Sunday, August 26, 2007

Do Better With Your Time

Recently, I've been extremely busy with some work commitments. The
interesting thing for me is that this increased work activity has
really helped crystallize some of my feelings with regard to time. And
these ideas are a critical part about my view on personal finance. I'm
curious to know if others feel similarly.

Time is money. That is, Time, in some way, contains energy. Money, is
also energy. In the act of working, I am able to compound and increase
the amount of money that I have. I am exchanging my time and effort
and thought which are components of my work, for the productivity that
I produce. And this production gets me money from my employer.

However, the first dollars that I make each day, week, or month are
the most valuable. Then the ones that I make at the end are the most
valuable. (Forget about taxes for a minute.)

The reason is, the first ones help me have a place to live and food to
eat. And the last ones are the ones that I can use to really improve
my life long term by saving, investing, and planning for the future
(both short and long term).

Obviously, you want to earn those first dollars first so you can
survive. But its the dollars you make at the end which make you
"happy" in the sense that they secure not just your todays, but your
tomorrows as well.

All of this is important because I realize that lately, I have given a
tremendous amount of my time (which is energy) to my work
committments. And although I go through this from time to time, it is
easy to start to wonder why it is worth doing. And the simple answer
is this:

I don't know how long I will live, but I think it will be a long time.
And I don't know how long I'll be able to really work, but I'm sure it
will be less than I'd like.
So why not make myself as comfortable as possible, by saving more than
I need right now while I can, so that later, when I do need it, it
will be there?

I challenge everyone to do better with their time. Time should be
spent doing something of value; something that makes you really happy.
Or if not that, then it should be spent so that you have the things
you need to live. And if not that, at the very least, it should be
spent accumulating so that at some point in the future you can do more
of what makes you happy, while doing less work.


Anonymous said...

The critical point is that you'll never be young again. You should save while you can, but also live while you can - I never regretted some of the 'wasteful' spending of money I did when I was younger to travel to Europe or take a pointless class in college, etc. I am also happy that rather than spend everything I had I put a little bit aside, making my life now easier because I started saving earlier...

Pamela said...

I totally agree. We all have a choice in deciding what is good for us. Some may want to experience happiness right away, while others may want to accumulate it for the future.

Alan said...

I agree. It doesn't matter if we are are not doing it right now. As long as we are preparing for our future, it would be sufficient.