Time and money are both valuable. As we get older, we usually have less of the former. So when it comes to pursuing things we’re passionate about, a funny thing happens: we throw money at it, because we don’t have much time. The Simple Dollar’s Trent Hamm explains.
Photo by omoo
Using the example of reading, Hamm says he used to spend lots of time reading books. But as his time dwindled, he spent less time on his passion. He has less time to enjoy doing things, so he makes up for it by buying stuff.
This is the same experience I’ve seen from almost everyone who has a significant change in their time-money balance that either limits their time or increases their money. Their passion seeks another outlet, and that outlet often involves buying things.
There are a couple of problems with this.
1. He ends up spending money on stuff he doesn’t use:
When you sink that money into clothes or books or golf clubs that just sit in your home unused, that money can no longer work for you. In exchange, what do you get? Nothing. You’re not using the item, so all it’s doing is taking up space.
2. Experiences make us happier than things.
We know that spending on experiences makes us happier than spending on stuff, but Hamm’s post gives guidance on how to actually make the switch. If you find yourself throwing money at your passion, rather than time, here are a few tips he offers:
- Recognise the loss: If you’ve wasted money on something that’s just collecting dust — admit it so you can move on.
- Reconnect: Spending money takes time, too. Trade in that time and effort into actually doing something you’re passionate about. For example, instead of going to the bookstore, spend that time reading, even if it’s just a chapter.
- Keep records: If you’re tempted to buy something, write it down. You might find that, later, you don’t have time to enjoy it, so you’ll cross it off your list. But at least writing it down helps feed your inner consumer, and it keeps you from hoarding.
Overall, the point is: throwing money at a hobby you don’t have much time for in the first place can be wasteful. It’s better to devote your limited amount of time and energy into actually experiencing that hobby.
It’s kind of a heady concept, but nonetheless, I think it rings true in many situations. Check out his full post for more detail.
How to Switch to Collecting Experiences Instead of Things [The Simple Dollar]