Life and stuff: Time vs money vs happiness

time-vs-money-vs-happinessMoney. Those numbers in your bank account, that clink in your purse.

Tool or tyrant? Friend or foe?

I can’t quite decide at the moment. I’ve changed my working life in order to be happier but as my bank balance dwindles, I am starting to question my decision. Was it really a good idea to give up full-time work in order to pursue a bohemian ideal? Shouldn’t I be saving, super-annuating and insuring things?

Around me, mortgages flourish into fixed assets while I shovel money into the fire pit that is Sydney. Last we checked, The First Husband and I had paid $65,000 in rent two-and-a-half years.

What have I really got to show for  16 years of work? Two poodles and a variety of handwoven tablecloths purchased around the world. Seven, to be exact.

But here’s the catch: I want to travel and travel requires money. In some cases – onsens in Kyoto, a cup of tea in London, a night in Huka Lodge – lots and lots of it.

And then there’s the issue of time. Travel takes time. In some cases – travelling across Europe by train, getting from one end of South America to the other, hitting your stride in India – lots and lots of it.

So what is a girl to do? I need lots of time and lots of money and I don’t want to work in a conventional, full-time office job. I am so much happier the way my life is now (working as a freelancer, sleeping in whenever I can) but maybe I need to find a benefactor. Anyone know a cashed up, bored investor who likes travel blogs?

What do you think about the perpetually perplexing time + money + happiness equation, precious readers? Have you found the perfect balance?

6 comments on “Life and stuff: Time vs money vs happiness

  1. I know exactly where you are coming from. I’ve been planning a grand European adventure for years and have had to put it off several times because the bank balance couldn’t support my wish list for the trip. But now that I am in a job that I love that surprisingly pays me well enough to afford my holiday I’m starting to wonder if I’ll be able to take off as much time as I wanted for the trip to start with. Being a grown really sucks sometimes. Responsibility isn’t all it’s cracked up to be!

  2. Having watched the “Social Network” last night, all you need is one really good idea, and your money problems are solved!

    Imagine the how much travel you can do with owning a $50 billion dollar company Em. Come on, it can’t be that hard! 🙂

  3. Oh I HEAR ya! I quit my full time journalism/editor job last August to do freelance writing and voice-overs. While I don’t regret leaving full time work (I am SO much happier and less stressed – and I feel like I have come back to ME again, after 5 years of being a “full time work imposter”!), I am starting to panic a bit as my savings, like yours, start to dwindle. It’s forcing me to start pro-actively self-promoting. Something that doesn’t come naturally… I just want to be a creative free spirit, but how does one do that, with a so far sporadic income, mortgage, a partner and two dogs to consider?

    And travel? That’s had to be put on the backburner. Travel’s like a drug for me and I haven’t had a fix since 2008… just as well I’m SO good at sublimation!! 🙂

    So, no, I haven’t found the balance – YET. And Rachel is right – being a grown-up can suck!

  4. I’ve never worked harder being a freelancer than when we can rely on our salary to be deposited regardless of how long we played on the PC or shopped at lunch. I’ve also never met so many fantabulous people, had so many breathtaking experiences nor lived my life to the fullest by turning freelance and living my dreams. In fact, it took me a few weeks to realise my Daintree trip ticked off one of my ultimate dreams: to drink the purest water on earth. I came across a gorgeous quote recently…not all those who travel are lost…we live in a different era to our nomadic ancestors but you can’t get the DNA outta the gal ! On finances…we eat, we sleep. We can’t take it with us…

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