Paycheck Chronicles

Another Twist on the Income Debate


Lots of people at various stages of their lives are considering the choice to lower their income, whether you are retiring from the military and deciding what to do next, or considering one person leaving the paid work force to care for children or parents, or any number of other reasons.

I just read an excellent post by Philip Brewer at Wise Bread, talking about how he needs a lot less income than he thought.  Philip makes some excellent points about taxes and savings, but I find most interesting his thoughts on time and spending.  One of the things I've been battling with is the economy of using my time to save money versus using my time to make money.  Both are viable options, and I've had the wonderful opportunity to experience both sides of the equation.  I've learned some really powerful things along the way, mostly stuff that Philip mentions in his article.  When I'm working, I'm not able to do serious comparison shopping, I rarely use coupons, and I'm sure as heck not doing some amazing price-matching, double-couponing, mail-in-rebating triple play that results in me getting money back for buying stuff.

Traditional "can you afford to stay home" calculations always include taxes, and they usually includes stuff like work clothes, commuting costs, and day care, but they rarely include the value of being able to use your money wisely (except for a brief mention about picking up dinner after a work day.)  Using your time as a dollar-stretching tool can make the difference between needing to work and having the flexibility to do what you want to do.  Of course, this make the assumption that you have an interest in this type of work:  tracking down bargains, searching out deals, and pinching pennies is hard work.

While this certainly doesn't make any income related decision much easier, it is another useful piece of information to add into the equation.

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