Do you want to know the true cost of anything?
It is time to completely rewire your brain and change your entire life. Are you ready?
We actually don’t buy things with money, we buy them with our precious time.
Henry David Thoreau might have said it best “The true price of anything you do is the amount of time you exchange for it.”
With this simple mindset shift, you can completely change your entire life.
If we begin to see our purchases through the lens of exchanging our precious time, rather than dollar bills, we can better appreciate the weight of our purchases and understand their true cost.
The True Cost of Anything
Let’s take a quick look at how much time we are giving away with some of our “everyday” purchases.
To keep things simple let’s use an average household income of $60,000 with a 40-hour workweek. So with our example, we are making ~$30 per hour.
Here is how many hours of work are needed for the following purchases:
Large Iced Coffee at Dunkin Donuts ($4) = 8 minutes of work
Pair of Jeans ($40) = 80 minutes of work
Coach Purse ($120) = 1/2 day of work
55″ FlatScreen TV ($600) = 2 1/2 days of work
Newest iPhone ($1,000) = 4 ⅕ days of work
Dinner at a restaurant for your family of four ($80) = 1/3 day of work
Dinner at home for your family of four ($15) = 1/2 hour of work
New Living Room Furniture Set ($2,000) = 1 week + 3 1/3 days
2020 Ford F-150 ($28,745) = 5 months + 10 days of work
2,500 square foot house (10% down payment, 30-year mortgage at 4%, $300,000 purchase price, total lifetime cost $464,048) = 7 years + 9 months of work
1,600 square foot house (15% down payment, 30-year mortgage at 4%, $180,000 purchase price, total lifetime cost $262,960) = 4 years + 5 months
Keep in mind, the amount of work needed for the items above is based on an annual salary of $60,000.
If your annual salary is $30,000, the work time will be doubled. If you make $120,000 per year, the time would be cut in half.
And don’t forget to add taxes, daily commute, overtime, work trips, meetings, etc into the mix and this exercise might become even more eye-opening.
Of course, there are much better alternatives to exchanging our precious time in our lives for material possessions…
It takes just 1 minute to hug and kiss your spouse
5 minutes to play hide and seek with your children.
10 minutes to tell them a bedtime story.
30 minutes for a family walk to get some exercise.
60 minutes to help your son/daughter with homework.
2 hours per month to volunteer at your church.
The money we earn is ours to keep and we have the ability to spend it as we wish. But it can be a powerful exercise to realize how much of our precious time we are giving away with each purchase we make.
TIME is our most valuable asset on this earth. It is always fleeting and our lives are getting shorter by the minute.
We all need to remember we can spend our hours pursuing items of far greater value than material possessions.