Your Money Or Your Life, by Joe Dominguez, a seminal work defining how we look at work and money.
Let's say one earns $40/hour. To go out to eat, spend $40 for dinner is equivalent to one hours worth of labor. But not so fast.
First, (and I'll be fast and loose with my numbers), the $40 becomes $20 after paying all the mandatory taxes. But let's not stop there. Let's add in the time to prepare for work, and the cost of the vehicle to transfer to work. And after work one must decompress by having a few drinks. The $20 easily becomes $10. And how about the cost of gas going to and from the restaurant?
So the $40/hour translates into working 4 hours for that meal. This is what Joe D. was talking about. We're trading a lot of our life's time and energy in wasteful means. By making a few thoughtful different choices, our lives could be much fuller with greater happiness and satisfaction.
Most people's lives are spent/stressed over making money. Getting up early, putting on the nice clothes, driving the expensive car, from the expensive house to make money. It's not just the job where one makes money, but it's the getting up early preparing for the job, then working and the enormous amount of time decompressing after the job.
Here's a list of stuff I'm writing down that is free. While it might seem trite, it's not meant to be in any way:
A healthy body including heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, you get the idea. When we're healthy we might take them for granted, but if we don't have outstanding health, we know how important it is. As one famous writer said "Happiness is a good bowel movement".
The air we breathe, water, library, sun, warmth, flushing toilet, eye sight, beauty, walking, the ocean, exercise, tennis, the parks, hiking, our five senses, friends.
Things nowadays that are free or nearly free: internet, phone, fruits and veggies (especially at the $.99 store), legumes, camera, video camera, voice recorder, you tube, facebook, email, netflix, calculator, fed ex, ups.
So we can choose to spend thousands on cars and houses, or make simple modifications like eating at home, and choosing to do those things that are free or cost little.
Is one's life richer because one owns more things and spends more money?