What does the idiom "Time is money" mean?

Time is money is an idiom used by many writers. When idioms are used in the right place, they open the doors of effective communication and increase your descriptive power. In this way, you will be better understood. The meaning of the expression Time is money is also remarkable in this respect.

Meaning of "Time is money"


The idiom ‘time is money’ is used to express the idea that time is as valuable as money, or that one should not waste too much of their time in tasks that do not provide any tangible benefit. That is to say, people who value their time are effectively putting a monetary value on it, as they are using it to make money or to do something that will improve their finances.


The origin of this phrase dates back to over four centuries ago, when it first appeared in print in the book Divers Proverbs by John Heywood in 1546. Its exact words were “The lyfe so short, The craft so long to lerne,” which can be interpreted as “Life is short, and the craft of learning takes a long time,” essentially making the same point as the modern phrase.

The idiom has been used in many other contexts over the years, and its most famous usage is found in Benjamin Franklin’s essay, “Advice to a Young Tradesman,” which was published in 1748. In this essay, Franklin wrote “Remember that time is money”, essentially introducing the phrase to the world.


This phrase is generally used to encourage and urge people to use their time wisely and efficiently. It can be used in various contexts, such as when attempting to motivate someone to work harder or when attempting to motivate them to finish a task on time. For instance, a professor may remind their students that “time is money” when they are behind on their assignments, or a manager may remind their employees that they need to be productive to avoid wasting resources.

It can also be used to emphasize the importance of planning and striving for efficiency. For example, when discussing project management or process improvements, the phrase “time is money” can help emphasize the need for proper planning and utilization of resources.

The phrase is also used as a reminder for people to be mindful of how they spend their time, and to prioritize activities that can result in meaningful gains. For instance, some people may be tempted to spend too much time watching television or engaging in other leisure activities. The idiom can serve as a reminder that these activities add little value

The meanings of the words in the "Time is money" idiom

From Shakespeare to Social Media: The Evolution of English Idioms

English idioms have been around for centuries, with many originating from sources like literature, mythology, and everyday life. Shakespeare, for example, coined many phrases that are still used today, such as "break the ice" and "heart of gold." Over time, new idioms have emerged, with social media and popular culture providing rich sources of inspiration. For instance, the phrase "throwing shade" came into use in the 1990s thanks to ball culture, but has since been popularized by social media.


No comment has been written about Time is money yet, you can write the first comment and share your thoughts with our other visitors.
Leave a Reply