At 228 Main, we like to think about the many ways one might be rich. The primary task here is to work to grow your buckets, especially those long-term buckets that may serve you across many years.
Many of our clients, however, are also rich in another precious resource: time.
Just as a company may pay dividends to shareholders, the best investors seem to have a knack for finding those investments of time that pay dividends. And paying attention to our time could mean big things for our financial goals and wellbeing, after all.
Take a closer look at a day or a week in your life and how the hours go by. Is there a set place or routine for those things that may seem to eat up “too much time,” like bills or errands or banking or emails?
Activities like these can really frazzle a person, but when we zoom out, a lot them of them shouldn’t come as a surprise. These are everyday, regular activities.
Laura Vanderkam’s book Off the Clock explores our many approaches to the time we have—the skillful and less skillful ways we spend it! She’s got a system for reviewing our time:
“When you do an activity, ask yourself two questions: Will I ever do this again? If so, is there some system I could develop or something I could do now that would make future instances faster or easier?”
The good news is that there are plenty of ways that small interventions—just one little step, now!—can pay time dividends for weeks, months, or years into the future.
Some of our favorites include automatic deductions: monthly payments to take care of any outstanding debt, investment contributions, and retirement contributions. (“Set it and forget it” is a phrase you might hear for this strategy, although we prefer a more mindful approach!)
We are also big fans of quarterly reviews. It’s roughly how often we adjust portfolios, but the passing of the seasons is a wonderful excuse to think about the state of our goals and the bigger vision.
What else can you attach to the schedule? Could you leave yourself notes for things you’d like to review on your birthday, at the new year, before or after tax season, the start or end of an academic year?
A company may divvy up its profits to splash them around to shareholders on a regular basis, but as individuals we too might find those ways to get our time to pay us back later. It just takes a little forethought now.
Clients, want to talk about this or anything else? Call or write, anytime.
Investing includes risks, including fluctuating prices and loss of principal.
Dividend payments are not guaranteed and may be reduced or eliminated at any time by the company.
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