If I haven’t spoken about it before then I’m yet to speak about it so many more times to come, that being how we as consumers are generally conditioned to be money-spending machines, that in addition to being money-earning machines as well. The typical lifestyle which is sold to us by outright or subtle suggestion is generally one which encourages us to work hard for the money we earn and then spend it just as “hard,” if not harder!
We’re taught that there is honor in waking up early in the morning to make a commute to some office and then slave away for eight hours, after which time it’s okay to grab a “cold one” to help you cope – a cold one of which the effects are to be alleviated with another legal drug, caffeine. Heck they’ll even put your name on the disposable coffee cup which contains the coffee you drink to ease you through the hangover-induced headache…
Enough of the negativity though…
Looking at the situation many of us find ourselves in from the other side is a look at it from a much more positive view-point. These little habits we’ve been conditioned to perpetuate in such a manner that we’re generally living a cash-negative lifestyle can be flipped on their head to have us living a cash-positive lifestyle. A cash-positive lifestyle is much more constructive and what it refers to is simply living in a manner which has you incrementally increasing your value as a factor of time, instead of incrementally decreasing it.
To demonstrate with a simple example, think about why a company you may be working for will increase your salary if you finish some or other prescribed course which is related to your job and your industry. Mind you this is probably a course they’re willing to pay for to start off with…
By gaining more industry-specific knowledge in this way, you’re equipping yourself with more value and, considering just how much more companies make from the efforts of their employees than the employees themselves, what if you decided to take that value straight to the market yourself and profit from it directly? Of course there’d be issues of non-compete agreements and the likes, but the idea is to get you to start thinking about what you spend your time on.
With each second you spend that ticks by, are you losing value, are you retaining it at least or are you gaining value?
If you earn the same salary you earned a year ago, you’re losing value, but if you invested some of your money in something which has the potential to bring you some future yields, then you’ve gained value. You need to be proactive about it though because nobody is going to help you retain the value you’ve accumulated.
The only help you’ll get is some encouragement from whoever is trying to sell you something to spend more and thereby expend value even faster.
Think about how to invest your time wisely so as to accumulate value. This is not to say you’re not allowed to indulge and enjoy yourself though as that is part of what will keep you going, ideally.