I’ve been purging a lot of stuff from our family’s home and life recently. As most people who have gone through any kind of downsizing will tell you, it makes you stop and think a little bit about the value (or absence of value) of your stuff.
If you’d like to have a similar epiphany without getting rid of your house, try having a garage sale. Something about pricing your items for strangers really brings the idea of “value” into focus.
While part of this process for me has been learning about what I don’t want to spend money on anymore, the fact remains that I work for a living for a reason. I do still spend money. There are things I want to have and do, and that’s why I’m not hanging out in a tent in the woods somewhere living off the land.
I’m just starting to develop higher standards for what I deem worthy of my time and work - because that’s really what I’m giving up when I make a purchase. If you follow my money’s life cycle, it comes to me by way of work and leaves me by way of purchases. Instead of thinking of purchases in terms of dollars and cents, I’ve started think of them in terms of hours spent working.
So what is worth spending a few hours at the computer?
Really good food. I love enjoying a meal with my family that is both delicious and healthy - even if it costs an extra hour at the keyboard.
Seeing and doing new things. This could be travel, visiting a new restaurant, or discovering a new neighborhood. The price varies, but the thrill of discovery is the same.
Warmth. I hate being cold. I will work overtime to provide heat, blankets, wool sweaters, or a tropical vacation - whatever is necessary to keep me from shivering.
I’m sure that’s not all, but those are the things that immediately spring to mind when I weigh going to work against living a life of leisure in a tent.
What about you? What are you working for?