Thinking About Money and Your Work-Life Balance

Your Work-Life Balance

Let's start this section by referencing another classic tome on this subject: The 4 Hour Workweek.

The 4 Hour Workweek is a highly successful book from an author called Tim Ferris that attempts to teach people ‘Lifestyle Design'.
This is essentially the process of rearranging your lifestyle so that it works for you – rather than working for the system, it means getting the system to work for you so that you have more free time and more money as well.

The book was something of a revelation and spawned a whole movement of ‘digital nomads' who used technology to work remotely and experience adventures across the globe as they did.
Since then it has seen various new editions and sold huge numbers, but it has still mainly only been read by entrepreneurs and budding web-marketers.
This is a shame seeing as the lessons it contains can be used by anyone to great effect.
Read on and let's look at some of the best financial tips you can take from it and apply to your life – even if you are happy working in an office.

Your Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance

The Problem
Tim Ferris starts out by explaining that not all cash is made equally.
Most people measure their ‘wealth' by looking simply at the amount they make per month or per year.
Tim suggests that looking at the amount you make per hour makes much more sense.
In other words, if you earn $40,000 per month but work only two days a week, you are in a sense much ‘wealthier' than someone who earns ‘$100,000' per month working 7-7 five days a week.

The goal then shouldn't be just to earn money, but to earn money such that it enables the lifestyle you want.
You shouldn't be in a position where you can't just make the decision right now to go for a walk.
Surely that is the very most fundamental of expressions of human freedom?
This is where so many internet marketers, SEOs and web designers go wrong.
If you're currently selling your services online, or building a business, then the temptation is to earn more by working harder.
You can work longer hours and thereby bring in more cash in the short term, or build your business bigger.

But stop and think for a moment: if you are working for 12 hour days, then that means that you're actually earning much less than you might do in a regular job.
You may as well be doing a full-time job and an additional part-time job in the evening!
Your overall ‘income' might be high, but your salary is very low.

Getting the System to Work for You
So, what do you do? Well of course if you're technologically and entrepreneurially minded you can set up some kind of online business that will generate revenue for you in a very hands-off manner.
That could mean creating a hit app.
It could mean writing and selling an e-book.
It could mean buying and selling websites for a marked-up price, working online stock trading platforms or even using drop-shipping so that you don't need to do the work at all.
There are countless ways you can make money passively, and by setting up a few you can leave your days working in an office for dust.

Salary vs Wealth
More to the point though, recognize that your salary and your wealth are not one and the same.

And on top of that, we shouldn't be measuring our success by our income – which is what so many of us do.

If you work in a regular ‘job', then you might think that the only way to become wealthier is to ask for a raise or to get a better paid job.
But your ‘wealth' is really more about your surplus cash.
It's about how much you have in the bank.

You could be earning $3 per hour but still be ‘wealthy' if you happened to have inherited $1 Billion from a dead great aunt.

And in just the same way, you could be considered to be wealthier if you spent less.
In that case, you might live in a smaller home, you might live in a country where the cost of living is lower, or you might just spend less on food and clothes.
Either way, this could allow you to put aside a fair amount of cash every day and feel pretty well off…
The great thing about working online is that you do have the option of packing your things and moving to another country.
In fact many entrepreneurs end up moving off to sunny countries where they can afford lavish villas at a fraction of the cost.

Then again, you might choose to spend every single cent each month and then take out even more loans to pay for the rest.
That way, you can live the ‘rich' lifestyle and feel and look like the highly successful entrepreneur, despite having barely any cash in the bank.

It's all up to you.
It's all about what matters to you and what's important to you.

And that's precisely the whole idea behind lifestyle design.
It's about knowing the lifestyle you want, calculating how much money you need to support that lifestyle and then designing your business around that.

A more specific way to do this, is to calculate a minimum amount you need to earn each day.
This is what I do: I work until I earn $150.
That's a minimum that allows me to pay my bills and to put a little aside each month.
I can easily afford to buy myself the gadgets I enjoy, to go out with friends and to work on my home.

But that's me.
That's based on my outgoings, the cost of my mortgage, the cost of my hobbies and interests.
You'll have your own target and that's what you need to shoot for.

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