So, my dad recently had a triple bypass (part of the reason I hadn’t been around here). It makes you grateful for every day that you get to talk to someone when they’ve had something like this happen. He lives 16 hours away and I have taken to calling him every day just to hear his voice. He went in on a Wednesday for a checkup and the following Monday was in surgery. Scary. My family drew together and supported each other. He’s progressing just fine and we are all relieved and greateful for each other.
My perspective has changed a lot recently. Between starting work and my father’s surgery, I was in a good place to read Your Money Or Your Life. While I didn’t have a huge shift toward thinking about money as life energy, I was able to see the sense in it. We have a finite amount of time and it matters how we spend it.
That was my big takeaway. It matters how we spend our time and money. Money exists to bring us the necessities of life and maybe a little extra. Greed robs others of the ability to have their share. There are a finite amount of resources on the planet and everyone needs some to survive. It is a zero sum game in some sense. If you take more than you need for comfort, others won’t have enough.
So, the idea of enough was huge. I want to pay off our debts and be financially independent. I want to have enough to help others. I always thought of that in monetary terms but the authors pointed out that, once your expenses are covered by a source other than paid employment (safe, stable investments – they suggest treasury bills), quitting work becomes an option. If you want to, you can devote your time to volunteering for causes you believe in. You can keep working and will be able to contribute more to your causes. Your money won’t have to go toward living expenses anymore.
We have enough. I don’t want or need more. The few things we do want, we can get. It drives our families nuts at gift giving time – what do you get for someone who doesn’t need anything?! My goal now is financial independence so that we can choose how to spend our time. There are so many great causes and organizations out there that I’d like to help. Aligning my spending and living with my values and ideals is important to me. My family is priority one, of course, but I’d like to help others as well. I want my kids to see me living my values, to model that for them. That’s a goal now.