Monday, 19 October 2015

The Nine-To-Five Never-Ending Treadmill

The title is a misnomer; many of the people I know are working All. The. Time. And not particularly enjoying it. I feel sad every time they tell me (again) that the hours are killing them. Because I know they will fall exhausted into bed tonight, but get up tomorrow and do it all again. And the next day.

They all have the same reason (if you ask them). They have no choice. They have to keep doing this because there are bills to pay. These are intelligent people; they can balance the chequebook; they have carefully tallied their expenses and know exactly what is needed to offset them. And what is needed is that they continue to drive themselves into an early grave by slaving away at a job that doesn't appreciate their hard work and doesn't reward them in an emotional sense. Worse yet, it deprives them of much of their free time as well, and stresses them to tears, and demands that they schedule time to eat.

The part that drives me crazy is that they are missing half of the equation. How can such intelligent people not see what is staring them in the face?

Answer: when you look at the same scenery for years, you don't notice the detail.

They work their thankless, stressful job in return for that pay, and then throw that pay at a fancy coffee. Bam. That's another day you'll have to work. Or a movie ticket. Or a takeaway meal. I am no saint, that takeaway meal is sometimes seen as a saviour after a tough day. But make no mistake, that Starbucks or McDonalds run just enslaved you to another day, another week of working at shitty nine-to-five drudgery because you have forever lost the chance to invest that money and have it work for you.

And once the movie is over, the $5 popcorn eaten, do we still enjoy what it did for us? No. The reward is fleeting and gone. We go back to feeling empty, tired and overworked. Compare that with purposefully saving the money and thinking about what the money will do for us. We can watch that balance go up and enjoy THAT reward many times. We can look forward to handing in the resignation letter. We can congratulate ourselves on moving forwards. Many times.

Pay tv. Fashion. Fast food. Hair Salon. New clothes. Second cars. College debts. Credit Cards. All totally normal. Everyone else does it, right? So it can't be so awful. Surely if there was a way to not work until 65, then everyone would be doing it. (Wrong. It's just that most of them think in the same way, and figure there is no alternative.)

Is your nine-to-five slavery so tiring, so all-encompassing, that you don't even have time to try and figure out how to get out? Maybe. Or maybe - realistically - you have just accepted what you think is the truth, and you have never questioned it.

Start questioning things. There is a way out.

Spend Less. Every cent counts.