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« Have You Ever Taken Risks to Try and Improve Your Career? | Main | What Professions are Likely to Have High and Low Net Worths? »

November 17, 2009


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Great post. Money is really a trade off, and I would trade all the money I make over $150,000 to be happy and with the wife :)

Oddly enough, one of the things on my list is something I regularly trade for money -- my talents :) I'm thankful for the gifts that I have that let me be creative and fulfilled, and also keep me employed!

Mind you, I also give them away (volunteering and hobbies).

I agree with you about the "cost" of money vs other things.

But I didn't understand your point of describing over-the-top example of the woman with the ridiculous and expensive hobby. Initially, I thought we were all supposed to shake our heads and go "tsk tsk, what a irresponsible waste of money". But at the end you imply that she has a huge trust fund to support her spending. So apparently her spending is not sending her to the poorhouse, nor does she apparently need to accumulate wealth for any practical reason. So why shouldn't she indulge in her obsession?

because addictions can often while serving us in the moment control us in the long run. She expresses unhappiness with her use of time. The point is, she has traded things she loves (relationships, fulfillment) for collections, in the same way that in our modern society we sometimes trade things we value for status and money, even when we say our values are different.

What an interesting post! The psychology of money is quite intriguing. I'll be adding this book to my Amazon wish list :)

1) My wife and my very happy 53 year marriage.
2) Our health.
3) The memories of all the incredible vacations we have had and the art & antiques that we collected on our journeys.
4) The fun times, camping, backpacking, skiing, fishing & attending sporting events with our kids. I never missed a practice or game and assisted the coaches in every possible way.
5) A wonderful and very satisfying career with creative work, great colleagues, and great bosses.

I can't think of any of my life experiences that I would have ever traded for money. Money is like the gasoline you put in your car, it enables you to have very enjoyable experiences, whereas a stockpile of unused gasoline however wouldn't do much for me unless gasoline was suddenly unavailable. You only really get enjoyment and pleasure from the money you spend, a stockpile of it just sitting around only adds extra security.

My money goals were never lofty, I was just in the right place at the right time on a few occasions. My working life in the USA from 1958 until 1992 turned out to be a great period, and my retirement years from 1992 to the present have been even better. Unfortunately I am not very hopeful that we will ever return to those prosperous years again - far too many great jobs throughout the USA have been lost forever.

I traded time: worked VERY HARD, LONG HOURS from early 90's to middle of this decade, result was being able to retire, healthy and wealthy at age 47, it IS worth it IMHO. Sure I missed a lot working holidays, birthdays, weekends, evenings,etc., can't tell you who recorded what hits or played in the super bowl. I took care of my clients (as a financial planner) and the $$ rolled in - at least for me, from over $200K in early 94 to $500K a year in '03. I lived on about $50K~, paid taxes, rented modest but nice homes (no time for maintenance/improvements you see) invested and saved the rest (to about $2.85M), today I am work free forever, the home is paid off and I have about $2.35M to live off in addition to a military pension (and health care as a disabled/retired vet) of $32K~ annually. First million took till 41, it comes faster after that but, I stopped just before $3M

Work is good for you. I've been unemployed, and sitting around all day doing nothing of consequence SUCKS. Being productive for somewhere between about 25 and 50 hours a week seems to me about the right amount. More than that is stressful (though possibly worth it), and less than that is boring. Now, being "productive" can take a lot of forms -- paid work, volunteering, raising a child, and so on. I've made the choice to trade paid work for raising a child (but I'm only able to do it because my wife does extremely valuable work.)

When it comes to spending money, I routinely make the same calculation as the kid buying the soda: how many minutes/hours/days of (my or my wife's) work does the thing I'm buying cost? Is this the best use of those minutes/etc of work? And when I do something to earn more money, I often make a similar calculation: how much time/health/freedom/enjoyment am I giving up now, and how much time/health/freedom/enjoyment can I buy with what I earn from this?

I find that thinking of money in this way makes me more prone to certain types of spending (quality furniture, good tools or utensils, etc.) and less prone to other types (fast food, movies, etc.) And thinking of work this way makes me willing to occasionally turn down an offer to work a few extra hours; while I was writing this post I got a call asking if I could work Thursday morning, and I declined because I want to spend that time getting the apartment clean and set up for game night Thursday night.

@ JeffinwesternWa -- Just out of curiosity, do your family and friends agree? Your experience is so contrary to my own that I'm curious to know more.

Right now I feel like I'm choosing between two kinds of investments -- trying to earn more money and get ahead at work versus building my social network and finding a spouse. I can't help but think it's easy for married people to rake in the cash when they have someone else to pick up the slack.

yes, they do, I told them it wasn't "forever, I laid out my plans and worked the plan. Now, I'm planning 3 weeks w/ them in Florida afteer a nice 2 week fall visit to Maine, today, I slept to 10am after years 6 days of 0600 alarms, workouts and work...I even often worked 2-6 hourts 1-2 Sunday evening s aweek back, I am FREE! My girlfriend enjoys my schedule too,I simply work around here's and convinced her to be self-emplyed after she was laid off last year...I often hear the "excuse" "I want family time" etc., it's a ruse to NOT work hard cuz a middle mgt salary and 2 weeks vacation and a few holidays a year for 20-40 yers is NOT quality time! Work SMARTER, HARDER and if you can find the NICHE, for YOURSELF!

jeffinwesternwa, that's so great of you!

in this article, what does immersion in life means actually?


Thanks for sharing. I'm right behind you, I guess. Followed the same principle, hit my first million at 34/35, currently working on the 2nd one which should come in by next yr hopefully.

My question for you is what do you do to fill your days and keep your mind active & challenged?

Money for me is secondary- life experiences and continued learning is my primary goal.


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