Yes, time is value. Therefore, when I talk about time as a currency, I will talk about ŧime, Ŧime, or Ŧ, not just time. For example Ŧ60 is 60 minutes of time value. In this monetary system, a week is worth around Ŧ10K. And the nice thing is: a week is is worth Ŧ10K for everybody on Earth!
Now that we are set, let's dig deeper...
In my book Out of the Rat Race, I analysed the time vs money conundrum, and I was forced to conclude that "In the money-time system, anything that is not Enjoying is a loss." Talking about Ŧime will always be an unfinished business, as there is so much we have to learn about it. Today, I will have another go 🤔
We are human species and we have to spend our ŧime according to the laws of human species, which at the start, need to fulfill our Reptilian needs and then Animal needs. Maslow has captured this very well in his famous hierarchy of needs, 66 years ago...
Everyday, you have to allocate ŧime (consciously or not) in layers of this pyramid, starting from the bottom. As the physiological needs cannot be compressed too much (or risk insanity and the rest of the pyramid crumbles), you will have around 2/3rd left, or Ŧ6.6K for the remaining 4 needs.
Now, the real risk is that you spend much of your ŧime fulfilling the second need. This is where you fulfil your need of resources, health, family, property, employment... Oh, this list can be as long as your fears of being insecure!
The more I read into the FIRE (Financial Independence Retire Early) movement, the more I find that most people talking about financial independence are actually talking about fulfilling this basic need of safety. They forget that they could be a bit more than civilised but insecure animals. The problem is that there is a whole pressure system built in our societies to keep the human-animals focusing their ŧime on their insecurities. Let me give you an example. I just subscribed to a Financial Independence group to see what goes in there. First post I open, a guy asks this question (I have reformulated it to keep anonymity):
"I calculated my retirement date based on a 4% Safe Withdrawal Rate (SWR), but some say it should be 3% and others 4.5%, what ratio should I take to retire early?"
😧😧😧😧 I do not have enough emojis to express my anger at this short-sightedness. Calculating the precise value of savings to set a precise early date of retirement for fulfilling the precise animal need of eating, shitting, and calming down most of your insecurities??!! Come-on... No wonder many early retirees are getting depressed! 🤕 Retirement blues? Take extra pills at the cost of a 0.02% SWR 😇!
Side note: as the number of post is growing, I have recently added a filter to sort articles by category, which you can find on most article pages and also on the main blog homepage. I hope you will find it useful to review past articles.
In the hope that you have spared a few Ŧ after fulfilling your basic needs, you will start allocating them to the third level, with a first foray into fulfilling your psychological needs. Giving love and being loved ; giving ŧime to others... Starting to be human!
I think you start to see where I am going. We unfortunately have to spend around a third of our ŧime to keep us running in a good enough condition. Then, we choose to spend another large chunck of what precious ŧime we have left to keep us secure in a world who continuously pushes us towards insecurity. And when we have spent most of what we had, we finally start to give. We are not even half-way through the pyramid, but we are just starting to act as humans. Who is going to have enough ŧime to give in the upper two levels? Who is going to reap the real reward and feel accomplishment and self-fulfilment?
My friend, you have to make your ŧime flow into the upper levels of the pyramid. Setting a goal of financial independence for living a frugal life of time spent mostly in the basic needs, and the little left in the enjoyment of oneself, can be the purpose of a not yet fully mature 20 year old. But not later in life. The older you get, the more you are likely to understand that ŧime must be kept for what matters. To create more than just an accumulation of toys and a safe deposit. Even personal memories shared with family and friends are not going to make it. I wrote recently about finding your values and getting closer to understand you own purpose. Well, purpose is at the top of the pyramid. It is what people will remember you for, even long after you have left this Earth.
As sure as Central Banks will continue to print money, sooner or later I will come back to the Ŧime currency in many forms. Because this is the most important one in the end. As I often say, and this is what I understood some years ago now, it is the journey that counts. The journey is simply what you made of your ŧime and what others will remember of it: your Legacy.
If you are still with me at the end of this article, you just paid me around Ŧ10, or 0.1% of your weekly Ŧ allowance. Although I sincerely hope I have helped you a bit further in your own journey, I am very thankful for your generosity.
To your journey!