What are you sacrificing for money? Is it Time? Or perhaps physical or mental health? It is a question that I think many people don’t bother to ask themselves, as they don’t feel that they are sacrificing anything. I have been wanting to write this post for a while now and I finally got the motivation to do so after reading this post over at The Free Financial Advisor where The Other Guy asked the following question:
What’s the purpose of money?
Money equals happiness. Happiness is freedom. Freedom to do what you please with whom you please when you please. I’m not talking about being pompous, flashy, or flamboyant, but rather just having the ultimate freedom to do whatever you want.
Then I also saw the following image of the Dali Lama which an old colleague of mine posted on Facebook:
As my extended leave from work is fast coming to an end, I have found myself thinking more and more about money and what I am giving up in order to get more of it.
So What Are You Sacrificing For Money?
The most obvious thing that I am sacrificing for money is my time, although I am sure both my health and mental state are also suffering… Anyway, for me personally when I return to work in a couple of weeks I will be sacrificing time away from my wife my newborn son and let’s not forget Ricky.
As I am getting older, it is becoming more and more apparent that my time is a valuable thing, it isn’t something that I can get a refund on if it doesn’t turn out the way I wanted it to – once it’s spent, it’s spent. Over the last few years I have started to feel like time is slipping away from me. Each day becomes shorter than the last and weeks start blurring into months that soon become years.
Something that I am all too aware of is how much time I spend at work. You know – the 9 to 5 daily grind, or in my case it begins at 6:30am and finished at 3pm. My wife and I realised that time was important to us a couple of years ago and we decided to each take a 15% pay cut to enjoy the benefits of working a 9 day fortnight instead of the traditional 10 day.
Obviously if you just look at the numbers then this was a foolish move. 1 day out of 10 only equals 10%, and we are both losing 15%. So as a family unit we are essentially out of pocket 10% of our total take home pay each fortnight. Nevertheless, we both enjoy our day off immensely, it gives us a chance to unwind and do things like go to the beach without having to deal with the crowds and the traffic.
A year ago this month we were reminded of just how important time is when one of my wife’s best friends was cruelly taken away from us with melanoma in her early twenties. It was a huge shock to the system, and I think both my wife and I now appreciate our time far more because of this tragedy than we ever could have before.
I tend to group people into 2 main categories.
- The people who have lots of money and heaps of stuff they don’t really need, but who never really experience much of the world.
- The people who get to travel and experience the different sites, wonders and cultures of the world, but never have much money to their name.
Currently both of my brothers are a long way from home. They are touring the USA and have had the opportunity to experience New York and Las Vegas before they both experience living life in sunny London for the next year. I group them into category 2.
I am having a slightly different life experience – learning how to care for a new born baby (So I put myself into category 1). Each of these different walks of life cost money, but the difference is that I have never really done the big overseas travel thing. It is something that I really want to do, but I have always been ruled by my mindset of paying off debt as fast as possible, and getting more money to set myself up for later in life. The problem is that lately I have been starting to wonder – when is “later in life” and how will I know when I get there?
I do want to do more traveling around the world before my time on this Earth is finished, but now I will have to do this with at least 1 child. I could wait until he is grown up, but then I may be in poor health and I could miss the boat entirely. I don’t regret the decision to have a child – I wouldn’t give Nick up for anything in the world, but I do want more time to be able to live my life the way I want to live it.
Unfortunately for me to live the life I want to live I need to get more money, and the most likely way for me to get that money is to continue working at my desk job. So the obvious question is – how much money do I need? Well that’s an interesting question, and unfortunately I don’t have an answer – I should, but I don’t. I will have to ponder this over the coming days and weeks before more time slips away. All I know at this point is that I don’t need a lot of money, just enough for me to get by and support my family. I have no need for extravagant material things, but I do want to travel before I get too old.
What are your views on life, money and the time you have left? Do you have any profound insight to offer about your own life or for me personally?