Your email inbox, WhatsApp, Slack, and Telegram are about to kersplode over the next three days. (If that’s not true yet and you want to take advantage of tens of thousands in manufactured spend, see Monday’s post.) There’s going to be so much going on that it’ll be impossible to follow everything, so let’s talk weekend ground rules today.

To start, what’s your time worth? I know it’s variable at any given point, but what about this weekend, the Super Bowl of manufactured spend? For me it’s at least $400 or 40,000 points per hour for manual things (versus what I’ve automated away). Given that, I have a cutoff for whether or not I focus on a deal as it rushes through my phone — is the deal going to pay out at $400 per hour? If not, something else will. Move on.


Deal Time
Do it?
Buying an e-gift card for resale
(e.g., Kroger online offers 20% off of Groupon)
1 minute
Yes, if I get at least $200 in spend
Buying a Happy gift card to swap to something else for resale 5 minutes
No, move on, swapping the gift card and the accounting takes too long
Buying a console for resale
(e.g., Gamestop has a PS5 in sock)
30 minutes
Yes, if I can make at least $200
Going to a store to buy gift cards for resale
(e.g., $115 in Target GC for $100)
30 minutes or more
Yes, but only if I can do twenty of them back-to-back at self check-out
Buying money orders with gift cards 20 minutes
No, everything is super-busy right now and you can do this the rest of the year
Buying something for a buyer’s group 10 minutes
Only if it’s a high ticket item for big credit card spend or pays a decent commission
Using FinTechs for bill payment and other shenanigans 5 minutes
Only if I’m getting four figure spend or higher

I’m sure on December 28th I’ll revisit this table and laugh, and by February 4th I’ll revisit it and cry while I remember how good it used to be and with the knowledge that I’m valuing my February time at roughly the same as a Taco Bell cheerios-infused enchiritaco. (Ok, I made menu item that up, but 50/50 it actually exists knowing Taco Bell.)

For the second ground rule: Your time is precious, and it’s ok to walk away from everything and spend time with your friends/family. That time can absolutely be worth more than $400 per hour.

Happy long weekend!

The Taco Bell meal in question.