The other day I came across a saying that made me really give thought to the amount of time I have left in my life and what I want to do with it. Comparing the time I have left to accomplish my goals to the balance in a dwindling bank account made me really reflect on the similarities between the two. Here is part of this saying:
“Imagine there is a bank account that credits your account every morning with $86,400. It carries over no balance from day to day. Every evening the bank deletes whatever part of the balance you failed to use during the day. What would you do? Draw out every cent, of course? Each of us has a bank. It’s name is time. Every morning, it credits you with 86,400 seconds. Every night it writes off as a loss, whatever of this you have failed to invest to a good purpose.”
Each and every morning we are given an account with 86,400 seconds worth of time in it, and it’s up to us to make sure we use that gift efficiently and effectively. If someone gave you that much money every day and told you to spend it, you’d make sure you did so, correct? Well, you’re given that much time every single day to live up to your potential, and once it’s gone, it’s gone.
Over the years, I have talked a lot on this site about how certain lifestyle choices can negatively affect our financial bottom line. From lattes to cigarette smoking to lavish vacations on credit, I’ve covered the gamut of how our choices in life can be damaging to our fiscal health. But reading this saying, something else really hit home — all the talk in the world about money doesn’t matter if we don’t take full advantage of the free “bank account” we are given each morning.
My father died when he was just 45 years old. He didn’t expect to die so young, no one ever does. Did he make the most of his “bank account” full of time? Who knows, but I’d like to think he did. But as I am rapidly approaching 40 now, I am really giving thought to how I am spending my one lifetime here on earth. Am I making the most of it? Am I worrying too much about money missing out on my life? Am I wasting valuable time fretting over past decisions that I can no longer do anything about? Am I avoiding moving forward?
Being concerned about your financial situation is, of course, a very important matter. Everyone needs money to survive, to buy food for a family or to put a roof over their head. Money does make the world go ’round, there is no escaping this. But while this site has been focused, and will remain focused, on all issues surrounding money – credit, debt, investing, shopping – I beg you to also consider your other incredibly important asset you start each day with – time. Without time, money is useless. It’s up to you to start using both money and time to the best of your ability, in order to take full advantage of both.
Remember – this is your one and only time around on this rock. Don’t waste all of it being concerned solely with money, as you can’t take with you when you go anyway.