As you sit over your bills working to make ends meet, do you ever feel like you’re the only one dealing with that stress?
I was that person. I’ve been there. I wondered why “everyone else” was so lucky and didn’t go to sleep with the same financial worries that I did. What I didn’t realize, is back when I had those financial challenges, I was actually more like “everyone else” than I had ever been.
It wasn’t until I started paying off my debt, paying off my student loans, growing my Emergency Stash, making investments and reducing my stupid monthly expenses that I actually started becoming like that unicorn in America – FINANCIALLY FREE! I call it a unicorn, because if you talk to your friends, it seems like it doesn’t actually exist.
I’m here to tell you it does, but to achieve it, you have to have a completely different mind set about your money and, more importantly, YOUR TIME!
You’ve heard me talk a lot about time here at Get Rich or Die Trying. One thing I was very fortunate to learn early on is you have to value your time differently than most people if you want to be different than most people.
While my friends were cruising around in brand new, leased, Mercedes and BMWs that I knew they could never afford, I knew I wanted to be different. I actually used to want those things, but I’ve changed my mind set so much that at this point, I have interest in those things even though I could pay cash for them if I wanted to.
That is power. It’s the power I want to teach you to achieve. While my friends were rolling around in style, impressing all the ladies with their vast (fake) fortunes, they were cramming 3 roommates into a small apartment, living pay check to pay check and growing further and further in debt with each passing month.
They clearly didn’t value their money well. More importantly, they didn’t value their time. They were living well beyond their means and maxing out their credit cards to so. They were riding high, and while the party was great, the inevitable hangover was about to come crashing down all around them.
We’ve all seen it, right? None of us want to be around for the hangover, but it’s hard to know how to avoid it when you see everyone around you making the same bad financial and time decisions.
Here’s a few quick examples of how those that will remain chained to their Corporate America jobs, until at least 65. value their time poorly:
Look, we all need an escape. Would it surprise you to know that the average American watches 5 hours of TV per day?!?
Are you kidding me? All those episodes of Dancing With the Stars, American Idol, Duck Dynasty or Honey Boo Boo certainly can’t be helping you get out of debt or learn new ways to live more efficiently and grow your monthly revenue.
At 5 hours per day, that’s 1,825 hours per year (almost enough for a full time job which is typically considered to be 2,080 hours per year).
Put another way, if you watch 5 hours of TV per day from the age of 18 until age 80, you’ll have effectively spent 12.9 YEARS on your duff in front of the TV.
Wow! Imagine what you could have done with those 12.9 years if you had applied yourself, built some relationships, developed a new skill. Could it be that maybe you’d have been able to retire a little earlier and get paid to watch as much TV as you want?
Morning / afternoon radio shows on the commute
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average commute to work is 25.4 minutes. That’s almost an HOUR in the car each day traveling to and from work. By the way, that’s the average for ALL Americans. If you live in one of the 10 largest cities in America, or the surrounding area, plan to double that commute time.
The typical worker goes to work about 260 times per year. Imagine what you could learn from books on tapes or podcasts, etc with that additional 260 hours.
Instead of catching up on the latest celebrity gossip, sports scores that don’t matter or political banter that you won’t be able to do a single thing about (other than getting frustrated and mad), turn your car into a rolling university. Access to knowledge and information has never been more available at any time in the history of humanity than today. Now only is it available, it’s CHEAP! You can learn more by picking the right sources of knowledge than you would by getting an MBA from your average university.
Use this 1 hour a day to turbo charge your post college education. Remember, one of the Get Rich or Die Trying Lifestyle Axioms is that learning doesn’t end when you walk the stage for your college degree, it begins! Be creative and efficient in how you efficiently continue your learning.
Waiting in line for Black Friday sales to get that elusive deeply discounted product
Every year, early in the morning the day after Thanksgiving, people line up by the 10s of thousands across the country to sprint through the aisles hoping to find that bargain discount on that product they just “have to have”.
Not only are those people probably buying something they really don’t need. They’re also creating a demand for stores that then have to employ people on those days instead of creating an opportunity for them to spend more time with their families over the holidays.
Everything you purchase in life must trade dollars for hours. Typically, most all of us have to work (hours) for those $$. If you think about that every time you buy something that is “discretionary”, it may help you to prioritize your expenses a little better and make you a bit more judicious with your spending.
On top of that, to camp out in tents or stand in line, often times in freezing weather, for hours on end, to save $100 or so?
How much do you value your time. Could you have spent those 8 hours learning something that you could earn $100 doing, over and over again? That would be a much better return on your time investment than waiting in line for 30% off on that LG TV.
The average American now spends 40 minutes per day on facebook.
While you’re on facebook though, if you wouldn’t mind following us the Get Rich or Die Trying facebook page. The education you may get in 20 min per day may be more valuable than your college degree 🙂
These are just a few examples, but you get the gist. Part of what I’m teaching here is how to think like a rich person so you can eventually be a rich person (or at least Financially Free as young as you possibly can).
People who accumulate a lot of wealth aren’t usually watching the latest sitcoms for 5 hours a night. They are busting their tail trying to grow their business or build their skill set for that next promotion in their career.
They aren’t getting up early the Friday after Thanksgiving to stand in line to out run little old ladies for the special discount.
They are finding ways to maximize their time riding around in their futuristic chariots that whisk them to and from work each day so they can be smarter and get an edge.
If you spend your time like someone who has accumulated mountains of debt, you’ll get to live like someone that has accumulated mountains of debt.
What are things that you do to value your time richly? How are you maximizing efficiency in your own life?
Let us know in the comments below.
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