One of the goals of personal finance in my opinion is not only to have the money you need and want but also to have the time to spend it. Tim Ferriss, the author of the 4 Hour Workweek, wrote about just that on his blog yesterday. He pointed to the fact that more income tends to translate to less leisure time and its general impact on our lives. For me this was a very timely post since I just spent most of two weeks off where I was thinking about work or my side project a great deal. A lot of this time simply didn’t feel like time off.
In order to make more money we have to be willing to give up more time; I completely understand this and I am willing to give up some of my time to make more money. But there is a fine line there. I have a fair amount of experience in my field and although I would not call myself an expert I do believe that I provide valuable insights and am worth a certain amount for my time. Unfortunately around this time last year I took a large pay cut for a great learning experience work wise. It’s been a year since then and I am now wondering what the return on future time investment will be. From a purely monetary point of view I believe that I should go back to making more money again (which I am partially). The larger question is am I willing to give up the same amount of time that I have up to this point? The simple answer is no.
Time is money. If you’ve ever heard that before you can quickly understand what that means and having time for leisure activities is just as important as having the money. Tim in his post alluded to knowing people who work a great deal and have fancy cars that collect dust. I do not want to trade happiness for a paycheck and I don’t think anyone should.
People should not forget that if all they do is work then they won’t have any time to enjoy the fruits of their labors. Happiness has to be part of the equation of life or it can very quickly loose its meaning. One of my goals for the year was to figure out what to do about my job, I am still working on this, but I am more and more convinced that this does not include trading more of my leisure time for more money. I took a pay cut to be where I am, I have learnt a great deal, and now I believe that staying with similar money for more free time for myself is something that I am going to include in my work goals. I want to be able to spend quality time with my friends, my family, and my wife.