Your Most Valuable Resource

This website is devoted to finance and ideas related to personal finance. But it is critical that you realize that finance is just that personal. If you have a family, the pursuit of wealth, especially over many years and decades while neglecting your family is no way to live.

There was a time when I worked a lot of hours and had a difficult/impossible schedule for my family. I slept in my car overnight because by the time I drove home and then back to work in the morning I would have only gotten a few hours of sleep. I was paid well to do that but the toll it took on my family (my wife especially, but also my relationship with my kids) was not worth the money I made. Knowing what I know now even if I made double the income, I would not put my family in the same situation again.

We need to think about our resources differently. Money is a resource and an important one, but more important is the resource of time. You will never get back time with your family. If you have kids they will only be with you a brief window and your greatest impact on them is an even narrower window. Use that time well. We only have one income because the investment my wife makes in our kids is invaluable to us. There is no monetary value we could place on that investment. Has it occasionally had challenges? Certainly, but we make it work.

Frugality is critical to making this work in our family. My kids may not have a huge, fancy birthday party every year and they may not go to all the huge, fancy parties where they have to provide a huge, fancy gift. They are happy to spend time with each other (well lets be honest...sometimes they are happy to spend time together). They love doing stuff with mom and dad even if it is free. A local nature preserve with a picnic we pack at home has provided many days of fun. They enjoy occasionally eating out (always on kids eat free night) but I bet if you asked them grilling with daddy or cooking with mommy is right near the top of their list as well.

In summary, don’t waste away your life working. Money may come and go, but your time is never coming back. If you waste it now you will never get a second chance at the time you now have.

 

 

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