This is the first “guest” article I have use in the entirety. It is really good. Basically spend money where you spend your time and enjoy your life. I have a friend who has a $500 coffee mug and it’s super fancy and he uses it a lot. I thought he was a bit nuts but for the hours he uses it, it is likely a good deal. Enjoy.
Spend Money Where You Spend the Most Time
When you buy a phone or a car, you do your research to make sure you get the best bang for your buck. When it comes to indulging yourself, however, you might not do the same diligence. There’s one easy way to make sure that, even when you treat yourself, your money goes as far as it can: spend money where you spend your time.
Imagine this: it’s tax season and you’ve got a decent refund coming in. You want to use a small portion of it to pamper yourself a bit. What should you spend your money on? A nice dinner out? A new gadget? Maybe you want to spend money on an experience like some studies keep telling you to do.
Those are all good ideas, but spending money to improve the things you do every day can have the most long-term impact.
Take your bed, for example. You (hopefully) spend about eight hours there every night. Buying a new pillow or a nice bed might be more boring than a luxury cruise, but when you’re still getting a good night’s rest months or even years later, the benefits become clearer.
Consider your “price per hour” when buying new things
However, it’s not just a matter of comfort. From a financial perspective, splurging where you spend the bulk of your time saves more money than buying things that seem the most fun. For example, earlier this year, I spent $160 on an ugly, if super comfortable office chair. I also spent $60 on a copy of Super Mario Party.
Now, a video game should be more fun than a chair, no matter how nice the chair or how dull the game. Moreover, the game cost about $100 less than the chair. So, the game must be the better indulgence, right? It’s cheaper, it’s entertaining and it’s even an experience I can share with friends.
And yet, in the time that I’ve had both, I’ve spent far more time with the chair. I played the game about a dozen times — sometimes alone, sometimes with friends — for around one to two hours at a time. Call it 20 hours total. Since the game costs $60, that means I paid about $3 per hour of fun. That’s not bad! It’s cheaper than a ticket to a movie theater, anyway.
However, I’ve spent at least eight hours a day, five days a week in the chair (I work from home.) Over a mere three months, that would add up to 480 hours in the chair. Since the chair costs $160, I’ve paid a paltry $0.33 per hour of sitting. After a year, that would be down to about $0.08 per hour. In order to get that same cost-effectiveness from Super Mario Party, I would have to play it for over 750 hours. The game’s fun, but not that fun.
Spending money on a comfortable chair with good posture support instead of a video game sounds like the kind of stuffy advice you’d get from a parent, but in my case it’s directly related to the amount of time I spent on both. If you spend less than an hour a day at your computer desk at home, but have sunk a few hundred hours into a notoriously immersive open-world video game, then it might make more sense to buy the game. It might even justify buying the game multiple times.
To put it simply, the more hours you spend on an activity, the more value you’ll get from spending money on ways to improve it. That’s not to say that temporary things are bad. Getting a massage might only take an hour and last the day, but it’s still a nice treat every once in a while. You just don’t get much mileage out of it.
Find out where you spend the most time
Math is all well and good in principle, but how do you make this work in practice? The first step is to find the areas of your life where you spend your time. Statistics from the U.S. Department of Labor offer some useful, if somewhat obvious hints on where to start. According to the data, Americans spend most of their time in three key areas: work, sleep, and leisure, in that order. Work takes up an average of eight and a half to nine hours per day, sleep just under eight hours, and leisure or sports activities a comparatively meager three hours per day.
Since it takes up most of your time, let’s look at work. If you’re in a career where you sit at a desk all day, investing in a supportive chair or a standing desk can improve your comfort. On the other hand, if you work in retail, service industries, or other jobs where you’re on your feet all day, then your money might be better spent on a comfortable pair of shoes.
The next biggest chunk of your time is sleep. Getting a really good mattress can be expensive, but even a comfortable pillow can help you get more restful sleep at night, and wake up with less of a pain in the neck. If you’re the kind of person who can’t fall asleep in total silence, then a white noise machine could be worthwhile. At first glance, it might seem silly to spend $40 on a machine that does the same thing a free app can do, but over the course of a year, the machine costs less than a penny and a half per hour you use it. From that perspective, either option is cost-effective, so you can choose either one based on whatever you like best.
