Money = Our Life Energy

February 23, 2009

I am currently reading ‘Your Money or Your Life‘. Last Thursday I read an article about a couple who changed their life. They mentioned this book. Later that day unexpectedly, I was early for an appointment and happened to be across the street from a bookstore. I decided to pass the time there and thought, maybe I should check out the book. I asked the clerk and she said it was downstairs. I had a lot of stuff with me and before I could decide whether or not to go downstairs, she offered to get it for me. Surprised, I said ok. She came back and when she handed it to me she said ‘there’s a small tear in the cover, we can give you a discount for that’. Now I became very suspicious of why this book which I had never even heard of a few hours ago was so eager to fall into my lap. I bought it and yes, yes, it is definitely the most holistic life-changing book on money, happiness and quality of life I have ever seen. I just want to read to you one quote:

…some people would say that, once we’re above the survival level, the difference between prosperity and poverty lies simply in our degree of gratitude.

The first thing I took deeply from this book is their step on how to evaluate what you’re really making from your current job now. I’ll try to explain it so you can try….

The principle is this: what time and money do you spend before and after your job that is a direct result of having that job. If you didn’t have that job, would you really need to wear that tie, or shave your beard, or put on mascara? Calculate all the moments you need before work just for that job, and then the time afterwords that many of us need to cool down, let it all go, and decompress. How much time after work do we need to calm down? Sometimes, we even need to go treat ourselves to make us feel good. The second part is about the extra costs, including transportation, the clothing, the extra chocolates to make us feel better, all the way to the time and money on ‘vacations’ to get away and unwind that we probably wouldn’t take if we didn’t have our stressful jobs because life would be happy. You can also include cleaning, childcare, therapy, medical expenses etc. Calculate this on a per week basis- time per week and money per week. Now, add the time to your 40 hours per week or whatever it is that you work. Subtract the money per week from your weekly pay and voila’! Now you can calculate your true hourly wage! The book has an example of someone making $680 for 40 hrs per week ($17 per hour). Taking in account all the things I mentioned above, the person adds 30 hours onto 40 (70) and subtracts $285 from his paycheck (=$420) and the resulting pay is a measly $6 per hour. That is shocking! It also puts things into serious perspective. Try it!

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