New Study Says Free Time Is More Important Than a Higher Paycheck

New study says free time is more important than a higher paycheck

Do you value your time over making money

Even though most of us probably think that more money will make our lives easier—or better—it turns out that isn’t the case. A new study from the University of British Columbia and published in the Society for Personality and Social Psychology finds that free time is a currency way more valuable than a high salary.

The study asked 4,600 participants (who were either students at the University, employed adults in the U.S., or almost retired or retired people) to answer questions that would determine which they valued more—time or money. The results learned toward a preference for time. “It appears that people have a stable preference for valuing their time over making more money, and prioritizing time, is associated with greater happiness,” said lead researcher Ashley Whillans, who finds that people usually don’t say money due to societal pressures. People living at the poverty level were excluded from the study because they “may have to prioritise money to survive.”

This is especially interesting considering that Americans are working longer and harder hours than ever before. Eighty-three percent of workers say they’re stressed about their jobs, almost 50 percent don’t sleep well because of work, and 60 percent use their smartphones to check in with work outside of normal working hours. In many ways, it’s no wonder why people would take a few more hours with their family or friends, or maybe just reading a good book over a higher paycheck.

So..are you valuing your time over making money? Let us know in the comments below! 

Meredith Lepore

Meredith is the former editor in chief of the women's career site, The Grindstone. Her work has appeared in Marie Claire @ Work, The Jane Dough, DailyWorth,, Business Insider and Learnvest. She earned her Masters in Magazine, Newspaper and Online journalism from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University. Meredith resides in New York full time and enjoys reading, jogging, SoulCycle and playing with her small dog, Otis.