Imagine if you didn’t need to work to pay your bills or sustain yourself. If money wasn’t a factor, what would you do today? Tomorrow?
Would you be hiking in a faraway country you’ve always wanted to visit? Or maybe you’d spend more time on a hobby you don’t really have the time for at the moment? Maybe you’d like to just spend more time with your loved ones?
Well, all of this is possible to pull off. There are countless folks out there who can count themselves as financially independent. They don’t need to work to sustain their lives, and the large percentage of them haven’t really felt the need to return to work after leaving the workforce.
I’ll pick on Americans as an example – most spend 40 hours a week working, with another (ideally) 56 hours/week sleeping. Extrapolate a bit and that’s over 50% of our lives spent on (for the purposes of this post) “involuntary” activities.
There’s a slew of other opportunity costs to the present-day worker’s routine as well. That day job is likely the reason you can’t pull off backpacking in “your-favorite-country” for a month. That most business are closed as you get out of work is why you need to sacrifice your lunch break or weekends to carry out your errands, further eating into time you could be spending doing more enjoyable things.
At some point, I had to ask myself: am I living to work, or am I working so I can stop working (soon)? Controlling your expenses and having enough savings so you can do things besides working at a job you hate sounds great on paper, but takes quite a bit of willpower and motivation. Money can be obtained in ways other than trading 40 hours of your week for a paycheck. And once your source of income is no longer a concern, you’ll find you might have more time than you know what do with.