Then there’s your leisure time. At three hours of the average person’s day, it’s not quite as time-consuming as work or sleep, and yet you might spend more time on it than other, more “responsible” areas of your life like cleaning or cooking (which the Labor Department says take up about an hour of the average person’s day each). Counterintuitively, that means spending $100 on an InstantPot for the kitchen can be less cost-effective than spending $200 on a comfy recliner.
Time isn’t the only factor, but it’s an important one
If being advised to buy cozy chairs instead of cooking equipment and video games instead of office chairs sounds too-good-to-be-true at best and irresponsible at worst, that’s because this shouldn’t be the only factor in your decision making. You don’t buy equipment for the kitchen because of the number of hours you spend cooking. You do it because it makes it easier to make food. Which, as it happens, is something you have to do. You don’t need to play video games, but you do have to eat.
The relationship between your money and your time also isn’t that straightforward.
Say you spend three hours a night playing games or watching TV, but only spend an hour or two a week vacuuming your house. According to everything we’ve said so far, you should spend your money on your leisurely hobbies, right? However, if you spend money on a robot vacuum, then you can reduce the amount of time that you spend vacuuming to almost zero.
That’s an example of spending money to buy yourself time. You can’t do much to reduce the amount of time you need to sleep, and reducing the amount of time you need to spend on work can be complicated, but buying a gadget to help out with chores or make cooking easier can give you some time in your day back. If you can save yourself some time out of your day, that might be more important than optimizing your price-per-hour number.
No single factor should decide how you spend your money, but putting your money where you spend your time can help give you some valuable perspective. You only get so many hours in the day, and you don’t want to spend them in misery. If you’re going to spend money on yourself, the areas where you live your life the most are a good place to start.
I was worried on so many levels, the class was a $1000 each. It was filled with PhD, engineers, business owners…. from 9am to 9pm, 3 days.
I emailed the facilitator Millicent and she said “bring her on down”. So we did and magic happened.
The learning environment they provided was fantastic, my daughter kept saying ‘daddy this is so much better than school’, ‘this class is really fun’.
We finished dinner and were returning to the class and she was basically running so she did not miss any of it.
One of the steps in PhotoReading is “Mind Mapping” and I have struggled with it for years and so did a lot of the class. Well not my daughter. She actually taught the class how to do it
I have to admit it, I thought the instructor was joking (I know bad dad). She hopped up there with the mic, in front of the class and on live streaming video and just showed everyone how to do it. They asked her decently hard questions and she answered them. It was such a proud and awesome moment in my life.
Over the next day most of the live participants came to her and us and thanked her. Not as a joke but sincerely. She just took it in stride.
The facilitator’s next gig is teaching PhotoReading to some schools in Jamaica. She got our daughter to do an interview on her experience taking the class and to show all her Mind Maps. The difference it could make is really amazing for those kids down there and to have our kid help in that was another proud moment.
I will do an article on what PhotoReading is all about later. I found a instructor that would travel here and I can tell you this course is worth every penny.
I guess I am realizing that luckily my daughter takes after her mother, kind, compassionate, fun and open to trying crazy things I would like to do.
I hope we can all provide enough space for our kids to show us just what they can accomplish when our ‘adult’ mind does not limit them.
I was so glad, happy, proud and relieved. My daughter is going to be just fine.
(please tell me I am not the only worried dad in the world??)
Kelowna Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies
Well Food Sensitivity tests (IgG) hit the news recently. May have been a slow news day, may have been someone trying to stop thousands of people from loosing their minds over what they can or can not eat.
note * I am not a fan of IgG tests. That is just my opinion. Restricting certain foods when you are in digestive crisis can help a lot. When a person is in a health crisis there is a lot of conflicting information, Dr Google is not always your friend, neither are blogs that are not specifically talking about your case. For medical advice see your Family Doctor, for Oriental Medical Advice come see me, for other Allopathic advice you can see a Registered Nutritionist, Dietitian, Naturopathic Doctor, Chiropractor and other registered Medical professionals. Do not change what you are doing because of a blog post. *
The article you can see here, makes it sound like the tests are a complete sham and Naturopaths and a few MD’s sell them for the easy money and an easy treatment plan. In USA and Canada their is $20 BILLION dollars of private money spent in getting this test done.
