Lost time is never found again. – Benjamin Franklin
How many times have you shrugged off when someone talked about doing what you love? It’s easier said than done, right? What’s stopping you to quit doing the work you abhor? The truth is painful — you haven’t saved enough!
Americans are saving only 3.7% of their disposable personal income while more corporations are abandoning their pension plans.
While our omnipotent government can’t even balance its budget, burden is on you to think about your own retirement.
I realized the importance to say ‘Enough’ in order to save enough while talking to a friend who thought that the notion of pursuing what you love to do jibes well with those who want to write about it — to sell pipe dreams to the world!
As I dug deeper into his mindset, it became abundantly clear to me that he lives paycheck to paycheck despite earning salary that puts him into the top 10% income earners in this country.
Most people keep doing work they hate to do just to keep their ends meet year after year without having any clue about how to come out of this vicious circle.
This is an epidemic that takes more toll on our society, yet we don’t hear anything about it in the mainstream media.
The simple way to say Enough
It may sound oxymoronic, but start viewing every spend not with the currency you use to pay for it; rather, start viewing every spend with the ‘hours of life energy required’ for the spend. You may say, “that’s same as what you make hourly”. You are correct, but it’s more than that.
Let’s assume that you want to buy a brand new car for $50,000 just because you deserve it. Fine. Now think that by borrowing money that you don’t have, you will end up paying $70,000 or more. If you are making $100,000 a year, you are going to spend more than 2000 hours of your life energy to just pay for that car — that’s more than one year worth of freedom you are sacrificing for your new lifeless car that occupies your garage. Instead, if you delay your gratification a bit and save $500 every month, you can buy a used car with cash without sacrificing a year of your life energy.
As a fun exercise, I asked my friend — who thinks that he can’t save enough because life sucks — to make a list of all of his possessions in a spreadsheet and sort them by their monetary value along with life energy spent for each possession. Next, I asked him if he can either eliminate those possessions that he has no need for or replace those that are essential with delaying gratification and less expensive version so that he can save more money and life energy.
In few months, he started saving more than he ever imagined he can. So, as an added fun exercise, he also started keeping track of savings not just in simple dollar figure but also in the life energy saved. I now see him as a different person who views life more from the perspective of financial freedom and happiness.
If you ever hear someone saying that they can’t save enough, you can help by encouraging them to leave no stone unturned to retrospect their lives. It’s okay to have past full of mistakes as long as you have audacity to view all your possessions with life energy you spent to own them.
My First Podcast
Few weeks back, I received an email from Brandon who runs MadFientist blog. His blog is all about ways to explore financial freedom. As it turned out, my dear friend Jim encouraged Brandon to invite me for a podcast.
I had fun speaking with Brandon about my life. My deep gratitude to Jim for believing in me and to Brandon for considering me worthy for the podcast interview.
Early Retirement: It’s Not As Risky As You Might Think @ Financial Samurai
5 Reason I am Buying Less for My Kids this Christmas @ Modest Money
Financial Lessons from Clark W. Griswold @ Eyes On the Dollar
Wealth Building Gift For You @ Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance (I highly recommend her tip # 19)