Saturday, December 24, 2011

Time and money and freedom

I live pretty cheaply. The key here is that I don’t have to go to work every darn day. I can do things at home that reduce my living expenses. I do all my electrical, plumbing, and carpentry work. Instead of spending all my money on fuel, WVO is gathered to run my diesels, and firewood provides most of the heading and cooking. I also do money saving things like bake bread and cook meals from scratch.

There are special projects that save money: converting the vehicles to run on waste veggie and installing a solar electric system. I decided I’d rather stay home and do things that reduce expenses than get a job and earn more money.

It’s not an all or nothing proposition. How many times do we see both spouses working? Often the second income barely covers the expenses of working: the second car, child care, work wardrobe, and meals out. Sometimes it actually costs money to go to work.

Traditionally, the wife would stay home and be the domestic engineer. That role doesn’t get the respect it deserves. A well run household becomes a center of production rather than just an expense. Housewives took care of children, cooked, cleaned, mended and even made clothes. Often they tended to gardens and small livestock like chickens and rabbits. They had a huge economic impact. Better yet, none of their production was taxable.

In today’s work world, sometimes it makes sense for the husband to stay home. Wives may have the higher income and enjoy their work more. Men can take care of and nurture children. They can cook, clean, and do all that other domestic stuff. In general, men are stronger than women. They are better at cutting and piling firewood, and doing heavy lifting in general. Stay at home husbands are not traditional, but so what? Do what makes sense for you.

Maybe what you really need is a job with fewer hours. Could spending time at home make up for less hours of work? I know I guy who figured out he could get by nicely working only 3 days/week. His dad asked him why he only worked 3 days/week.

“Because I don’t quite make enough money working just 2,” he said.

The days he didn’t go to work, he spent renovating his house. He saved a bundle doing the work himself, and didn’t have to borrow money to do it.

I know people who work seasonally. During the off seasons, they basically work for themselves. One buddy of mine was irritated that his seasonal job lasted longer than it normally did. It was keeping him from home and all the things he wanted to do there.

One of the things that drives me nuts is people who retire and complain they have to go back to work. Now if they wanted to go back to work, that would be one thing. No, these people whine that they have to work to keep up their lifestyle. They complain that they want to travel like I do, but can’t.

However, they may live in a house that’s too big for them, drive cars they are making payments on, and refuse to travel any way that’s not first class. Appearances are more important to them than actually doing something. I’ll think about them while sitting on my 1982 boat, pulled south by my 1993 truck, enjoying my 10 million dollar view.

I’ve got the rare gift of time. It’s a gift I gave myself by adjusting my lifestyle. I’ve made choices on what’s more important. For me, free time is freedom.



  1. A very true post today.Time is a limited thing.To often we forget we only have so much of it in a lifetime.A job or work is only a place we trade {time,part of our life} for money.We all need money to live but do we need to sale so much of our time that we exsist and never live.How many older people do you know that have money that would GLADLY give away a years pay to regain that year of life?

  2. Oh so true. Now that I don't have a lot of time left, I look back and wish I had done a lot of the things I wanted to do but put off until I had more time. Yeah, right!!

  3. You are so right about the time. The very thing you can't get more of! When you use it up, it's gone for good!

  4. Too late to tell men it's okay to stay at home after we spent the last 50 years telling women it's' not okay. Today we tell women it is essential to have your own career and not be dependent on your husband. Why would I not tell men the same thing?

  5. Time is our only asset which is valuable...