Reducing Expenses Lengthens My Life

color photo of US 100 dollar bill

Reducing expenses to only essentials (food, energy needs, toiletries) creates more life for me. I exchange my time – the way in which I measure my life – for money through wage employment. Between the actual time I work at my wage job, my commute, the time I spend before and after work preparing for work (i.e rising before work to shower, doing laundry, preparing my lunch) as well as the time I spend talking about work with my spouse and others, I spend about 40% of my life working in a seven-day week. If I include the time I spend thinking about my job – thinking my employer gets for free – that percentage rises to at least 60%.

Reducing expenses means what???

Cartoon about reducing expensesIn exchange for this life energy, I get and have gotten money. Until last year, I expended little energy reducing my expenses. I suffered from the I-am-so-special syndrome – I needed the things I needed because I needed them. I also suffered by basic American confusion over wants versus needs. Basically, I did not reduce my expenses because I suffered from major lifestyle creep. With each raise, I spent more. Then I went into debt and complained that I had no money.

Every dollar I spent represented, and represents, a portion of my time. In the words of the creator of some really awesome calculators at networthify,

In a very real sense, buying stuff shortens your life. (And btw that means a charitible donation is literally giving part of your life to another, taxes are the government redistributing life, national debt shortens the life of people of the future, etc, etc.)

If I magically received $1,000,000 tomorrow – even $500,000 – I would quit my job. Reducing expenses means the total amount I need to live on remains low. When I say reducing expenses lengthens my life, I mean it. My overall quality of life increases every day I do not have to work. By reducing expenses, I can invest what I save and live off those investments. Who wants to give their life in exchange for food and housing for 40 or 50 or 60 years?

No thank you.

cover for Moxie, Vol. 1 by Jay SennettMy essay collection, Moxie, Vol. 1, will be released January 15, 2018. Preorder your copy today at Amazon, Nook, Kobo and Apple Books.