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Spending Time Like Money

Summer is over and it’s back-to-school time! How do you go from having tons of free time to not? It helps to think of time as money and spend it as if you were on a budget.

So, obviously, there are 24 hours in a day. Multiply 24 hours by seven days for the total number of hours in a week — 24 x 7 = 168. Let’s say you have 168 to “spend” over a week.kid holding a clock

The average elementary school student spends about seven hours in school each day. That includes lunch and recess. We’re also including the time it takes to get to and from school. Multiply 7 x 5 = 35. You spend 35 hours at school each week.

One hour of homework each school day is about average. You may have more or less, but let’s use one hour as an example. Multiply 1 x 5 = 5 hours.

Meals with the family, chores and your personal care — like taking showers and getting dressed — might take around two hours a day. Multiply 2 x 7 = 14 hours per week.

So, where are we so far? 35 + 5 + 14 = 54 hours. We’ve got 114 more hours to spend!

Sleep is one of the most important things to do each day. It allows your body to rest and recharge so you’re energized and focused on the day’s activities. The recommended number of hours of sleep each night for kids your age is 10. Multiply 10 x 7 = 70 hours.

This leaves 44 hours each week to spend as you like. But, that includes weekend days. In an average school day you actually have about four hours of free time, right? That’s because in a 24-hour weekday, it adds up like this: 7 (school) + 1 (homework) + 2 (meals/personal care/chores) + 10 (sleep) = 20 hours. So, you have four hours during a school day to spend on activities like soccer practice, violin lessons, hanging out with friends, playing video games, reading, watching TV, etc.

It’s fun to break down your day into chunks so you can see how to “budget” your 168 hours each week. If you had $168, you’d spend it in a similar way — dividing it into categories like things you need and things you want!

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