FIRE.192 What’s Time Worth?

This is one of those “should I mow my own lawn for an hour every two weeks or is my time worth more than that” post.  That mowing question is similar to my original thought but probably fewer overall hours per month than what I’m thinking about—at least for most people.

Incremental Saving

I feel as though I’ve moved away from the general FI journey community’s position based on multiple fairly recent podcasts discussing strategies like turning off netflix or Disney for a month, and turning your heat down and wearing sweaters.  I’m not saying that saving money is wrong.  I’m not saying that taking the 5 minutes to suspend service is wrong.  I just feel like this is a very personal journey and such an extremely minor target of saving $10-15 per month may not move the overall balance.  Though, yes, multiple saving categories over time do add up.

Time Thieves

Yet there is a concept I wonder about often—time-thieving ads on streaming services

When you want to watch something on your TV (old people) or your device (young people) how do you feel about in-show ads?

If I want to watch a show that has 45 minutes of content (netflix, curiosity stream, MasterClass, Wondrium, Amazon Prime video), I don’t want 10-15 minutes of ads wasting my time every single relaxing hour

I have owned a DVR for our satellite service since Microsoft Ultimate TV in 2001.  To me, the ability to reclaim an hour of time from a lazy 4-hour TV viewing session (or hockey game) was worth far more than the $10/mo service fee. 

I think about streaming services that have “premium” no-ads pricing for an additional $3-10/mo (think Amazon Prime, Netflix, Paramount+, Peacock, etc).  Even if I only watch 5 nights of video from any of those per month, I’m saving 3-4-5 hours per month of my timeTo me, that is well worth $10/mo.

Monthly Plan

I should be clear, yes, I do subscribe to Peacock+ premium just for July then turn it off at the end of the month.  I often subscribe to Paramount+ in Nov/Dec when Amazon has their $2/mo special.  I just turned off my AppleOne family plan which went from $30 to $42/mo removing AppleTV+, AppleNews, etc.  I will turn on AppleTV for one month, maybe twice per year, but not to save money exactly, but rather to lessen my frustration when there’s “nothing to watch” on the service.  I swear, I spend 30+ minutes per night looking at the little rectangles of shows, not finding anything, even though I have “my playlists” set up everywhere.  What?!

My main thought is, that I pay for no ads when I have a streaming service so I can avoid wasted (commercial) time and frustration

I also pay for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, Walmart+ delivery, extra legroom on some flights, and some other time-saving/life-enhancing programs.  We NEVER get more time once it has passed.


Each night when we watch TV we often try to make sure we “learn something.”  (The worst ads are when watching YouTube while on the spinning bike and their stupid commercial interruptions (bam $25/mo spent on sanity—and often better videos/shows than other services).  Learning while exercising seems like habit-stacking.

Included for Free

I am aware that some services and subscriptions have bundles that include “free” services.  Our Walmart+ delivery service comes with paramount+ ad version, which is almost useless, or at least commercially frustrating to me so I don’t use it.  I could upgrade for $60 to the no-ads plan, but that requires a year of commitment.  I’d rather pay $15-20 for one month (or a $2 Amazon Prime deal) and be in/out—done.

Wasting Away?

This seems like a dumb post, but are you wasting your life/time with ads, just interruptions, and not allocating your money to what you enjoy the most (definitely not commercials—not even super bowl commercials for me)?

I love the concept of using your money to add what you love, and using your money to remove what you dislike.  That is one power of “wealth.”  The power to better your life.  That’s just my random thought from my LifeInFIRE.

*** Nothing in this article is to be construed as financial advice.  I am not a financial planner, nor do I pretend to be.  You should always consult your own professional when seeking advice. This post is not a piece of literary mastery, just a random thought I had.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.