“Wealth consists in caring less about what others think about you and more about using your money to control how you spend your time.” — Morgan Housel
We’re fond of the work of Morgan Housel, who strives to help folks change their relationship to money. In his definition of wealth, we notice two key ideas—ideas that could bring some clarity to our financial decisions.
Wealth Isn’t About Anyone But You
It takes only a moment to recognize the potential problems of using wealth to influence how others perceive us. The trappings of wealth can be had with borrowed money: a $10,000 watch for $200 monthly payments, a luxury car for a monthly lease payment. But the watch and the car are not proof of anything.
Ultimately, we do not control what others think. No amount of money gives us that power.
When we focus on meeting our own needs rather than some notion of what might impress others, we require less wealth to gain control and therefore focus. We may be able to retire earlier or work at a more rewarding endeavor on less money, should we choose… which leads us to the second key idea from Housel’s definition.
Time Is Money Is Time
The familiar phrase “time is money” comes to us by way of Benjamin Franklin, writing in colonial Philadelphia. Housel writes that wealth is about using your money to control how you spend your time. In short, he turns the idea upside down: money is time.
Carried to its logical conclusion, when we have enough wealth, we may retire and gain control over the time we formerly spent working. In the form of Social Security and pension benefits, investments and 401(k) balances, the money we’ve earned then buys us time. Money is time!
Housel adds a layer to our understanding of wealth, which magnifies the good it may do us.
When you are ready to talk about your time or money, email us or call. We’ll be ready to talk with you.
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