This past week I took a one day business trip to attend a meeting. On the return flight, I was sitting in the airport waiting to board the plan when I overheard a conversation a gentleman was having a few seats down. The man was on his cell phone trying to explain to his son why it was he couldn’t attend his tee-ball game. The conversation really struck a nerve with me, as it encompasses everything I despise about our relationship with debt.
The explanation this man gave his kid was something along the lines of having to be away for work so that he can pay for him to play tee-ball. You could tell that this was a conversation they have had many times before, and that the boy was pretending to understand without really understanding at all. I felt terrible inside, and it wasn’t even my kid! You could just tell that the man would have done anything to be at the game, and that the kid wanted nothing more for him to be.
But what can the guy do? After all, he needs to work to provide for his family! It sickens me that we go through life as zombie’s, blindly following the rules of society. We are a nation that lives to work, a nation that doesn’t understand what working to live means. We enslave ourselves to a paycheck so that we can buy big modern houses, flat screen TV’s, luxury cars, and the latest gadgets and gizmos. Not only are the relationships with our family and friends sacrificed, but we lose touch with our dreams, our hopes, our aspirations…
Is it all worth it? That one day business trip I took, I spent 4 hours waiting in an airport, 2 hours traveling on a plane and 5 hours riding in a car – all for a 2 hour meeting. By the time I got home and wound down from the day, it was 1:00am. And the best part, I don’t get paid for travel outside of regular business hours. So most of my day was on me.
I don’t take one day trips like this often, and it’s really not a big deal. But I just wanted to make a point – I have better things to do with my time. But I sacrifice my time for the almighty paycheck. I have debt payments to make, and therefore I’m enslaved to my paycheck. I am dependent on my employer in order to pay my bills. How did I get here? I fell victim to our materialistic society – I bought a nice big house, a fancy car, I have school loans, and tenants I’m supporting (but that's a story for another time).
I’m working very hard to break the cycle. I am being responsible with how I spend my money, I’m selling off most of my rental properties, making extra payments on my debt, and making investments by paying myself first. In addition, I spend a lot of my spare time working on things that will hopefully provide an independent source of income (Passive Income), however small.
What sacrifices are you making in your life? Are you missing your children’s defining moments? Not spending enough time with your aging parents? Or maybe you just don’t have the spare time to do the things that you love to do?
I say we take back our time. Let’s be selfish and take it back, your time is yours and only yours. How you spend it is ultimately up to you. And I think you should be able to spend a significant amount of it doing the things that move and inspire you. To me, that makes life worth living…
But to do this, we have to stop accumulating stuff… Debt… Bills… And start building a portfolio of passive income. These are the keys to living life on your terms. It’s your call, either join me on this journey and commit to yourself to improve the circumstances of your life, accept where you are and learn to be happy or learn to fake it. Me? I choose life.