Money Costs Time

debt-slave

We spend our time not our money:
Money is in reality, a more convenient form of the barter system, allowing us to trade with anyone else in the world for a normalized rate. For most of us, in order to obtain money, we must exchange our time to obtain it. But what we rarely consider is the true cost of giving up our time: personal dreams, our families, our communities, and often our happiness. The real question we should ask is not, how much money does a material item cost, but rather, how much time will this product cost me? Is ego or comfort truly worth years of your life?

The true price of an item is human: 
When items are on sale we believe we are actually getting a deal. In reality, we are buying into the illusions of marketing propaganda. Cheap products are only because of slave wages, poor working conditions, or undermining our own manufacturing base. We are cutting off our nose to spite our face. Spending less is beneficial in the short-term, but it also means we have less to spend on the long-term. We may as well consider Walmart to be like a drug dealer. The first one is always free. But ultimately, our country is losing everything in pursuit of the high, or should I say, low prices.

A banana is a banana is a banana:
Today’s products are essentially the same products that existed 5000 years ago. And considering mass production, they should be even cheaper in todays world. Yet somehow they are 100 times more expensive. Why? The reason prices go up isn’t because the product is inflating. Rather, it is because the value of money is deflating. Currency has nothing to back itself up other than the emperor’s new clothes. If society believes it’s real, then it’s real. If society believes it’s worthless, then it becomes worthless.

Having more will not make you happy:
Based upon the programing of consumerism, we have learned to attach our value to our objects. We have come to believe that having more means you are important and successful. But the actual value of an item is often created rather than based solely on the cost of the supply chain. Look at the tag. Coach bags costing 300$ are made in China just like the 30$ genuine leather bag found at Walmart. The pride of brand is just an illusion of worth created by marketing. Authentic value in life is in actuality, time. Time with family, beach outings, cabin fireplaces, local fairs, reading under an old oak tree, petting your dog, or snuggling on the couch. True value is innate, it cannot be purchased, because it is internal and experiential.

When is enough enough:
We cannot go on and on perpetually growing through consuming. At some point, we have more than enough. Prioritizing time over money doesn’t mean you need to live like a monk. If your want a harley, then get one, but then drive a Toyota rather than a BMW. Debt makes you a slave to the lender. If you live within the freedom of minimalism, you’ll find you have ample resources to see the world, explore ideas, eat new foods, and laugh with old friends. Beaches are essentially free. Forests cost nothing but a picnic lunch. Mountains give vistas away for nothing. When we prioritize people over objects, we lower our level of financial stress, allowing us to be joyful, like children once again.

Shayne Mason Vincent, MSW
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