Money itself isn’t what we want. We want the options money provides us. Even without being financially wealthy, here’s how to earn a wealth of choices.
In “We Are All Weird,” Seth Godin stated that wealth is having choices. In the West, that means we have more car choices since we can add the more expensive makers as options. We have more travel options, including luxury and adventure destinations.[*]
That’s why money isn’t the goal. What you can do with money is the goal. Even if you’re not rich, you still have a wealth of choices.
True Wealth is Available Choices
That makes choices extremely valuable. One of the primary uses of money is expanding options. For example, investing money hopefully returns more money. Then you have the choice of reinvesting that money or spending it on something else.
Given the value of choices, shouldn’t we spend them more wisely?
What applies to money also applies to choices. Given the value of money, shouldn’t we spend it (or save it) more wisely?
If the purpose of having money (getting it and keeping it) is to expand the number and variety of choices, shouldn’t we consider how we spend our options as carefully as how we spend our money?
Good questions to ask when making a choice:
“Does the choice lead to more choices or preclude further choices?”
“Are you investing our choices well?”
How to Make Money Choices
When you spend money, it’s gone.
Spending money is a choice that precludes further uses of that money. You will no longer have a choice of what to do with that money. You already just spent it, so it’s gone.
Did you buy six beers last night? If so, that money is no longer available to purchase a book on nutrition.
In the interest of disclosure, I did actually buy a beer last night.
Saving Money or Spending Money
If you save the money, the choice lives to decide another day. You can spend that same money tomorrow on the same thing or something else. If you hold the money over several years, it earns a little interest, gaining even more options.
There are things you can buy with the money that can generate more money. Purchasing some assets, such as a rental property or tools for crafts, can lead to more money and more choices.
The Ultimate Money Choice
The ultimate choice, if you have the money, is that passive income asset. That asset that makes money for you while you sleep, while you sip fruity drinks with umbrellas on the beach, or while you gulp butterbeer while waiting in line for Dragon Challenge.
I hear those assets exist. If you know of one, help a brother out!
You and I may not have enough money to purchase a business to simply own and earn money from while others do the work. We can at least make choices that save money and hopefully accumulate enough monetary wealth to have that choice someday.
Maybe we can make choices that create something of value or some system that generates at least some money, thus more choices. Whether saving or generating, every little bit of money saved helps, accumulates, and compounds.
Your choices of how to spend your time are the most valuable of options.
Spending Time Wisely
If you spend some money and regret it, you can always work more or harder and earn more money. When you spend time, it is gone. You can’t generate or earn more time.
Jim Rohn made the analogy of how expensive a television set is, regardless of its small price tag. The set costs only a few hundred to purchase, but the opportunity cost to watch television is enormous.
If you spend 20 hours a week watching tv, you didn’t spend any more money. You spent your time, though. At $10/hr, that’s another $200 per week in time that you spend on that television. At that rate, a year’s worth of watching television cost you $10,400.
Here. I’ll just let Mr. Rohn tell you.
“It’s possible to be online and off track.”
– Jim Rohn
Consider quality time and the quality of time. Spend it wisely.
Are You Investing Time Instead of Spending It?
What if you spent that time differently? Working a part-time job, you could have an extra $200 ($180 after taxes) available for more choices.
Working on a Platform, you could be on your way to one of those assets that earns money while you sleep. Or while you binge-watch “Daredevil”!
If you spent that time learning a new skill, maybe you can get a raise or promotion at the job.
You could spend that time learning to play an instrument, learning a new language, painting, walking around the neighborhood, shooting photographs, shooting the shi—BREEZE! I said, “breeze”—with friends at the pub or coffee shop, taking Taekwondo or ballet.
Best yet, you could spend that time with loved ones. Those kids will be grown and gone soon.
More than the choice of spending time with Loved ones, the choice of having loved ones or which loved ones to have. I phrased that awkwardly, but I’m leaving it because it’s awkward.
Be Mindful of Your Friend Choices
All the self-help gurus say we become like the people we spend most of our time with.
See how these choices intertwine? It’s like Choice Soup.
- Whom have you chosen as friends?
- Are you influenced by small-minded, pessimistic complainers?
- Do they discourage you from trying new things?
- Do they influence you to spend your money on things that preclude further money choices?
- Or do you have some friends who give you ideas, cheer you on, and hold you accountable?
Perhaps you could attend meetings of small-business owners, blog writers, or songwriters and earn the friendship, influence, and connections of some exciting new people who wish to do what you wish to do.
You could help each other, pool your resources, make some decisions that lead to better choices for everyone involved. Feel free to join our community!
Question: What is a choice you can make that will lead to more choices?
- How do you stay mindful and present when life is hard? Although you can’t control what happens, you can increase your quality of time by focusing on these things.
- Ben Franklin’s famous phrase about time is wrong! Money wishes it was time. Here 5 reasons why time is better than money.
- The cumulative effects of small habits compounded consistently over time are enormous. See why The Compound Effect can be a source of power for you.