Your tummy hurts, you have tried this and that and you are upset and tired of it. The ND says you may have some food sensitivity’s or worse intolerance’s and this test will tell us. A normal person would say, lets do it!
A short to very long list comes back of foods YOU CAN NOT EAT or YOU WILL GET SICK!
I have seen a few hundred of these lists and wow does it freak a person out, not me, the one that got the list.
I have tried to explain it a few hundred times to people why the test is not a great idea, I have tried to explain how they can eat most of the foods on the list, I have tried. But, I get told how I do not understand, this list came from a lab! For sure many of the foods on the list are not worth eating, it’s just the foods are not really the problem.
Why am I so tired, I get a LOT of that in the clinic. Most of it I get in September. Why is that?
The quick answer is. Have you noticed it is colder? You use more energy to keep warm at 15 degrees than when it is 30 degrees. The energy comes from you, if you did not “make” more then you will have less available for other things. Did you stop doing other things? Likely not. Therefore you feel tired.
Other reasons have more to do with history. A hundred or more years ago, think about farming. Most of it is done by now. There is a rest before the hard winters. Are you resting more? Again likely not.
In our modern culture it is just go, go, go. But for a few thousand years most humans in this hemisphere, would be going to bed earlier as before electric lights came around, once it’s dark, it’s bed time. You can only look at each other by coal oil lamp for so long. Or so my Grandpa used to say.
In Chinese Medicine, fall time is one of coalescing, getting things together. But again in modern times, with out the need to prepare food and other necessities for winter we just keep going.
What can you do? Watch a season or two of “Alaskan Survival” and head on up north and get back in tune with nature… Or
Get a bit more to eat, get a bit more rest, put on a jacket. I know you just want to wear shorts for a bit longer, but it’s over. Finish the projects and settle back into the fall routine.
If you have kids it can be very tempting to have them in something every night, soccer, basketball, music, swimming and our favorite Kung-Fu. Do the world a favor, give them some free time and more sleep.
This is the season when I start to see the most “illnesses” versus just injuries. It is the natural time for things to wrap up and stop for the winter. Well historically that is.
Do yourself a favor, take it easy in September and early October and then ramp up a bit for the winter sports and you will be glad you did. Otherwise, I’ll see you soon.
Kelowna Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies
I saw a flyers for back to school so I figured it was time to put this up.
If you want a lovely child, get them more sleep! If you want a super lovely child, get them a bit more sleep!
This of course goes for you also. So many health challenges I see every day can be helped by an hour or two of extra sleep. Well it is NOT extra, it is the correct amount. Have a look at the chart and make a note of how much sleep you and your family get versus what the research indicates is required.
When I say “get more sleep”, I normally hear. “But I can not get to sleep”, or “I wake up”, or “I don’t feel rested when I get up”, and my favorite “I don’t have time”. All of that can be and is often true.
The answer is get more sleep. Develop a sleep plan, (see below) and work the plan for a month or two. Good “sleep hygiene” is the catchy word for go to bed and fall asleep easily.
If you have raised a child, what is the not so catchy word for sleep hygiene? “Bed time routine”. Yup, remember whey you start with bath time, air time, tummy rub time, story time…. and finally a hour or so later the little one is fast asleep. Well it works for you also, you may not need the air time but who knows.
Depending on what is the challenge of your sleep, I can help, or Chinese Medicine can help. There is a long list of reasons why people have bad sleep and various remedies to deal with it.Read more
The Interstitium is not designated as an organ yet, but it may become the 80th organ in our bodies. If so it would be the third major “discovery” in the last 5 years.
First was the discovery that there is lymph system in the brain. The mention of lymph in the brain for years and years got you laughed out of medicine.
Second was the reclassification of the Mesentery as an organ. It’s all in your guts and does some really cool things.
The Interstitium has always existed in Oriental Medicine (OM), called the “Cou Li” the spaces between organs. It was found in Western Medicine (WM) by using a new way to sample tissue. They took some tissue from a living person and did not desiccate it, (press or dry it out). Then they realized there is a whole bunch of connections and fluid pathways. The more they looked, the more they found. Now they think this “organ” can be 20% of your body’s weight. Which would make it the biggest organ you have.
