This is a classic question. Which do you prefer, time or money? Choose one.
I’ve been hearing that question on my satellite radio on a commercial for 6 months…and just recently, a few people have brought this up on my facebook feed. I don’t live in 140 characters at a time…so here’s my philosophy.
Time is precious. We have a finite time on this planet.
Money is scarce. We must work hard in order to get it. When we do get it, it has a promise to make the quality of our life better. Note, money doesn’t make you happier, but it can make attaining things you need/want far easier.
I think this answer may differ from person to person because of how they were brought up and what their life experiences are. For me, I didn’t grow up with the most amount of money. I was mostly a really happy kid because my parents spent a lot of time with me and while I may not have had the most expensive things, I got to live the childhood of a kid that was pretty active.
But you know what? I saw some interesting things:
- Since we didn’t have money, we therefore didn’t have the nicest clothing, shoes, sports equipment, bikes, etc. I didn’t really care much about this in the least until 4th grade and kids started wearing Nike Air Jordans and my brother and I were wearing cheap knock offs. You were a “cool kid” if you had them. Then in 7th-8th grade was the Jams shorts epidemic. It then started getting to a point where it dealt with WHERE you got them more than the brand. I didn’t like these games. Many times, when you don’t have these things, in these particular school districts, you are treated as a second-class citizen.
- When you didn’t have money, as stated above, you were treated as a second-class citizen, which then had you excluded from social circles and girls looked down on you.
- Teachers, believe it or not, would treat you differently. I had to blow away everyone academically in order to be accepted.
- When people don’t have money, there are often fights about it.
That all being said, I have focused a lot of my life in making more of this than others. I don’t wish to be “superior” to anyone, I wish to not be excluded, looked down upon, or treated differently.
This required me to sacrifice a LOT of time in my life to achieve money. I looked at this as an investment on the quality of my life. What I found is interesting, is this:
- If you choose a path where there is scarcity in employment candidates, you can make more money.
- If you put in time with college and graduate school, you can make more money
- If you work more hours than others, you learn your trade better, and get promoted faster than your colleagues.
- If you are dependable and punctual, you are more apt to be chosen for great assignments. These assignments may teach you valuable skills to cash in on later.
- If you live in this country, make great decisions, and put in the time/work, you can live the American dream. Things are not given to you.
So this required me to sacrifice a lot of time from 18-40. I now have more money.
But now what????
Now I’m finding I want more time in my life. I want to also EXTEND my lifespan. Things I want to do to add more time??
- I wanted to use a part time maid/lawn service. While I did this for some time, the wife put an end to this. Now we fight over cleaning and don’t have as much time. Working on it.
- Meal prep. Rather than cook 1 hour a night, it’s nice to make up a LOT of food over 2-3 days and this covers most of my meals for the month.
- Paying down debt. While a lot of people I know are going on nice vacations, I want to pay down debt as much as possible. This may then translate to me being able to take a job much closer to home at a lower rate – but still live the same quality of life. For the next 1-2 weeks, I’m able to get OT from my job. Jumping on it!!
- Working on my health. I have this health blog here I ramble at from time to time. I think before I started the health blog, I was going to be dead inside 1-3 years. The amount of stress and poor choices I made with my health was having my life coming to an end prematurely. I feel I’m now on a path to a normal life span. So, I bought more time to the end of my life to enjoy a retirement someday.
So, the overall point I’d say to many is…
If you didn’t grow up with a lot of money, it drives people to compete to be accepted by society. This drive has you sacrifice time in your 20’s and 30’s. Sometimes, your health takes a backseat and this drive can shorten your lifespan via poor health choices and stress. You then are often pining for more time in your life – and you make adjustments accordingly after you feel you’ve hit your pinnacle.
Time vs money? It’s a matter of where you are in your life. But if you work hard when younger, this then sets you up for the last 40-50 years of your life to have both time AND money.
Many people today don’t want to sacrifice their time. Their quality of life is more important than money. I just read something this week that stated that 78% of all Americans are paycheck to paycheck. I want you to really, really process this stat. Maybe Americans should all cut back on the luxurious cruises for a year or two and fatten their savings account – then go back to your regularly scheduled cruises!