13- Spend2: It Will Change Your Financial Life – Part 1
Updated: Jan 15
As I wrote in The FinancialVerse – A Common Sense Approach for Your Money, there are 10 Must Do’s to manage your financial life. The first of those is to spend two hours per week learning and studying the world of personal finance. I know many of you may think two hours per week is not something you have time for. You live a full, time-constrained, crazy life and many of you may work two or three jobs to make ends meet. What I will tell you is that if you don’t spend time learning about the FinancialVerse and managing your money matters, you will not be able to reduce your financial stress and anxiety. Knowledge is power. You must make boosting your financial literacy a priority.
As with all goals - let’s break it down into smaller, actionable steps. Two hours per week is about 17 minutes per day. You can find that amount of time. Let me give you an understanding of where most people are spending their time to help you carve out that 17 minutes per day or two hours per week. In fact, The FinancialVerse books have been written so that the reader can finish reading the books in about two hours or in one sitting.
To find out where America is prioritizing and spending its time, I turned to three sources to illustrate the need to make financial learning a higher priority.
Bureau of Labor Statistics – Where is Our Time Used?
The first source is the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ - AMERICAN TIME USE SURVEY — 2018 RESULTS – which is published annually. The full report can be found at www.bls.gov/tus.
Here are some of the key findings from the report:
In 2018, 89 percent of full-time employed persons worked on an average weekday, compared with 31 percent on an average weekend day. Full-time employed persons averaged 8.5 hours of work time on weekdays they worked, and 5.4 hours on weekend days they worked.
On the days they worked, employed men worked 34 minutes more than employed women. This difference partly reflects women's greater likelihood of working part time. However, even among full-time workers (those usually working 35 hours or more per week), men worked more per day than women—8.2 hours, compared with 7.9 hours.
On an average day, 84 percent of women and 69 percent of men spent some time doing household activities, such as housework, cooking, lawn care, or household management. On the days they did household activities, women spent an average of 2.6 hours on these activities, while men spent 2.0 hours.
On an average day, 20 percent of men did housework—such as cleaning or laundry—compared with 49 percent of women. Forty-six percent of men did food preparation or cleanup, compared with 69 percent of women. Men were slightly more likely to engage in lawn and garden care than were women—11 percent, compared with 7 percent.
On an average day, nearly everyone age 15 and over (96 percent) engaged in some sort of leisure activity, such as watching TV, socializing, or exercising. Men spent 49 minutes per day more in these activities than did women (5.7 hours, compared with 4.9 hours).
On average, adults age 75 and over spent 7.8 hours engaged in leisure activities per day—more than any other age group; 25- to 44-year-olds spent a little over 4.0 hours engaged in leisure and sports activities per day—less than other age groups.
Watching TV was the leisure activity that occupied the most time (2.8 hours per day), accounting for just over half of all leisure time, on average.
Socializing and communicating, such as visiting with friends or attending or hosting social events, accounted for an average of 38 minutes per day, and was the next most common leisure activity after watching TV. Individuals spent about twice as much time socializing on weekend days (59 minutes) as on weekdays (29 minutes).
Time spent reading for personal interest varied greatly by age. Individuals age 75 and over averaged 48 minutes of reading per day whereas individuals ages 15 to 54 read on average for 10 minutes or less per day.
On average, persons ages 15 to 24 spent the most time playing games or using a computer for leisure—about one hour per day.
Men were more likely than women to participate in sports, exercise, or recreation on any given day—21 percent, compared with 17 percent. On days that they participated, men also spent more time doing these activities than did women—1.7 hours, compared with 1.3 hours.
Care of Household Children
Adults living in households with children under age 6 spent an average of 2.1 hours per day providing primary childcare to household children. Adults living in households where the youngest child was between the ages of 6 and 17 spent less than half as much time providing primary childcare to household children—50 minutes per day. Primary childcare is childcare that is done as a main activity, such as providing physical care or reading to children.
The above gives great perspective to where we are spending our time today. If you make it a priority, there is always time for financial learning. I also wanted to add two other perspectives to my case— the time we spend on our mobile devices and social media.
Mobile Device Time
According to a June 18, 2018 report by emarketer.com, US adults were spending an average of 3 hours, 35 minutes per day on mobile devices in 2018, an annual increase of more than 11 minutes. By 2019, mobile will surpass TV as the medium attracting the most minutes in the US. At the same time, according to a March 8 posting on techjury.net, the average user was spending 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media sites. Yes, that's about 144 minutes per day.
Spend2 is my way of stating the priority and importance of your financial education. As your financial knowledge and confidence grow, you will be able to make more sound decisions. The end result of those decisions should be a much less stressful life. In part 2 of this blog post, I will give you some additional resources you can use as you begin your two-hour journey each week. Spend2 – it will change your financial life.