing should live in the most economical place, even if it's a little bit further away, and I really had to push against sort of every instinct that was saying, but think about how much money you can save in rent like just written his massive dissertation on the fact that we should value time over money, but we always get it wrong. When making major minor life decisions that I was like, okay. Actually like, you can do it. You can pay a lot of money in rent and live really close to work. So you can walk there. You're going to be new. It's going to be stressful. You have a million things to do. And that was one thing that I did recently. And I think it's added a lot of happiness to my life and really reduce stress. I walked to the office. I can walk. Everything's walking distance to my house. I feel like a lot of my behavior. Does come from. How I you know, I lived coming out of school. From a time when I had more time than money, and then just got used to doing everything myself. And there's also the kind of the American self reliance thing just being able to take care of household chores do things without having to hire somebody to do it. I think I know I I think this is part of the reason we see the effects that we see. So I have a another line of research with Laura park at the university of buffalo, and we look at how experiences in childhood around how much money you had and how how much income inequality. There wasn't an a place where you grew up shapes the way that adults think about their finances and make decisions, you know, fifteen twenty years later, and we do see that growing up in a more uncertain financial environment carries all the way through to adult hood. You know, doesn't Volvo a little bit of retraining again. I really want to return to this idea. That's about taking small act. Actions not doing anything to drastic but just sitting down and thinking about whether there's anything you can outsource that. You really don't like that stresses you out a lot that you can afford. And if there's anything on a daily basis that the answer to that question is yes, you should try it out try spending, some discretionary income that way, you know, other small ways I can be more efficient that I can give up some of my money to have more time direct flights grocery deliveries to my house. Not all the time. Not outsource everything. We show in our data that people who outsource too much experienced the lowest levels of happiness in part, probably because again, they feel like their their life must be so out of control. If they can't you know, if they can't even do one load of laundry on the weekend. So I think you also raise an important point. And we find this in our data. We wanna seem self sufficient one reason that we don't ask for help enough that we don't outsource enough even. When we're paying our hard earned money for someone else's time. As we want to feel like we can do it all especially in North American culture. We have this idea that we're a failure. If somehow we can't have their perfect home"