Everyday, I look at my finances, and I think about how I’m getting ahead, and what I want to save up for. I play on my computer. I write in my blog. I drink a Cherry Coke Zero, and I enjoy the fruits of my labors. I think about things like health, and financial stability, and finding the emotional balance I need to make myself a functional and content person again. I think about the things I have to do, and the things I do because I want to do them. I never really put thought into how much it really costs me to have those things.
No, I’m not talking about money, I’m talking about life.
A week ago, I was doing some research into the wages of the average American for an article on Screaming Voice of Reason about prostitution. When I sat down and crunched the numbers, it made me realize how much time we waste in our lives working. It became terrifying when I realized the average income in the United States breaks down to less than $10 an hour. I don’t think we spend enough time really analyzing what that means to us. The average person in the United states lives to be almost 80. That means we have an average of 700,800 hours total in our life. Every hour we spend working, is one hour we’re not going to ever get back. When you think of things as costing hours of your life instead of dollars, you really start to rethink your priorities.
I’m Paying with my Life
There are things that I feel are worth giving up part of my life for. There are some things that when I think about the fact that it cost me a part of my life, I die a little more inside, which of course creates a vicious cycle that probably means I won’t live another six months or so. Everyone has their own way of deciding is something is worth it to them. Some people buy things purely to keep up appearances. Some people buy things because they have an intense sugar addiction and the gummi bears were on sale! Me, I tend to buy things because they make me feel like I live in the future, and soon the robot army will come to finally take my revenge!
The Real Cost of My Stuff
I thought I’d share with you a few of the things I’ve bought in the last 6 months or so, and point out the life cost of each one. I didn’t really think about it at the time, but some things cost you a pretty good portion of your life, and somethings can save you a bigger portion. It was surprising to me, though, how little of a percentage things actually are. I was expecting my purchases to be worth 5% here and 23% there. Really, though, the biggest thing I’ve ever bought was only worth 0.4% of my life, though it is substantially more when you look at it over the short term. Sometimes you have to look at the short term, because most things aren’t going to last you forever, so you have to pay that cost time and time again.
Have you ever thought about how much of your life you’ve paid to buy the things you’ve had? How much of your life are you willing to pay for the things you want?