Friday, October 9, 2009

Spending, Spending, Spending

I just read a book called Your Money or Your Life. I strongly recommend it. The premise is that we all choose to spend a certain amount of our precious time here on earth working (i.e. earning money). Therefore, every time you buy something, you are basically exchanging a certain amount of your time on earth for that thing. Because the time that we have on this planet is limited, it should go without saying that we should be super-conscious of what we spend. The book goes on to help you figure out how much you really make per hour (after you include commuting, clothes for work, therapy (if needed from work!), lunches, etc.). After you have that figure, each time you go to spend money, you can think, is this item worth X hours of my life? If not, you don't buy it. If it is, you can buy it and enjoy it even more knowing that it is a worthwhile purchase. There are many more details and many other parts to the book, but this is the basic idea.

It really makes me think differently about that coffee I loved to get in the morning before work. Or that dinner I went to with friends because I hadn't seen them in a while and I felt like I should. What I most appreciate about this philosophy, is that it makes you much more conscious about spending. Much more thoughtful about whether something is worth buying to you rather than buying because you feel like you should or because you supposedly need this item. Very enlightening and a great new way of thinking.

Jessica O.

1 comment:

  1. I disagree with the particulars of this: that time is money and vice versa. First of all, it's not really as elastic as that: if I'm making a salary, even if I compute the hourly rate and say I make $x/hour, I can't work one more hour and make $x more. Second of all, "Anyone who says time is money doesn't understand the value of time" - probably misquoted from someone.

    Also, the idea that work is a machine that lets you and me convert time into money is a little reductionistic- maybe I'm having fun at work one day, so I get money and fun! Or, I get money and experience. Furthermore, you could easily extrapolate on that and say my time is more valuable than, say, a teacher's, which is clearly not true.

    However, I'm really just splitting hairs. I agree with the sentiment!