Money is freedom as it affords you the ability to call the shots on how you use your time – where to go, what to do, and with whom to share it.
When you have money, you can pursue opportunities that provide meaning and purpose - start a new company, create art, volunteer, advance your knowledge. Time is yours and new and exciting opportunities are possible.
But most of us aren’t free as we are forced into an expensive trade – time for money. We trade 1-2 hours each day commuting, 8-10 hours at a “job”, and another hour or so “detoxing” from the time spent commuting and working. All to fund life.
Some of us love our jobs and it’s a trade we’re happy to make. But if you don’t (or think your job is just O.K.) then it may be time to think about this trade, and reframe the way you think about spending.
Spending = Units of Time
When money leaves your wallet, you’re trading units of time for the good or service being consumed.
If you make $100,000 per year, it translates to roughly $50 per hour (depending on your commuting time, etc.).
So, that $200 purchase is more than just $200 leaving your wallet. It’s four hours of your future time. You’re borrowing time from your future self. Time that’s non-renewable and eroding each minute, hour, day, month and year. Time that could be better spent on something more meaningful.
Spending to Advance Your Mission and Vision
We all have goals, dreams, and deep wants, but most are suppressed. Why? Because deep down we know we’re trapped in a prison of our own creation. We’re forced into the labor trade all to fund the lifestyle. And how do we cope with our time trapped in this prison? We buy stuff.
The “stuff” makes the commute and time at the office feel justified. It’s a dangerous cycle, but it can be broken.
It all comes down to intention. Have no clue where to begin? Try these steps:
Step 1 – Know what you want at a deep level. For some, the best way to bring true wants and goals to the surface is by creating a vision board. Visualize what your best, most meaningful life looks like, and put it on the board. Attempt to answer the following questions:
How do I want to be spending my future time?
With whom am I spending this time with?
Where is this time being spent?
Step 2 – Put the board in a place where you will see it. Doing so will provide daily reminders of your goals and, in turn, will bring intentional actions to the surface. Especially when it comes to money.
Step 3 – Log each expense in an excel spreadsheet, and answer the following questions:
Did this purchase get me closer or further away from my goals?
How much value does this purchase add to my life?
There are certain expenses that are hard to get away from – they just come with living. We need to eat, we need a place to live, and we need certain household items.
But this doesn’t mean you can’t cut down and be more intentional with the essentials.
And a great way to cut back is to gamify spending. Track expenses and see how many units of time you can get back per week by finding less expensive alternatives. If you can save $200 per month on essentials through finding deals, specials, or spending an extra five seconds to see if there is a less expensive alternative, you just gave Future You an extra four hours of time back. Add that up over a year, and Future You gets over a week of time back. All by acting with intention.
Try it for a week. And next week, try to beat this week. You’ll be amazed how much you can save on the essentials.
On a larger scale, the amount of future time you can get back by choosing a less expensive apartment and/or restricting going out to eat will truly amaze you!
Money = Freedom
We spend most of our lives being told what to do. First, our parents. Next, our teachers. We graduate and our bosses tell us what to do, and how to do it. Friends and family go on to tell us what we “should” be doing.
Society tells us what we should value every day.
We grow attached to these expectations and “shoulds”. These "shoulds" cause us to act without intention and we, in turn, succumb to instant gratification, seek out pleasure, and live in a state of perceived scarcity. But these "shoulds" are defined for us, not by us.
Just look around at most of your stuff. How much of it do you really value?
Look at your typical day. Are you being intentional with your time? With your money?
Money can’t buy happiness, but it can provide freedom. Freedom to live life on your terms.
Want to learn more? Schedule your free introductory call here.