Time is the indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.
While time is indefinite, our lives are not. We need to make the most of the time we do have. Which, is part of the reason we will be traveling the country by RV and why this blog exists. We can always make more money but we can never create more time. When we were working, we were exchanging our limited resource of time for money. However, in our opinion, this exchange was tilted in the favor of someone else. This had to change.
We concluded that working wasn’t bad, it was that we were trading too much time for money. Our society created a culture in which satisfaction can never truly be achieved. We will never be happy if we are constantly wanting more. More material objects, more money, more time and more experiences. We can have some of those things, but we can’t have them all. We all have to answer for ourselves: what is the right amount of time to trade for money, and the right amount of money to trade for material objects and convenience? There is no one right answer to this question. You must figure it out for yourself.
How do you choose the right amount? First, you must figure out how much money you need. Then, you can figure out how much time you need to trade in order to get it. While assessing our needs we immediately noticed that if we needed less money, we would need to trade a smaller amount of time in order to get it.
Our answer was time, and we developed a plan to finding more of it. Delayed gratification was the answer we came up with (at least at the beginning). We would front load our working days while forgoing time in exchange for money in a few of our earlier years in order to let compounding interest work in our favor. This required us to give up some of the fancy extravagances that were introduced into our lives over the years. Such as the second vehicle, cable TV, dinners out at restaurants and bars, and exotic vacations. Investing this surplus of cash now would give us the maximum time possible, later in life. Would you trade a few fancy extravagances for a life of freedom? Our answer was hell yes! Many people would say no, but if you answered yes, you could make some large strides toward a better financial well-being.
Would you trade a few fancy extravagances for a life of freedom?
What we found in this process was nothing short of amazing. Most of those things that were once coveted material objects, meant nothing at all. When they were taken away, we didn’t even notice they were gone. Does this mean we don’t have material objects? No, this just means we have tried to eliminate the objects in our lives that don’t matter. (I say this as I type on my fancy new laptop.) The objects we do need will be purchased methodically and we will consciously trade the time in order to have it.
Once we built up a surplus of time and have figured out the exchange of time for money, then the question becomes: when do we swing the pendulum back toward time instead of money? After front loading our investment accounts and forgoing time early on (so we could play later), we ended up with a life that would require very little work (financially) to maintain the life we created. There will never be an answer to this question that will fit everyone, it’s different for every person. We all value money and interpret time differently.
Time always ticks away at the same speed. The way we perceive time can be very different depending on our mindsets at that specific stage in our lives. As a child, time seems to go very slowly. As an adult preparing to leave on an RV adventure, time is flying by. The past 6 months has felt like a week. There are so many things to do and even more things to research, such as healthcare, where to camp, what to bring, how to organize/configure the RV, what batteries should we purchase, install new batteries, sell old batteries, get rid of our stuff, maintenance, repairs, and the list goes on and on. At the time of writing, we have been parked in a driveway for almost a month. It feels like only a few days.
There has been some behind the scenes action happening around here for the past month. Adrianne was giving her notice at work and during that conversation, the possibility of working remotely was put on the table. She decided to stick around for a few extra weeks to let her employer decide if they would engage in such an opportunity. It turned out that her employer decided not to allow her to work remotely while traveling the country. They need someone with their butt in the chair. On the other hand, a seasonal opportunity became available to me in July and I decided to take it. So, we’ll need to be back here in Eastern Washington for approximately 3 weeks. Going forward we will need to consciously balance the amount of time we trade for money.
It’s now May 2018 and we still haven’t hit the road. I can’t say we are in a rush either. This new life has taken on a leisurely pace and it’s pretty nice. What we have created for ourselves has given us a large portion of our days back and we’ve been able to spend a large portion of this time with family. We have truly enjoyed spending this time here and will be back to do it again. It’s funny how this rambling post on time is making me realize how amazing my life has become. Many people will chase the ideal life for themselves but will never find it. Now that I have found it, I must remember that life is always changing and I must change and grow with it. Today’s ideal life won’t be tomorrow’s. We must live intentionally in the present but plan for an amazing future. This is a challenge that every person should be trying to take on, but it’s not an easy one.
We must live intentionally in the present but plan for an amazing future.
As we continue with this new chapter of life, I can only speculate how time will change. Will it continue to fly by at the current pace? Or, will we find our new groove and things will slow down? My guess would be that it falls somewhere in the middle. Stay tuned to find out…