Data collection overview. This research was approved by the ethics board at the University of British Columbia (H17-02217). To test our hypotheses, we recruited graduating college students from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada (see Table 1 for the demographic characteristics of the sample). Between August 2014 and June 2016 (T1), more than 1000 senior undergraduate students completed a validated measure of time and money trade-offs—the ROM—described in detail above (n = 1232).

Students either completed this measure as part of a larger annual survey of graduating students that was run by the university (21%), or they completed this measure while participating in other ongoing research in our department (79%). In September 2017 (T2), we invited all consenting students to complete a brief follow-up survey in exchange for the chance to win prizes.

Only 172 respondents who completed the ROM measure at T1 did not complete the full measures at T2 (leaving 1060 of 1232 respondents), suggesting that we had relatively low attrition across our measurement points. Students who completed the ROM at T1 but did not complete T2 measures did not significantly differ on any variable that we examined in the study (i.e., demographics, well-being, and materialism; see the Supplementary Materials).

As described above, because we recruited participants using various strategies, there was variability in how much time had elapsed between the T1 and T2 surveys. On average, students completed the two surveys 439.33 days apart (SD = 83.03), and 98.5% of the sample completed the survey between 12 and 24 months after graduation. The amount of time between the T1 and T2 surveys was not significantly associated with our key measures of interest (P ≥ 0.130); therefore, this variable is not discussed further (see Tables 2 and 3 for relevant correlation tables).

Age correlation is based on smaller subsample of n = 823. +P ≤ 0.10, *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, and ***P < 0.001.

+P ≤ 0.10, *P < 0.05, **P < 0.01, ***P < 0.001.

T2 survey overview. As part of the T2 survey, respondents completed several well-being measures and reported on “their current primary activity.” Students reported whether they were employed part-time or full-time, attending graduate school, completing an internship, or spending most of their time completing another activity (see below for more details). Students then reported their primary motivation for completing this activity, their gender, the highest educational attainment of their parents, and a short three-item materialism scale (27), and they once again completed the ROM [(13); in this order].

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