Time Is Wealth

by Matthew on June 19, 2011

Here’s a good column by Barry Ritholtz on life lessons from the very wealthy. I especially like lesson two:

2. Don’t become “cash rich” and “time poor.”

Devoting all of your waking hours to making money is a problem, especially in professions with a partnership fast track. Lawyers, doctors, bankers and accountants can get so caught up in the competitive nature of their jobs that they lose touch with their family. Any semblance of a normal personal life disappears, and a very unhealthy balance between work and home can develop.

Work is the process of exchanging your time for money. Remember: What you do with your time is far more meaningful than the goods you accumulate with your money. If you are working so much to become rich but you ignore your spouse and miss seeing your kids grow up, you are actually poorer than you realize.

When people say “time is money” it may be more true than you realize. Your days are numbered and your allotted time is fixed. Doesn’t it make sense to try and maximize the time you spend on meaningful things (you can decide what those are)?

One of the myths of rat-race jobs are that they are “9-5.” While we all know what that means, these jobs don’t typically operate within that nice, fixed time bracket. In many cases they seem to spill over into people’s entire lives. Not only that, but rat-race jobs tend to be relatively inflexible. Work is noble, but if you’re neglecting important things in life like family, in a manner of speaking you are working yourself into the poorhouse.

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