Time vs Money – Does Spending Money Equal Happiness?


Sometime in the last couple months, I was introduced to the recent ex-President of Uruguay (via the internet), Jose Mujica. What a fascinating man!  So unlike all the politicians I have ever been familiar with, he actually does everything in the best interest of the people!! (You can check out more about him here, here and here.)  He does things like choosing not to live in the presidential house and staying in his small farmhouse instead, as well as donating 90% of his monthly salary (about $12,000), so that he makes about the same as the average Uruguayan citizen. Wow!  Have you ever heard of any American politician who has done this? He has also done many other amazing and forward thinking changes regarding such things as the legalization of marijuana, gay marriage and standing up against Phillip Morris (the American tobacco corporation), to name a few.

Regarding his choices of lifestyle, he states:

“I’m called ‘the poorest president’, but I don’t feel poor. Poor people are those who only work to try to keep an expensive lifestyle, and always want more and more.”

“This is a matter of freedom. If you don’t have many possessions then you don’t need to work all your life like a slave to sustain them, and therefore you have more time for yourself.”   –  Jose Mujica

I saw another brief video of him the other day via Facebook and Muse-pa (check it out here – especially about 2 mins in), where he mentions how much time all our possessions cost us, thereby robbing us of time we could have been spending living our life in a way we enjoy more. For some reason it really hit both Muse-pa and myself pretty strongly. We started looking at things we were considering purchasing or trips we might take and how much they cost – in terms of our time. We just happened to be going shopping for Halloween costumes and ended up debating was it really worth 4-8 hours of our life to purchase items that we may only use one time….?  Not to mention the 4-5 hours we spent doing the shopping…

This also made me contemplate all the other items I have purchased over the years that I have only used once, a handful of times or maybe….never…..  : (  What about food you bought and didn’t end up using in time (fresh fruits/veggies) and had to throw them out?  Or vitamins, supplements, and canned or boxed foods that you did not use prior to their expiration?  Now tossed. How much of my time (or my husband’s) had I spent earning the money to purchase those items?  And following that contemplation with thoughts of all the other things that could be done with that time. You know, pursuing other interests, hobbies, passions, spending more time with loved ones, hiking, camping, painting, dancing, playing tag with kids, learning to play a musical instrument or voice lessons.

In light of my recent trip to assist my mother in cleaning up her house (see my posts here and here) due to keeping so many things (pretty much for the past 20-60-years), many of them brand new, I have wondered how much money (then translated into life hours) did my mom spend on all that “stuff”?  What else could she have done with that time that she would have personally enjoyed or benefited from so much more than donating it all to a charity?  (Do not misunderstand this point. I am not saying it is bad to donate to charities, nor that I wish she hadn’t. In this situation, it was perfect to do so, but what if she had not done all that buying to even get there in the first place?)  How much stress or distress had she (and do we) endure to have all these things?

Babies, like Mr. Sweetie, give me food for thought as well, in this same regard. Isn’t it just amazing that they can sit there and play with the simplest things, over and over again? They don’t know or care that they are just the measuring cups mom uses all the time in the kitchen, the scoopers from the last few containers of protein mix (washed, of course), the wooden spoons from the kitchen, etc. They don’t throw a fit because they are not the latest and greatest items out on the market and what all the cool kids have. They are masters of just enjoying what is at hand. Exploring their world and learning from it and generally enjoying life. Simplicity at it’s finest…

Hope this gives you food for thought as well, and is a reminder to all of us about just what is important here in life and what deserves our time, attention and money.


Blessings to you and thank you for all the loving parenting you do; it makes a better world, one Sweetie at a time.

Hug attached,

Koolma  : )

 Have you been inspired by someone to simplify your life and noticed more peace, joy or the ability to do more things you love?  Who was it that inspired you and what called you to them? What pointers would you like to share with others that you learned along the way or have worked best for you?

We’d love to hear from you, so please share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section so we can help each other; remember, we are all in this together!






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