In the distant past, when there was no money, the only resource we had was our lifetime. So the time that our body has held out before it goes limp. We invested this time to go looking for food and thereby get more life, essentially to survive. It still wants to be used well today. Everyone (hopefully) has their goals. Unfortunately, most of us cannot devote as much time to our goals as we would like. We still need part of this time today to stay alive, i.e. to provide ourselves with food, domestic security, clothing, etc.
The hamster wheel of (survival) life
Back to the distant past. Back then, with no money, we humans were busy with this supply for most of our available time. Interestingly, for most animals, their entire life consists almost entirely of this hamster wheel for foraging for food to survive. It’s good that there is still enough to reproduce and raise the offspring, otherwise we would have a real problem with overall survival. Without money, there is little chance of breaking out of this hamster wheel. Unlike most animals, our ancestors had bodies developed enough that they could invest free time in inventing new tools and technologies. This made it possible to accelerate the search for food or to store the food and make it more durable. It gave them more time and made better tools and so on. But it was only with the advent of money that trade and thus a division of labor could develop as it prevails today in a complexity that the Stone Age people could only dream of. And with that, compared to then, we have achieved an incredible level of security and comfort in life. Even in the poorest countries in the world there are no longer any predators for humans and we no longer have to live in caves or on trees.
Most people today are still trapped in the same cycle as they were 20,000 years ago. With one difference: foraging has been replaced by work. We get money through work, which we can in turn spend to stay alive, e.g. B. Buying feed. Not just for our hamster. But money has another fascinating quality. It can also not be output. If you ignore devaluation and inflation, this is the perfect opportunity to put your own lifetime on the high edge. I work a few hours more than I need to “just” survive. Then theoretically I wouldn’t have to work as long as I can buy the necessary feed with the money saved – and still survive. A fascinating system. So you can see money as a coagulated lifetime, as non-volatile, tangible time in a fixed consistency that I can put on my shelf and store there until I want to use it up later. So the old saying “time is money” is true.
How much time is money – and how that helps us emotionally
If so, how much time is money? Or how much money is time? Can I convert that into each other? The answer is: yes, about my hourly wage. As we saw in the last article, I have a net of 4,000 euros per month and 40 working hours per week an average hourly wage of 25 euros. And that’s extremely exciting to know. If I treat myself to something in the future that does not contribute directly to survival, e.g. For example, a bar of chocolate or a trip to the cinema, then from now on I can pretty much say how much time it cost me. If I add chocolate to the cinema in the latest 3D blockbuster, plus maybe a coke, some popcorn and an ice cream confection, then I’ve probably spent around 25 euros. So the film didn’t just cost me two hours (the time I actually spent in the cinema), but actually three. I first had to work an hour to be able to afford the cinema and the feasts.
What brings us now on our goal of financial independence? I claim quite a lot. If I know at what “speed” (hourly wages) I can produce money, then I also know how much it really hurts when I lose it again. We learned what the difference is between expenses and investments. Investments are essential for financial independence. But investments are also risky. The invested money can get lost, in the worst case completely. And that can be scary. Sometimes even so much that I prefer to leave the investment on, although from a rational point of view it has a great risk reward ratio.
I want to get these irrational emotions under control so that I can look at my investments as soberly and assess them as best as possible. It can help to work out how many hours of life I am actually investing. Or better, how many hours I would currently need to get the invested money back in the event of a total loss. If I z. For example, if I know that with an investment of 1,000 euros, that’s only one week of working time, then it might be much easier for me to invest. If everything goes wrong, what can go wrong, I have “only” lost a week. And if the work I have is fun, then I can even look forward to recovering a lost investment.
All jokes aside; we should of course not deliberately ignore investments. The fact is that emotional decisions about investments are responsible for a large part of the losses in the population. Fear and greed (over) drive the stock exchanges and cause the excessive build-up of speculative bubbles and the subsequent exaggeration downwards after the bubble has burst. It is important to keep a cool head when investing. And that works best when you can emotionally separate yourself from the invested money as well as possible. Once it has been invested, the money should be viewed as gone – or as invested. Just like a farmer replanting part of his harvest next spring. Once in the ground, this part is gone for him. It can no longer be eaten. Until after a while it (hopefully) yields a multiple of income.
I view invested money as if it no longer exists on my account. Even if I could theoretically sell the investment again at any time, like with a share. The sale should never be made because I get cold feet and want my stake back. That would destroy the original investment idea. If I liquidate prematurely, then at the most because in the meantime I have come to the conclusion several times and sustainably that the investment has failed and can no longer be led to success – when you realize that you are doing the classic dead horse rides.
Investments as a game
Another possibility is to view the money for investments as play money. In a computer game, I can only spend the resources that I get in the game in the game. And what is the play money usually spent on? For better equipment with which you can defeat stronger opponents and from which you get more play money. Or for the development of new technologies to improve production buildings and increase their yield. A classic investment. In contrast to real life, I can’t use the play money to go to the cinema or to have fun in any other way. The investment in the game is the fun. That is why it does not occur to anyone not to invest the play money. After the end of the game, it expires worthless.
