We now know what time is worth for the average Australian

Jessica Hromas/Getty Images
  • The average Australian would pay $68 to have an extra hour in their day.
  • Young women and middle-aged men say they would pay significantly more to have extra time in their day.
  • Stress levels from a lack of time are substantially higher for younger Australians than for older age groups.

We’ve all heard the expression that “time is money”, referring to the view that time, as a resource, is valuable.

But how just valuable is it?

Well, we now have a broad answer in Australia.

Based on responses from more than 2,000 people in the latest National Australia Bank (NAB) well-being survey, the average Australian would pay $68 to have an extra hour in their day.

However, as seen in the chart below from the NAB, the average amount people would be willing to pay varies greatly depending on your age and gender.


For young women and middle-aged men, respondents said they would pay significantly more for an extra hour in their day compared to those in other demographic groupings, willing to pay, on average, $131 and $100 respectively for an additional 60 minutes.

“It’s perhaps no surprise that young women felt they were most under time pressure and a lack of time caused them more stress than any other age group,” said Dean Pearson, NAB Head of Behavioural and Industry Economics.

“Women aged 18-29 spend on average around 10 hours more per week on household duties such as housework, preparing meals and organising children, than men. While this gender gap appears to narrow as we age, women are still doing a lot more around the home than men.

For middle-aged men, Pearson said the amount willing to be paid may reflect the fact they work the highest number of hours on average, and spend the longest period commuting to work, relative to any other group.

Given those findings, it is unsurprising that both young and middle-aged females and males also said they often feel stressed by having a lack of time compared to older age groups, especially among those with children.

“People who said they are under the most time pressure are young and middle aged people, people with children and high income earners,” Pearson said. “And, the greater your time pressures, the more stress you feel.”


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