Time Budget - how to build it?

Howdy folks?

I have more than 50 Spreadsheets about my financial budget. I’ve turned it over and over in every way I could think of with slightly different numbers and sometimes the exact same. I’m confident I can handle my expenses and savings appropriately.

On the other hand, that may be a sign that I’m spending too much time on it? Maybe? Along with internet browsing and time spent working (if I had to guess). Meanwhile, I’m not spending as much time as I’d like on self-improvements and probably not nearly enough on things like sleeping and taking care of my basic needs. So it’s time for a time budget and tracking where my minutes go in order to build better life balance. I’m used to budgeting cash, the technical part of it should be easy, the psychological part, though…

Anyway, the concept isn’t new, I’m sure several of you use time management apps so I’m asking for some feedback on my categories and budgeted numbers thanks in advance to all those who’ll help me further this endeavour.


My categories are:

  • Basic maintenance (sleep, body care, cooking and eating, house cleaning, grocery shopping, going to the doctor and other kind of similar things);
  • Bringing in the money (work and commute);
  • Family;
  • Self improvement (courses I take to better myself, sport, self-learning and so on);
  • Leisure (including travels);
  • Life planning (including building these budgets and tracking expenses (both financial and time related ones);
  • Lobyism (time spent furthering causes I care for, this includes building a website to share about topics I like);
  • Social standing (time spent taking care of my social status, that should work to facilitate further endeavours).

Are there other categories you’d add to the mix?

I’ll be building a prototype budget for November and see how the whole process works for me. This being an ongoing process, your feedback will be very welcome.

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Sorry, i am not sure to understand what you mean. You want to allocate an amount of time for the categories listed? Like a fix schedule?

Not fixed, since it may vary day to day but yes, that’s about considering there are 24h in a day (168 in a week) and doing a 0 sum budget with the use I’m planning to do of that.

For example, my current workday budget would be:

  • Sleep : 7h
  • Bodycare : 0.75h
  • Commute : 0.75h
  • Work : 9h
  • Cooking and eating : 1.5h
  • Self improvement : 1.5h
  • Lobyism (website building) : 1h
  • Leisure : 2h
  • Expenses tracking (CHF and time) : 0.5h

I’ll be keeping track (roughly) of how much time I spend on each category, compiling it more thoroughly on Sunday, to see where my time is going and, mainly, to actively use that time I’m budgeting for self improvement which, otherwise, get thrown out the window for various (sometimes good) reasons.

The purpose is to give more importance to self improvement and actually make it stand, as I realize I’ve spent very few time on it since the beginning of the year even though it was meant to be a point of focus. I’m hoping that using a method I find entertaining (budgeting and accounting) will help to achieve that.