Looking at Money in New Ways


If you have never tried looking at money in new ways, you're missing out on some possibly meaningful and profitable perspectives. What do I mean by looking at it in new ways? I'll explain by starting with a seemingly simple question: How much money do you make?

There are some standard responses to that (if the question is answered at all). We normally and automatically start discussing how much we make based on annual pay or hourly wages, and sometimes the weekly or biweekly paycheck--before or after taxes. There is nothing wrong with any of these ways of looking at the money we make.

But there are many other ways to measure your pay. For example, we might do it by outcome. If you work in a factory your income might average forty cents per piece assembled, even though you are paid $12 per hour. Does it matter if we think of it this way? Perhaps. If you saw it from this perspective, pointed it out to your employer, and then found a way to double your speed, you might get the boss to pay you thirty cents per piece assembled, saving the company 25% on labor but making you 50% more per hour (40 cents per piece at $12/hour equals 30 per hour, double that and 60 pieces per hour at 30 cents equals $18 per hour).

But we can broaden our ways of looking at money beyond a per/hour to per/piece comparison. For example, you might You consider what you make after all "necessary bills are paid" which might mean you make only a dollar of discretionary pay for each of your forty hours at work each week. It may sound depressing. but then again, it can lead you to see that if you maintain your current necessary expenses and make $80 more per week, you triple the amount of money which you can spend as you like.

That is the real point of playing around with our money perspectives--to find better ways to do things. new ways of looking at things allows for new ideas to surface in our minds. As another example, a restaurant employee who realizes he is being paid sixty cents per pizza might then realize that he can make that much on six times as many pizzas each day if he is the owner of his own pizzeria. Or a man who sees that his hated job pays him two weeks of travel time annually might find a job with a lower paycheck in dollars, but which requires him to travel to interesting places twenty weeks each year.

This isn't just about employment either. You can measure your business "profits" in terms of the free-time you get - or by how many hours of the work you enjoy. Doing so might make you reconsider how you to make your money.

On the spending end of the equation, many people look at money primarily in terms of what things they can buy with it. There is nothing inherently wrong with that, but I prefer to looking at money in terms of what situations it can buy. For example, it can buy some degree of security, a lot of knowledge, and it definitely can buy freedom of a sort, if it is used in the right ways. How it is used, of course, starts with how we look at it.

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