Day in and day out, we work to earn money to buy different things.
Most of us spend our waking hours working in a soul-sucking and stress-inducing job to spend on our necessities and on things we think we need.
Soon, we began to fill our homes with stuff we shopped for and ordered online just because they were on sale or because they somehow reduced our stress.
However, those stuff will eventually be cast aside once a new delivery arrives.
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A paradigm shift away from consumerism.
Suppose we have a paradigm shift and change how we frame consumerism. In that case, we will realize that we are not buying things using our money but our time.
It is easy to think and ask, “Oh yeah? Then how will you explain how I bought this iPhone using my hard-earned money?”
Yet, if we change our thinking and convert our spending habits into our time, we may have a moment of realization.
Salary = Time
Think of it this way: for many people, our primary source of income is the job we work for five to six times a week, 8 to 10 hours a day.
In return for that service, our company pays us our salary. That salary may be in the form of pesos or dollars but can be equated to working hours.
For example, if you are an office employee earning a net salary of P20,000 monthly and working at least 20 days a month. That roughly translates to P1,000 per day.
If we further convert the P1,000/day salary to the hourly rate, say we work 8 hours a day, it will be P125 per hour.
Now, buying a brand new cellphone worth P30,000 would mean that you spent 30 days of your work life on that item.
Is it worth it? Maybe. But can you do better? Absolutely.
But isn’t our money supposed to be spent?
In short answer, yes.
Money is supposed to be spent. But in the context of our time and life, the material things that we buy using our precious time can essentially be used elsewhere.
Thinking in terms of time.
One of my favorite movies is the 2011 Movie “In Time,” starring Justin Timberlake and Amanda Seyfried.
In that movie, the currency they used was time. There is no physical currency like our paper money. When you work, you work only for time; when you spend, you pay with your time.
The time you “earned” can be used to buy food, pay for the bus, and other necessities. If you lose your time, then you lose your life.
I know it is a bit extreme, but if we change our perspective on our resources and spending habits from a “money-based” into a “time-based” perspective, I believe we will absolutely change how we consume.
If we shift from “buying things we don’t need, with the money we don’t have, to impress people we don’t even like” to more conscious spending, then maybe we will be less financially stressed and a step closer to obtaining financial freedom.
Minimalism and Time-Based Thinking
I am still in the early years of my minimalist journey, but it has already been a life-changing experience.
I may be earning less than I used to. Still, I do not really lack anything. Contentment, without complacency, is key to many things in life.
In this challenging time, many people lost their jobs and livelihood, which prompted them to change their perspective regarding needs and wants.
We should realize that money is subjective and should never be the ultimate goal.
Money is only a physical manifestation of the abstract concept of worth without resulting in the old tradition of barter and bringing items to the market to trade.
To counter the old saying that “Time is Money,” may we change our perspective to “Time is Life.”
Then maybe, just maybe, we will live a better, simpler, and more purpose-driven life.
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