Why is it that no matter how many ways and gadgets we utilize to save time, we never have enough? Making money is a priority, so that effort takes up the largest chunk of our time. We use that money to reward ourselves with things—a new car, boat, motorcycle, jet ski, or some other bright, shiny object that seizes our attention. But do you then actually enjoy these gifts? Let’s look at time deprivation and the reality of what owns you.
I’ll share a personal example. I live on an island off the coast of North Carolina. It makes perfect sense for me to have a boat. So, three years ago, I bought one. And being me, I bought a really nice one. But I’m so busy making a living that I don’t take the time to go fishing on my beautiful boat. Notice that I said “take the time” and not “have the time”, because how you use your time is a choice.
I’ve used my boat about 15 to 20 times since I bought it. I estimate that I’ve spent about $10,000 for every fish I’ve caught from this boat. That number factors in the cost of the boat, the maintenance, and the time to haul it to the water’s edge and launch it.
“You can’t put a price on happiness.” While that may be true, I can put a price on the investment in my fishing excursions and $10,000 is a bit high for a fish.
So, I asked myself, do I own this boat or does it own me?
I own the boat outright, so it does indeed belong to me. However, I don’t own it. I merely paid a price. I don’t take the time to reap the rewards of having this wonderful possession.
Is it worth it? Don’t get me wrong. I love being out on my boat, inhaling the salty air and feeling the freedom of open waters. But this boat makes zero financial sense. We don’t often use financial sense when buying. It’s an emotional experience. I don’t care whether you’re buying a $800 pair of Louboutins or a $20,000 Harley Davidson. It doesn’t matter. You buy these luxuries purely for emotional satisfaction, not logic.
Why would a family of three purchase a 5,000-square-foot home? Because they want it, not because it’s the wise choice.
Over the past five months, I’ve made some important changes in the realization of my own time deprivation.
Number one: I sold my boat. I have occasional regrets but it was the right choice. I can and will charter a boat to fulfill my desire for fishing excursions.
Number two: My wife and I created a Zoom office in our home, fully ready to handle every aspect of doing business online with ease. Because I love being at home and I love my work. I take joy in this investment of time and money.
Number three: I’ve customized a mobile office, a van that has the comforts and conveniences that allow me to travel to see my clients without risking COVID infection along the way.
Did I add a few extras to my Zoom and mobile offices? Heck yeah. I’m not without my emotional purchases!
Stop worshipping “stuff” and be thankful for the blessing of each day. There’s far more lasting satisfaction in spending your time more wisely than your money.