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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Teachers, believe it or not, would treat you differently.  I had to blow away everyone academically in order to be accepted.
  4. 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:

  1. If you choose a path where there is scarcity in employment candidates, you can make more money.
  2. If you put in time with college and graduate school, you can make more money
  3. If you work more hours than others, you learn your trade better, and get promoted faster than your colleagues.
  4. 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.
  5. 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??

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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!!
  4. 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!