40+FAB Blog

Your money or your life

I spent a lot of time playing outside with friends when growing up and we loved playing cops and robbers. Anytime we played the robber we would ask our victims, “your money or your life?” We did this because we were told that real armed robbers asked thier victims that question.

Can we actually separate our money from our lives? When you take into account how much time we invest in a business, career or entrepreneurial activity to gain money, we are literally spending our lives in exchange for money. I am not talking about being hung up on money, but on doing what is necessary to keep body and soul together.

If for some reason you were robbed of your salary for the month, then you have lost the reward of your time and indeed your life for that month. Anything that takes your money is indirectly taking away from your life too.

In this sense we cannot separate you from your money, and anyone robbing you is tearing away a part of your life as they snatch your money from you. We would normally report cases of robbery with the hope of bringing the perpetrators to justice, and this is encouraged in most societies.

But there is another case where our money or life is snatched away from us with our consent. This has to do with what we spend our money on. When we spend it on what I will call the ‘necessity’, we are spending within reason, but when we spend on what I will call the ‘luxury’, we are at the point of being robbed with our consent.

I will define a necessity as what is important for our day to day effectiveness. Food, transportation, utilities etc are well accepted necessities, but if I had to attend a business dinner, then it becomes a necessity also to get a smart tuxedo to get to that event. On the other hand, I will define a luxury as what we acquire for reasons that do not justify our expense. Food can be a luxury if you are giving in to greed and gluttony, just like any other addiction in the form of gambling, drugs, drinks, etc.

Necessities will refresh your life and keep you appreciative of what you have spent your time to acquire while luxuries will rob you and deplete you of your time and strength spent making the money to acquire them.

From now on, remember that your money is linked to your life, so think and spend it wisely on what will keep you appreciative of your life and not on what comes in to rob you of all that you are.