If I put some of my money aside and reserve it exclusively for investments, I can proceed according to the same principle here. The money must be invested, otherwise it will at some point, at the latest after the ultimate game over, your own death, if it is not eaten up by inflation beforehand. Of course, this requires a certain discipline not to plunder the investment account in between to buy a new television that is one size bigger than necessary
And a second point is extremely important: failed investments must be used for learning. This massively increases the chances of winning the next time. Every time one of my investments has not gone as I imagined, I analyze it and try to find the reasons for the failure – so that I can do better next time. Maybe I need some time to get the money I need for the next time. But that worked last time.
Money is neither good nor bad – it always depends on how you use it.
However we twist and turn it, it is important to have a healthy relationship with money. Those who do not like money will not be able to amass so much that they become financially independent. It’s like a self-fulfilling prophecy. If I tell myself that money is bad or that I don’t like money, my subconscious will set various levers in motion so that I will have little or no money. Anyone who has always been chronically clumsy and wants to change that should start by testing themselves for negative beliefs about money. And that’s not as difficult as it might sound now. I have dealt with this topic in great detail myself and there are a lot of Coaches, books and tips found how to correct one’s relationship to money. So that it also works with financial independence.
That’s why I don’t want to go into it in great detail here. On the contrary, I would even like to encourage you to follow these links and read on from there first. Especially if you haven’t read much about the topic so far. Even at the risk of leaving my blog in the process. ‘Cause I know you’ll come back sooner or later I have a few tips for you from my own experience that I have never read anywhere myself.
And if there should be a need to learn more about beliefs about money from me , then please let me know in my feedback survey. Right after reading my personal money mindset tips:
Money in itself is neither good nor bad. It can help to think of money like a tool, e.g. B. like a hammer. You can use it to drive nails into the wall – or holes in heads. It always depends on how you use it. The example may sound a bit blatant at first, but it makes the heart of the matter very brief, concise and memorable. If you think about it a little bit, you will come to the conclusion that money is actually a great thing. After all, who wants to use their money to intentionally harm others?
Many prejudices against money are based on the assumption that it is simply unfairly distributed in this world and many people make themselves guilty because others have less than they do. Wikipedia says, 0.1% of the people in this world own more than 80% of money. A common argument against wealth is that it is unfair to have so much while there are other people who have almost nothing. I let this question of distribution go through my head for a long time and finally I figured out where the mistake lies: Equal is not fair. The distribution of money in this world is about as fair as the fact that birds have wings and we humans don’t. Or that certain flowers are red and others are blue. It just so that some people were more favored by life from birth than others. And just as it is, some people are better at dealing with money than others. And those who have learned to deal with money will also be able to keep and multiply it better.
Let us assume that all the money in the world would first be confiscated by a divine power and then distributed completely evenly to all people on earth. I claim that just a few hours or days later, some of the people who before had more than others will again have more than the average. Simply because they have learned to handle money and keep it.
The good thing is: everyone else can learn that too. This is one of the reasons I write this blog. You don’t have to feel guilty because you have more than others. Unless you have inherited richly or won the lottery, you have usually worked hard for this “more”. It doesn’t help to deny yourself (or others) something just because someone was born in an emerging market rather than a family of wealthy celebrities. You can even turn it into the opposite: just when I intend to use a good part of the surpluses from my own financial independence for the benefit of others, I am downright obliged to achieve this goal and a lot, a lot of money for it to accumulate. First to provide enough for myself. And any excess beyond that I can use to do good. I’ll have the time for that then. With this project, the money is in better hands with me than z. B. at a mafia boss or arms dealer.
Another way to improve your relationship to money is with a little mind game. The absolute numbers, which I’ll give you in a moment, may vary over time. It depends more on the circumstances – and they have been similar for centuries. There are currently around 7-8 billion people in this world. The richest person in the world owns around $ 170 billion. Even if he distributed his entire fortune evenly among all other people, each would only get a good $ 20. For some it is a lot, for others it is almost nothing. The important thing is: it is a one-time effect. So a nice gift even for the poorest of the poor, but not a permanent solution to lift them out of poverty – and the richest person in the world would be broke in one fell swoop. All his money has fizzled out with very little effect and can no longer work for himself. One should keep in mind that the rich in particular donate extremely large amounts – precisely because, thanks to their wealth, they have the time to organize charity events and set up foundations, etc. So if a single person manages to amass so much wealth that it makes them financially free, that can be good for an extremely large number of other people as well. So, folks: hoard money, become financially independent – and then do good with it!
Money is coagulated lifetime. I can use my hourly wage to convert the time that I have available in this life into money and vice versa. This helps me to assess investments better: How long would I have to work to get back the money I want to put into an investment? This consideration can also help to get irrational fears of an investment under control. I can also see investments as a kind of game to take the edge off the associated emotions. It is only important that I learn from any failures for the next time.
Otherwise money is neither good nor bad. It is more of a means to an end that keeps today’s modern world going. It is important to clarify your relationship to money, otherwise it will be difficult to get enough of it to become financially free.
The next article from the “Basics” series continues here: