Money, Time and Family Care

Prioritizing Time Alongside Money

As a society, we have been trained to believe that more money is always better. People in the ThirdPath community have turned this assumption upside down. Instead they ask, can we design a financial solution that allows us the time we want, not just the money we need?

For many families, the time-money tradeoff is a luxury they can’t afford, but for those who can intentionally make such a choice, there are many rewards.

By getting clear about life priorities, being intentional around spending, and creating financial buffers, there really is a way you can create more time for the things you love.

The way to do this, Matt Becker would argue, is by following a “life-centered approach” to finances. Matt is the founder of Mom and Dad Money, and he talked about this on one of our Thursdays with ThirdPath webinars. Click on the YouTube recording and you can listen to his insights right now.

While discussing these ideas, Matt encourages parents to think about the time they want for different things — family, partner, your kids and other highly valued non-work activities — then to use these “life goals” to become more intentional about how to manage earning income and spending to achieve them.

For example, being conservative around spending can help you afford to use time in a way that is most aligned with your values. It also helps you better manage unexpected changes in employment, or the need to temporarily reduce the number of hours you work.

Members of the ThirdPath community apply the life-centered approach to family finances in a variety of ways.

As one mom explained, “Live at or below your means, but never above your means.” Another father told us, “Avoid the assumption that the person who earns more should work more. Instead, find solutions that advance the family’s needs, and each parent’s professional goals, as a whole.”

Just as there are different “North stars” there are also a wide range of ways ThirdPath parents “balance” the competing needs of time and money.

We all need money to live, but the exact amount depends on how much we spend, how much we save, how much debt we have, and what our values are. With the right amount of reflection, conversation and visualization, each of us can find our own unique life-centered financial equation.

What’s the right “life-centered approach” to finances for you?

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