The Luxury of Today: Having Time AND Money

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A good balance of time and money: The luxury of today

Look around you and see what most people nowadays are after. I would argue it comes down to happiness and a sense of peace and fulfilment in life. But on a more superficial level and what most people would answer is: TIME and MONEY.

I think that the luxury of today is to enjoy a good balance of time AND money. But all too often we struggle with one or the other. Many times we seem to be in a situation where we have to choose one or the other.


Time is getting more important than money

If you had to choose, what is more important for you, MONEY or TIME?

Some decades ago the answer would be clearly “money”. People used to work more hours and had less free time. The job was of high priority and earning enough money to maintain a large family was inevitable. Saving was something everyone did. If you talk to older generations they will likely emphasise the importance of having a stable job in a stable company and a stable salary. The priority would be money over time. 

What about younger generations? Time is becoming more and more important. The job market has changed, what was impossible before is possible today. Most jobs are no longer in the manufacturing industry, but in services. The service sector is less stable but more flexible. Flexibility is precisely what young generations want. Millennials want to have a nice balance between work and free time. They prefer to travel, discover new places and new jobs, enjoy their time and start planning a family much later. Many of them would choose time over money.  


We tend to see what we lack rather than what we have

Now, what about you? Let me guess: If you have a lot of time but no money, you say MONEY. If it’s the other way round you’ll shout: TIME!

It’s because we often answer based on our current situation. We tend to see what we lack rather than what we have. I know it from myself, as I really jumped from one extreme to the other. I used to work far away from home, earn decent money and had very few time for myself. I used to say: Time is more important! When I quit my job I had 24 hours for myself and no income. I said: I love it, but how much time will I be able to live out of my savings?

2 questions that made me quit my job

The decision to quit my 9-6 job (spending 13 hours a day working and travelling from and to work) came from two questions I made myself. 

The first was: How much is 1 hour of my life worth? I divided my salary in hours I invested in my job. “Invested” means as well the hours I spent in the train and unpaid lunch break. The result was a joke. One hour of my life was much more worth than what I was paid.

The second question was: What is the price I pay for keeping this job? We are used to think about the money we earn with a job, not what we actually pay for keeping it. It simply means what do you sacrifice for your job? Your family time, travelling, hobbies, health? Sometimes it’s necessary to ask yourself this question. My answer was: the price is too high.

Get “balanced”

I know that finding a balance between time and money can be a real struggle. It’s not easy at all. Everyone is in different conditions and has to take into account different factors. But where there is a will there is a way. Sometimes it takes just guts to make an important decision. Sometimes it’s baby steps you take over a long period of time.

The reward is, however, worth it: It’s a real luxury of the 21st century. 


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