We all have two core assets with which to carry out our lives: time and money. Both are limited. It stands to reason then that we can get more out of life by getting more out of our money -- and out of our time. By optimizing my spending*, I am continuously getting more and more out of my money. Doing so has made me financially independent sooner.** Now, being financially independent is allowing me to optimize my use of time so that I can get more and more out of the time I have. Here is how that works for me.
Financial freedom is time freedom. That is the biggie, of course. Not having to give up 40 hours a week to a job, plus another 5 to 10 hours a week to commute to that job, drastically expands how much time I have for me. In fact, on a weekly basis it almost doubles it from 55 to 105 available hours of personal time a week. And that brings with it a scheduling flexibility that is the key to optimizing my use of time.
Time freedom is scheduling freedom. A lot of people have to live with "Saturday slavery." Saturday is the day they can get the car's oil changed. The day they can take the pet to the vet. The day they can get their stuff taken care of. And because this is true for a whole lot of people, they all stand in line -- or sit in line -- and wait. But being financially free eliminates the need to wait and gives me all that waiting time back to use and enjoy. Simply by being able to sidestep Saturday slavery.
The same goes for the daily rush hours, as well as the Friday mega-long bank lines and the end-of-the-month jam-ups at places such as vehicle inspection stations. Having scheduling freedom means that I avoid all those waits. I get to put that time to better use.
Scheduling freedom is weather freedom. I always have good weather on my "days off" from assigned tasks. I never lose my hikes*** to rain. I never drive on icy roads, or in storms of any kind. Scheduling freedom allows me to shift my plans around any way that is needed to match my outside activities to good weather.
Time is money. And money is time. It turns out, then, that financial freedom results not just in more bang for my bucks but also more bang for my time. Optimizing the use of my time gives me more options on how to use that time. I can spend more time actually having fun. Or I can apply that time to save even more money by using it to do things like replacing the bathroom undersink pipes myself instead of paying a plumber to do it. By not having to wait in some line, the time I saved turns into more money.
OR I can use some of the extra cash in my discretionary fund**** to pay the plumber, get my pipes replaced faster, and go take another hike instead of messing around under the bathroom sink. The money I previously saved turns into more time.
It is ALL good. And it is all thanks to having reached financial freedom.
The takeaway: Reaching financial independence is not just about money. It is also about being able to give yourself the precious, priceless gift of TIME. Which means giving yourself the precious, priceless gift of LIFE. And that is worth working for... as if your life depended on it.
* Budgeting By Exception:
** My Financial Independence Key:
*** My Love Affair With Hiking:
**** A Discretionary Fund, Not a Discretionary Budget: