One of the many blogs I subscribe to is Get Rich Slowly, a personal finance site written by a man who was successfully able to dig himself out of major debt and want to help others do the same. Today, he posted a link to Don To Earth, a “blog written by a 93-year-old-man. There’s more to wealth than money. Health, long life, and happiness are more important, in my book. This is awesome.”
Fascinated, I checked out Don’s blog. Don is the third oldest blogger in the world. His entries are filled with wisdom and advice that can only come with age. Some of them are downright bittersweet, and a few even brought tears to my eyes.
And reading his blog just reaffirmed something…
I’ve been having a lot of conversations with friends these days about work, money, and lifestyles. I personally think that I make a pretty decent wage for my age and profession. However, I work in NYC, where you can’t even buy a nice one-bedroom apartment for $1 million. Next to all the finance people and lawyers whose first-year salaries reach $150k, I don’t make much at all.
However, I work in a field I love. Although it can be a bitch waking up every morning, I actually enjoy my time at work. I only work 35 hours a week and in my first year, I’m eligible for 41 days off (counting vacations, holidays, and sick leave) and 45 days starting the second year. And when I calculate how much I earn per hour, I actually make more than my peers who have the $100,000+ salaries but work 60+ hours a week. Now how many people can say that?
Jigg wrote an entry about this a while back, asking if you had the choice to make $150,000 a year working 120 hours a week, or to make $50,000 a year working 40 hours a week, which would you choose? I would definitely choose the latter, not because I don’t want the extra cash (who wouldn’t?) but because I like my personal time. I want to spend time with my loved ones, read good books, and work on the 10 different side projects I always have going on at any given time. There’s always more money to be made, but you can never buy more time.
In contrast, a lot of my friends are willing to work the extra hours knowing that there is extra cash at the end of the road. I applaud them for their discipline because I could never do that. Years down the road, they’d probably be multimillionaires, living the high life. However, I’m content with a middle-class life with the occasional luxuries.
Which would you pick?