I think the important thing from the discovery was the technology they used to find the Interstitium. They used “living” tissue more or less in it’s living state. I think the discovery’s WM would make if they quite doing all this research on animals and studying tissue via autopsy, would revolutionize medicine. You fix people by working with living people, but much of WM was built studying dead people and animals. There is a difference between us and monkeys and rats, maybe small but enough…Read more
I like Tai Chi, you know that slow moving stuff you see ‘old’ people doing in the park in China town?
I recently came back from a big workshop in Toronto the 20 year anniversary of the passing of the Master of our style. Mr. Moy Lin-Shin.
It was my opportunity to see all the ‘top’ practitioners in one room and they did not let me down. Wow, can those men and women move and generate power. Yes that slow moving stuff is not always slow, but it sure is moving. Moving me across a room like I got a push from a train. Our style is purely for health, but there are a few ‘old timers’ that took me aside and showed me some of the ways to apply that force differently.
We had a visit from Mrs. Kwan, a small Chinese lady that is a legend around those parts. She did a demo and showed some techniques to make this part or that part work better. So I asked the great question; “wow, she’s good, how long has she done Tai Chi for?” 35 years. “wow, when did she start?” age 63. “Wait a minute that lady is 98 years old?” yup.
Lets just say, HOLLY COW!!! Having been in the business of watching people move for 22 years and doing martial arts for just under 40 years. Mrs. Kwan has cemented my belief Tai Chi is a health preserving, longevity super exercise thing to do. Run out and join now! The club I teach for is non-profit so, $25/month and free if you can’t afford it.Read more
I recently did a NPR national radio interview with Ezreena Scott a local trauma therapist. It was my first radio gig. You can listen to it here.
Ezreena did a great job and I learned a lot by doing it. Radio time goes fast and then it’s gone.
I would like to have said so much more on the subject, so I will touch on it here.
We all have trauma, individually our personal trauma can be a 10 out of a 10. If you compare traumas from person to person, yours might not seem so bad in comparison. But only in comparison, personally if you think your broken leg is a 10 out of 10, then it is, for now anyway.
If you compare your broken leg to watching your family die in a house fire, your broken leg may seem less important in that moment. But if you just reflected on your leg it can re-emerge at the 10 level.
I think everyone would be well served by seeing a therapist from time to time. For trauma, life goals, mental thoughts, depression, anxiety, shyness, feelings of isolation…. lots of things.
The more time people spend in “modern” culture of cellphones etc, the more trauma they will possess.
Why is that? Well when I was a kid there was a BIG newspaper called the “Sunday edition of the New York Times”. It was said that one newspaper issue had more information in it than my Great-Grandad was exposed to in his whole life. True or not I don’t know but an interesting statement.
When you consider in a day my child can be exposed to ANY information in the world. Much of it is not good, even trauma inducing. And yet all statistic show the world is safer, less poverty, longer lives, more conveniences. What is going on.
Trauma is good business. The famous newspaper adage, “if it bleeds, it leads”. Meaning put the worst stories first and lets get people’s adrenaline (fear) going. We are hardwired to respond to stress inducing things. The response they want is you read, watch or listen all the way for their advertisements to sell you something.
How does Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture help? I could have said more about this on the radio show, but…Read more
I admit it, one of my big life goals was fulfilled last week. I got to chaperone my kids Grade 6 school camp out and it was fantastic. Thank you to the SD23 school teachers that made that trip and many before it happen. I am grateful for the amount of time you put into it.
The location, Gardom Lake Camp and it was impressive, weather was awesome and no big injuries and lots of great moments.
I am a fan of goals. Over the years I have made thousands and likely accomplished hundreds.
There are as many ways to make goals, as there are people striving for them. Google it and try a few different ways. I have changed how I do it several times in the last 35 years (ouch that’s a long time).
Now I pick 5 goals a year, generally bigger ones. Break them down into bite size pieces and go about getting them done. Once you have done it for a while it’s fairly straight forward. In the beginning I used to beat myself up a bit for not getting them, or changing them, or…. Now I just work on them and they get done or they don’t.
The one thing I think more people could be aware of is, many of your goals will NOT bring you what you thought.Read more