Why You Should Look To Buy Time Than Just Hoarding Money?
Consider a hypothetical scenario. You are given the following two choices, and you need to choose one.
- Broke with the age of 20
- Billionaire with the age of 80
What did you choose? Probably, it was the first option. If you did, doesn’t the option of having a billion dollars tempt you? Why did you choose the option to be broke? The answer lies in the most important currency in the world: time.
You chose the first option because you thought that to be more valuable than second one. You probably think that 60 years of your time is worth more than a billion dollars. Let’s increase the amount to five billion. Would you still choose the first option? At what amount would you consider the second option? You answer will tell how you perceive “time” in your life.
Time, Health & Money
In the early stage of your life, you will have abundance of time, high energy, and sound health. But, you have little to no money. The positive is that you have time on your side to do whatever that you aspire to do. And that is the reason why many of us choose the first alternative.
In the latter stage of your life, you have lots of money, but very little energy. Most part of your life is also behind you, and whatever is left is limited. This means that whatever money you have accumulated till now won’t be put to optimal use since you won’t be able to enjoy it all due to the lack of energy.
When you are at this stage, you would have realised that having huge sums of money with poor health is a waste. There are some experiences in life that are best enjoyed at a certain age. You can take mountaineering for example. You won’t be able to do that when you are 80 years old. That is something that must be done when you are young.
YOLO vs FIRE
Most of your money, as we have seen, goes to waste because you won’t be able to spend all of it after your retirement. Many people are stuck in another rat race of chasing money. On the other hand, there are people who outspend their income, following the concept of “YOLO” (You Only Live Once). These are two extreme ends, and you need not pick any one side exclusively. Instead, your life should be a balance of both.
Coming to the concept of traditional retirements, or even the FIRE community, where people go on accumulating money and when they reach a particular number, they quit their jobs and start “living life”. Rather that going with that approach, you can go with the concept of mini-retirements, which was popularized by Tim Ferriss (go read his blog).
Mini-retirement is the perfect example of having your cake and eating it too. Rather than working for two decades and pushing your retirement after that, you can split that into multiple parts and prepone them. A mini-retirement of 3 to 6 months every 2 to 4 years will keep you excited and you would also have something to look forward to.
We know that time is the greatest form of currency which one has — something that cannot be bought back once you’ve spent it. This is something which is different from money, because you can definitely earn more money, but you can’t do the same with time. If there’s just one lesson that you must takeaway from this post, it would be this: You must try to optimise your life to make the best possible use of your time, as opposed to making more money.
Now it doesn’t mean that you should ignore money all together. Yes, money is required. Just don’t make it the sole purpose of your life. If you stack huge amount of money, but don’t have the time to enjoy it, what is the point of all that money. All that money goes to waste. In the end, I’ll leave you with a wonderful quote by Steve Jobs:
My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It’s really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.
Till next time.