Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Your Stuff or Your Life?

There are millions of reasons to stop over-consuming. It’s simpler, it’s greener, there’s less to dust. But as former Uruguayan president José Mujica–aka “the world’s poorest president”–reminds us, stuff costs money. For those of us not independently wealthy, our money has a pretty direct correlation with our labors. And unless your name is Tim Ferriss, our labors have a direct correlation with time. So each time we spend money, we are spending time. And once our time is spent, it’s gone. No refunds, no exchanges.

This doesn’t mean we shouldn’t buy stuff. We might decide that the things that are used, loved and add value to our lives are worth our time. This doesn’t mean that time spent working is bad either. If you love your work, knock yourself out. But ideally, we’d choose to do the work we love, not be bound to do it to pay for stuff. The reality is that if we became aware of the time-expense of our stuff, we’d probably do away with all the unnecessarily upgraded smartphones, the novelties, the status symbols. As Ben Franklin put it, “Dost thou love life? Then do not squander time, for that is the stuff life is made of.”

  • Amazing and so so true. We get up each morning and eat the same breakfast, drive to work, work, drive home, eat dinner, have a couple hours of leisure (usually in front of the TV), go to bed, and start all over again. All to surround ourselves with stuff that we gain no pleasure from after a very short period of time. We are trading life for stuff.

    Once my husband and I realized this we made some drastic changes to achieve Financial Independence and stop the vicious cycle. One of these changes was moving into a 30ft Airstream. Our amount of stuff has gone down, but our happiness has gone up and will continue to do so once we retire early next year and start spending our time doing what we love instead. I love this video clip and the quote from Ben Franklin at the end of the article. We love life too much and stuff too little to waste any more time on it. 🙂

  • Lori Taylor-Schulte

    Wouldn’t it be great if there was an app that would calculate how many hours a person would have to work in order to afford the item they were purchasing, maintaining it, storing it, etc..- I believe when people see the true cost of owning an item they just might think twice about buying it for themselves and even for others.

    • Hey, That’s great idea.

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  • aurora

    Thank you for sharing this video