Wealth is worth more than the cost of money. Wealth is an abundance of something, whether that’s time, money or physical wellbeing. And the relationship between them is illustrated below.

Labour Exchange
The Labour Exchange Triangle Image from Ms Blaelock’s Book of Holistic Personal Finance

I used this illustration in Holistic Personal Finance to illustrate the limitations of the cost of money.

When you’re earning extra money, you generally end up sacrificing time or your health. Sometimes both.

When you’re young, it doesn’t seem to take a toll on you. But that’s why they call it burning the candle at both ends; because you’re shortening your life, and potentially reducing the quality of your life over the long term.

It doesn’t hurt you when you’re twenty or thirty. But when you’re forty or fifty, that’s when you start becoming susceptible to conditions like type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and some cancers. The ones that get worse as time goes by, and lead to even worse conditions in your seventies and eighties.

That’s not to say that earning extra money is necessarily the only unwise choice you can make.

Taking care of your health, costs time too. Though in some circumstances, for example, taking a walk at lunch-time, can make you more productive and efficient for the rest of the afternoon.

And if you are in the unfortunate position to be out of a job thanks to Covid, you now have an abundance of time. Time you can use to learn new skills for a new career or leverage your side gig into a fully-fledged business.

Or even just time to think. Think about what you want from your life.

While you’re taking long walks.

I recently read 168 Hours: You Have More Time Than You Think by Laura Vanderkam. There are 168 hours in a week (24 hours x 7 days), and she argues you need to choose where they go, and not let the mundane activities of life overtake you.

Of course she comes from a priviledged position, as do I, but you still have a choice. Even if your choice is to steal an hour at midnight to tackle the tasks that are important to you.

So think about the things you can let go.

And think about the things you can pick up.

And try not to let your sleep be the thing you sacrifice.


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