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You Can Always Make More Money, But You Can Never Make More Time
Time is one of the most valuable things we’ve been given in this life.
If you’ve spent more than a few minutes waiting in a line before, you know how it feels when your time is being spent poorly.
Especially if you’re stuck in line by me.
If you’ve invested minutes in laughing with a child or building a relationship with a friend or significant other, you know how it feels when your time is being invested well.
What is it that you value most in life?
What’s something you wish you had more of?
Would you be willing to make sacrifices to have more of what you value?
For me, having come to the realization sometime ago that I won’t live forever, it seems like one of my most precious and most valuable commodities is time.
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There’s Only So Much Time
The hard reality is that time is a finite resource for all of us.
I remember feeling 10 foot tall and bulletproof as a teenager.
But I’m much closer to 5’8″, and I’m not going to live forever.
The fleeting nature of time is one of the primary reasons I want to make the most of the time I have here on Earth.
You can always make more money, but you can never make more time.
As we walk this journey together, I also want to help you to develop the mindset and a set of tangible skills that will allow you to achieve financial freedom as you keep investing time well.
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The way our society operates, it’s a reality that we need money to survive.
Unless you’ve already achieved financial independence, you probably have to trade at least some of your time and unique skills and abilities for money.
The use of the time you spend working has a significant opportunity cost relative to how you might otherwise be able to spend that time.
For me, one of the reasons to become Thrifty Enough is to achieve financial freedom, because that freedom would provide more flexibility for how I can invest my time.
Once you get to the point where you have achieved financial freedom, you won’t need more money.
Then, you can be in a position to otherwise redeem more of the time you would otherwise have been spending trying to pay for next month’s bills.
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What Would I Do With More Time?
To be honest, most of the things I can immediately think of are kind of selfish.
For example, I might go fishing or take a nap or even take a nap while fishing.
When I was in college, I went bowling and watched MacGyver almost every day, so I don’t have the best track record of making use of my time.
I’d like to think my perspective has matured a bit since my college days, though. And my real answer to that question is much more straightforward and much more important.
What I would really like to do is to be investing time more in others.
In my experience, I’ve found the most fulfilling experiences aren’t found in owning things or in being entertained.
In fact, more often than not, I have been disappointed in how ineffective things that were “wants” ultimately were in improving my life at all.
And while entertainment can be an enjoyable pursuit, it often becomes a diversion from investing time in things of greater value. Has your experience been similar?
What would you do with more time? How would you invest it?
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We Are Wealthiest When Investing in Others
My own experience leads me to believe that we are perhaps enjoying the greatest wealth when we are investing time in others.
Building existing family relationships and friendships and developing new friendships is more worthwhile than chasing after more dollars than we need.
Anyway, a using those dollars to buy something like a house with a few extra square feet just means more to clean, heat, and remodel.
And the personal fulfillment in our richest relationships is significantly more refreshing than that new car smell that comes along with a monthly payment and high insurance.
It is even more rewarding than watching your favorite team beat your least favorite, even in a playoff game.
Or, at least it should be.
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The Never-Ending Cycle
Paradoxically, we tend to spend so much of our money on things that really don’t matter that we have to keep spending progressively more time earning progressively more money to pay for them.
And, often, we spend so much of our free time seeking out entertainment, there’s hardly any time left for investing in the people who matter.
Time is significantly more valuable than money, and this is especially true once all of our needs are met.
We have a responsibility to be investing time wisely, and I think almost all of us have a yearning to be investing time in others.
And yet, we waste both so much of our fleeting time and so much money, money that sometimes we don’t even have to spend.
Ironically, for many of us, this cycle only seems to intensify as income increases over time and we succumb to things like lifestyle creep.
Over time, it seems, it costs us more and more money, and more and more time, to pay for the next month’s expenses.
There once was a painter who started working in a neighborhood and quickly discovered something unique. Almost all of the neighbors seemed to know, and like, each other. The painter was highly skilled and kept getting referral after referral. Finally, he asked one of his customers why so many people in the neighborhood got along so well.
Some Encouraging Words
I want to encourage you to work to break the cycle of wasting time and money in your own life and help you to see the value in changing the way you think about those things.
Starting today, let’s become more intentional and effective investors of time.
Let’s endeavor with both our time and our money to make the most of the time we have even now.
That sort of mindset will help us to stay disciplined in achieving our financial goals, which will free up even more time to invest what truly matters.
What value do you place on your time?
How do you live in light of the reality that time is a finite resource?
If you were Thrifty Enough long enough to achieve financial freedom, what would you do with your spare time?
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