If you were to choose between money and time, which option would you go for?
For some, the answer is easy: it’s money. The reason, of course, is that people measure one’s level of success and wealth by the size of one’s bank account, number of properties, investments and other assets.
Children grow up thinking that to be happy, they need to live in a mansion, own several expensive automobiles and have a fat bank account — or that having money (lots of it) is the key to happiness. This way of thinking puts a tremendous amount of stress on people who then end up second-guessing the choices they make in life.
If, say, you chose to be a small-time vegetable farmer rather than the high-powered corporate lawyer your parents wanted you to be, would you consider yourself successful? Perhaps not in the eyes of a society where more money means success.
The problem with chasing money
Wanting to be financially independent is a good thing. Setting out to achieve financial security by saving, getting insurance, investing and working extra is a practical and desirable goal.
The problem lies in how some people get too caught up in the idea of chasing money. Instead of working to live, they end up living to work. They spend day after day, week after week, and then months and years accumulating money, hoping someday they’ll have the time to enjoy the fruits of their labour.
But then, how much money is enough?
People find themselves so engrossed in their never-ending quest for more money that they end up sacrificing their precious time. Then, before they know it, they realise that the person they see when they look in the mirror is an old man or woman who spent their best years accumulating material wealth.
Shifting the attention from material wealth to time wealth
The term “time wealth” or “time affluence” refers to a person’s ability to spend time on things or activities that matter to them or give them personal satisfaction. But who is really rich: the one who possesses time wealth or the one who has amassed material wealth?
There’s a famous adage that says “time is gold,” and it still rings true today. When people are working, they are literally using time and energy to generate money through the salary or income they receive. In a larger sense, as long as one has time, the opportunity to build or accumulate wealth remains.
But when all one has is money, one can’t even use it to buy time. This is especially true for people who forget to take care of themselves and their relationships in their desire to become rich. They end up alone, get sick or die because of their relentless pursuit of money.
Smartly spend your time wealth
For a period in your life, time spent accumulating material wealth may seem worthwhile. However, you can make better use of your time on things that’ll satisfy you personally rather than financially.
Remember your lifelong dreams and your relationships?
Make time for them and nurture them. They’re the reason you started making money in the first place.
And with everything you know about finance, you can afford to pause from work and focus on living — really living.
But if you need wealth advice or tips to help you make better financial decisions suitable for your unique situation, get in touch with a professional financial adviser.
If this article has inspired you to think about your own unique situation and, more importantly, what you and your family are going through right now, please contact your advice professional.
This information does not take into account the objectives, financial situation or needs of any person. Before making a decision, you should consider whether it is appropriate in light of your particular objectives, financial situation or needs.