In Discussions, Discussions, Discussions, Life, Lifestyle, Minimalism, Money

Would you rather have money or time?

When I was younger, I always thought time as being flexible. I seemed to have SO MUCH of it, and not enough money.

I very willingly traded my time for money (.. I worked..) and felt happy to give something for “free” (my time) for something I needed (or thought I did at the time) — money.

Now as I am older, I am starting to feel a little different about the whole thing. I am not entirely swayed one way or another, but I no longer see time as “free” and “easily exchanged”.

Time is far more finite now.

It may not seem like that — retirement is so far off it seems — but time disappears and doesn’t get renewed.

Money for me, is much easier to earn now than ever before. I could certainly pick up another job at minimum wage and make even MORE money, or throw myself into this blog even more, but… at what cost?

Time.

That’s the true cost.

It’s not that I don’t love having money, don’t get me wrong… payday is still my favourite day of the week, but now I am really cherishing time a lot more than I did before.


No matter how much money you get for that time, you can never buy that time back.

Especially after having had Little Bun, and reminiscing from when he was just a tiny little thing (the size of a small stuffed animal, no joke), to this little boy, this BIG little boy, I am seeing that time really is fleeting.

It is truly, the longest, shortest time of my life — it is both long and tiring (as evidenced by my Week of Money posts), but it is also so darn short in the grand scheme of things.

My baby will never be a baby again, and my little boy is changing and growing up to be his own person right before my eyes, but so gradually that I sometimes take it for granted.

Then I look at my own life. I see that I have so many unfinished things .. personal things I want to accomplish, like my travel journal (circa 2008!)… like beading more jewellery (read: my run with DIY Galaxies Jewellery), or just reading. All the books, the thousands (literal thousands) that are unread on my reader because I kept prioritizing other things – work, this blog – over personal tasks.

I regret it, but I don’t necessarily feel like I would have done anything differently, if that makes sense.

I regret that I didn’t think about all of this until now, but I also don’t regret it because I did what I thought was right at the time.

I haven’t necessarily lost anything with Little Bun for instance — he is still the closest to me, and I will always be his #1. I can see that what I have done with him in the time I did have, has done amazing things and yielded such a rich result where he is shaping up to be the little child I have always wanted, even with all of this squealing and daily nonsense.

I’ve done good so far. No, GREAT.

So, how can I truly regret any of it?

What I am thinking more about though, is what I want to do going forward.

I’m a true workaholic in my heart, and I cannot help but .. try my best at everything I put my hand to. This is something that is good, but also bad because it means I get so engrossed in being THE BEST that I forget that sometimes it doesn’t have to be THE BEST.

Good enough is sometimes enough for now. It’s a hard lesson to learn.

I want to prioritize reading more in my life than before – to actually spend half an hour a day reading (okay, let’s say 15 minutes to be realistic).

I want to stop throwing myself into work so much, and to do that, it means I need to stop spending so much so that money and income become less important factors in my life to keep working and saving.

I want to make it a point each weekend to actually focus on Little Bun. Not as a side thing, while I am cleaning out my closet or running errands, but to do actual stuff meant to do with him together, like take him to the park, take him for a walk, and focus on HIM and being with HIM as he is growing up before my eyes.

I want to also, last but not least, focus on making my partner a bigger focus in my life. I feel like sometimes he gets shoved aside or ignored because Little Bun is screaming his lungs out, and it isn’t fair. He is as deserving of my attention as Little Bun and we have to work on being US again. This is not something he is asking for, but I don’t like that we are so tired that we sometimes just can’t take 5 minutes to hug each other.

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Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

Millionaire at 36 after getting out of $60K of student debt in 18 months, a little over a decade earlier, using TheBudgetingTool.com. Since then, I have paid my $600K home in cash (my half was $300K), my $180K casr in cash, worked 50% of my career (taking 1-2 year breaks), and quadrupled my income within 2 years of graduating, going from $65K to $260K with an average lifetime savings rate of 50%. I could retire today if I wanted, but love my work-life balance as a freelancing consultant in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math). I am all about balance - between time and money, and also enjoying my money. I also post daily on Instagram @saverspender.

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7 Comments

  1. ENSJ

    I think it depends on how much time you need to spend in order to get the money you need.

    I work full time job, minimum wage and while I make just enough to get by I don’t have the time I want (full time and irregular schedules are a bitch, picture coming home five days in a row – friday to tuesday – at 9pm then get up at wednesday for work at 5am, then have a day off and get an entire different hour schedule).

    So honestly I would either, right now, opt for a job with manageable hours. I would like more money, but I first need the time to spend it. And the jobs I have had so far have always been irregular (manager at a store and the bosses expected me to be available 24/7/365 and I didn’t make much more then minimum back then, and now minimum with these horrible hours – only good thing is that I now have a fixed day off since the store is closed then).

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      You have the same complaint as doctors, nurses and cooks 🙂 I find they all complain a lot about how they cant’ keep to get into a schedule or a routine…

      Reply
  2. Me

    Very interesting insights! I’ve often wondered how you maintain and grow your relationship when it seems like your partner and you don’t get much alone time. Your week of money stories talk a lot about going to work, spending time with your kid, going to bed early and having your own days to do stuff. But do you two ever go out? Do you have a trusted babysitter that would actually allow you to go out?

    I find it’s so much easier w three kids to default to stay home and watch Netflix. But when we do make the effort to go out and do something together it is ALWAYS worth it. Just to remember what we like about each other and not just discuss logistics and kids.

    And for us it’s worth it to go for a long night out or even just for a bowl of pho without the kids. Just building in some time to connect. Sure – it costs money but it’s an investment in our relationship.

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      I WANT TO. Trust me. I want to go out alone and be alone and have all that, but he was not raised with that mindset that couples need time alone without a kid as well.

      Every time I have suggested it (daycare offers babysitting for night on occasion), he says: No.

      I think I’d like to bring it up to him as something I want to do and start incorporating in because I miss him.

      Reply
  3. Clara

    I love this! Very raw and honest. And I think LB is at such a cute age right now. I don’t have kids and don’t plan to have any, but kids that age are just so curious and adorable! Our neighbors have a daughter that is a little older than LB and in my opinion she is the smartest and cutest kid right now. So many great questions and shenanigans! But I imagine it can get very exhausting if you have to deal with it 24/7…

    Reply
    1. Sherry of Save. Spend. Splurge.

      Mentally tiring. Especially if you don’t get good sleep.

      Reply
  4. Clara

    I love this! Very raw and honest. And I think LB is at such a cute age right now. I don’t have kids and don’t plan to have any, but kids that age are just so curious and adorable! Our neighbors have a daughter that is a little older than LB and in my opinion she is the smartest and cutest kid right now. So many great questions and shenanigans! But I imagine it can get very exhausting if you have to deal with it 24/7…

    Reply

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