We all know why people choose to work for big Wall Street banks: “the money.” But is it “worth it?” It’s hard to imagine that it is.

Investment bankers shuffle money around for a living. Even the most generous reading of their role in society would characterize them as a sort of utility for money. At best, they are essentially financial Wal-Mart greeters (“Ask me where to find deodorant, canned goods, or underwriting for your company!”). They certainly cannot justify their jobs on the basis of doing good for society. That’s out the window.

Well, there’s the money. The average Wall Street bonus last year was close to $175,000, on top of at least a couple hundred thousand more in base pay. With even a little time on the job, it’s not hard for a young Wall Streeter to make half a million bucks a year.

So there you are: young, bright, generally despised by the world, with half a million bucks in your pocket. Now what? From Dealbook:

Most top Wall Street firms have sought to change their work policies for young investment bankers in recent years...Goldman, for example, has required that analysts take Saturdays off. Credit Suisse, too, has made employees take Saturdays off, with employees instructed to avoid even email. Bank of America has instituted a policy that requires analysts to “take four days off a month” on the weekends. And JPMorgan Chase has said that one weekend a month should be protected.

Wow, one whole weekend a month away from your spreadsheets. That’s even enough time to take up a hobby, like Netflix. What an awesome way to spend your 20s.

Once you have enough to pay the bills, free time is worth more than money.

Get a real job greed hippies.

[Photo: Flickr]