Jan 26, 2016

How Many Hours Did You Work For That?

How Many Hours Did You Work for That
Back in the 90s, I read a life-altering book called Your Money or Your Life. One of the concepts in the book that I'd never heard before was learning what everything you buy truly costs. No, I don't mean in dollars. I mean in "blood, sweat, and tears." I mean in terms of being away from the people and things that really matter. I mean in LIFEtime. In other words: How long do you have to work to pay for whatever item you're considering buying?

This is a completely life-altering way to look at things. For example, now when I don't feel like cooking and I'm tempted to order pizza delivery, I consider how many hours I have to work to pay for that pizza...And ouch. Maybe pizza doesn't sound so great, after all.

Even if, as a Proverbs 31 woman, you don't work for money, you can consider how long your husband has to work to pay for an item. Let's say he earns $18 an hour after taxes and the cable plan you're looking into costs $65 a month (an average price, according to the FCC). How many hours of his life does he have to give away in order to pay for television programming each month? 3.6 hours.

Now let's say you want to buy a new tv to go along with that cable. When I search tvs on Amazon, the very first thing that comes up is a Samsung 32 inch LED for $166.97. That seems like a good price, so let's go with it. To buy this television, your husband would have to give away 9.3 hours of his life - assuming you pay cash and don't incur credit card interest, in which case he'll sacrifice more of his life to pay for that tv.

Now it's up to you (and your spouse) to decide if the true cost of those items is worth it.*

In 2016, I challenge you to adopt this way of thinking. If you're like the average American, I'm betting it will save you thousands! And if you teach it to your children, they will have a huge head start when it comes to managing their finances.


* And if you want an even more accurate look at things, first figure your true wage by subtracting all the expenses incurred in order to have the job - things like fuel, clothing, vehicle maintenance, etc.

 

1 comment:

  1. That's an interesting thought. We just sold our house (close Thursday) because we had enough equity in it to pay off "stupid debt" from early marriage and then medical, dental, and necessity debt after having 4 kids! Now we will be 100% debt free, living in a rental while we look for or build a new home. While we do love Dame Ramsey's philosophy on money, my husband has never agreed that working so much that you barely see your wife and kids for 2 to 3 years is worth it. So this is another way to look at things. When you said pizza, I had to think. Our mom and pop place here is cheap, so I was happy to know that hubby only works about an hour and a half of his life each week for our pizza! LOL

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