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Your money or your life

March 6, 2010

I’m reading Your Money or Your Life at the moment (the introductory video on this site gives a good overview). It’s a book that explores your relationship with money and takes you through a 9 step program designed to change the way you relate to money in order to live more deliberately and meaningfully.

One of the key ideas in the book is that of “life energy”. This is the real amount of time that we put into our work and we use this to calculate our real hourly wage.  Your nominal hourly rate might be $20 an hour but how much time do you really put into your work? How much time do you spend commuting, preparing/getting dressed for work? thinking about work? de-stressing from work? etc. Your real hourly wage is your wage divided by the actual amount of hours that you put into your job. This is what the book terms your “life energy”, so then when you go shopping and you look at the price tag of something you are considering buying, how many hours of life energy are you about to spend? Is it really worth it?  Here are three questions the book asks you to consider each time you are thinking of buying something:

Will I receive fulfillment, satisfaction and value in proportion to life energy spent?
Is this expenditure of life energy in alignment with my values and life purpose?
How might this expenditure change if I didn’t have to work for a living?

I just find shopping malls insane. They overwhelm me and seem so pointless and depressing. I can’t understand how the majority of the urban population seems to spend their weekends at shopping malls. How many hours of life energy did you spend today?

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