Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What are you working for?

Vicki Robinson and Joe Dominguez wrote a book called "Your Money or Your Life," the theme of which could be summed up by asking, "What are you working for?"

Are you willing to give up X amount of hours so that you can buy a new car? A big house? A diamond ring? Or is your life more important to you than that?

For example, if you make $20 an hour and you buy clothing (or anything) that costs $200, you voluntarily gave up 10 hours - more than one full work day - of your time here on earth to pay for it. It's lots more complicated than that by the time you account for taxes, work related expenses and so on - I won't go into any formulas. I just wanted to make the point that you give your life (your time, your interests, your basic enjoyment of living) in exchange for things that are not always worthy. And every time you don't, there are that many fewer hours you have to work to have the same amount of money at your disposal.

And (frugal bonus!) when you save money by not buying unnecessary things, you don't get taxed on your profit! If you continually use the money you save to buy things that will save you money, your profit can run pretty high, too.

When you make ten dollars, the government takes up to 40% of it in different taxes. When you spend that dollar, in most places you pay sales tax on it, anywhere from 3 to 12 cents per dollar. That's up to 52% of your dollar bill!

If you save ten dollars by better shopping (or not shopping at all), or any other way, you're money and marbles ahead: You don't pay taxes on what you've saved. If you save ten dollars, you can use it somewhere else, but if you don't save that ten dollars and opt to work for another ten instead, you'll need to earn up to $15.20 to get the same real money value.

I don't know about you, but that just doesn't make money sense to me.

1 comment:

  1. This is so true, Pat. I've read 'Your Money or Your Life' and it was a real eye-opener. Regretably I didn't have the patience to work through it properly (adding up my earnings-to-date, etc) but I learned a lot from it nonetheless. When I realised that the inverse of the saying is true: money is time - it really changed how I looked at things.

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