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
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
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 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
The clinic is grateful to have won “Best of Kelowna” in the Health Practitioner category.
What gets us there? Many, many things.
Without people willing to spend their time to vote, nothing happens and I thank you.
What gets them to vote? The likely answer is they where helped at the clinic. For those that know me, they can wonder how that happens.
What makes that happen is: first a partner that really does a lot of the heavy lifting to allow me to do the easy stuff. Without Heather this clinic would just not go. We also have some behind the scenes people that do their part, from our Web and Print people, Alex and Mark. Our tech guy, Grant. Our Accountant, Peter, Amrit and their team and without my teacher Elisabeth I would be fumbling in the dark ages still.
Last summer I took Mondays off to spend them with my daughter. This year I am trying Fridays. Running my own business it’s tough to take a day off. Many things from a work perspective don’t get done.
However as all the parents say, “good for you Ward”. Which is very nice of them.
It is amazing how quickly my daughter seems to be growing up. On a recent trip we where doing a ‘rope’s course’. We are 60 feet up in the trees climbing and zipping from tree to tree and she wants to go first. We thought wow, two years ago when we did this she was shaking she was so scared, and now she’s leading the way. (and we where shaking…)
We plan something every Friday and just the two of us go do it. Sometimes it is all fun and sometimes there is work involved with the yard or other jobs. We seem to like it and we seem to get to know other aspects of each other.
I am fortunate I can take the day off and do this with her, as at the moment she is still excited to spend the day with me. Hopefully that will last for a few more years at least.
I have read quite a few parenting books, none have many answers. Several have good ideas. I find that the more time I spend with her the more she trains me on what to do.
Well April 1st was All Body Care’s 15th year anniversary (we opened April 1, 2001), no joke. I started working on people in 1996 and Heather started in 1993.
I would say it seemed like yesterday but it doesn’t. The memories, stories and experiences we have had in the last 20 years is really amazing. Some great successes and failures, some wonderful people and great times.
Interestingly this year I am studying as much as when I was writing my licensing exams. Heather and I still find it so interesting and so many challenges we don’t have clear answers for. It’s good and bad. It’s good that we have so much to learn and I feel bad for the people I don’t have the answers for. Luckily I have a good Rolodex of other great practitioners in town.
I find it really interesting/funny/disturbing how I have been around long enough to see trends recirculating. It’s not just in fashion, it’s in the health field also. This year it’s all about the gut microbiome. Which I studied in my Red Seal Chef days. We called it ‘gut flora and fauna’ but it’s the same thing. I am enjoying seeing the progress in the field vs what we knew in 1987.
I am enjoying seeing people I treated for fertility, now I am treating a couple of those baby’s as adults. I think I may be getting a bit old, just a bit.
I think the first tips I learned in the health game are just a useful today as they were in the ’90’s. Eat regular, don’t work, read or run around when you eat, chew your food, have some friends, get 8 hours a night in bed, make time for you, this is not a dress rehearsal this is the game. Make memories with people you like.
Anyway, thank you all so very much. Without the great people that have let us be part of their healing journey I’d still be working on a cruise ship. Which was not all bad either…. Let’s see how the next 15 years go.
Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies
My lovely Grandma is 95, on June 3rd she will be 96. She was born in 1919, just think of the changes she has seen in her life time. How did she get this old in such good shape? She did some things right and some things could have been better. I want to talk about that in the hopes we can have a life as full and beautiful as she has.
She grew up in a small town, worked in the city for a bit during the war. Then met Grandpa and moved to the middle of nowhere. A place close to Antelope Sk. They had a mixed farm for many years. Life sounded very simple, sun comes up, get up and work. Sun goes down, go to bed, then repeat.
But they had a dance at their barn in the warmer months, and there where the working party’s that went farm to farm to help with the larger projects. Food was simple, work was hard, friends where fantastic. Even now, most of her friends are gone but the children and grandchildren stop into where she lives and check in on her. It is really fantastic for them to do that.
They retired and lived in Swift Current for the last 40 years. A lovely town full of farmers and recently some oil workers. They did some traveling, worked a bunch organizing the local co-op and some other charities. Met friends and socialized.
At 93 my Grandpa passes away. He had a very interesting life, his dad died when he was 13 and he left school to help on the farm. At 15-16 he was riding the trains as a hobo finding work in Alberta (even back then everyone goes to AB to work) sending the money home. He was the first man in Canada on dialysis. He was crushed by a tractor and his kidney failed. Luckily he recovered. He had cancer a few times, some wild farming accidents but all the time a true gentleman. Always wore a jacket and tie in town and tipped his hat to all.
After Grandpa died Grandma’s coping skills fell apart. She mostly stays in her room and just sits. We do our best to get her out and socializing but she is so so at it. As you age you need a plan when someone dies before you. You need to develop interests and hobbies, social circles long before you “need” them.
I was lucky on both sides of my family I had the perfect Grandparents. They taught my brother and I all sorts of interesting things. Showed us love and discipline and an example of how to behave (not always followed). I miss them dearly and I hope you can be that kind of Grandparent to your grand-kids.
While I can still enjoy my Grandma we travel to see her when we can and phone often. She always thanks me for calling saying how enjoyable it is. I always say it is my pleasure to hear her.
Have you called your Grandparents lately?
Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies