What’s Worth More Than Money?

I’m sure you’ve had this conversation before with one of your friends, or maybe your spouse. In my experience it’s usually had around one of the dirtiest jobs on earth, or maybe something that would compromise your belief system or convictions.

“I wouldn’t do that for any amount of money.”

“Really? ANY amount? Hmm… how about a million dollars?”

“Nope, not a chance.”

“You’re such a liar. You would definitely do that for a million dollars.”

“No way.”

“A trillion dollars?”

“OK, maybe a trillion…”

It seems that there’s always a point where money talks. Money makes a lot of things possible in life, and most of us are willing to sacrifice a lot in order to earn or gain as much of it as we can.

So I thought it refreshing to read a post from Brian at Luke 1428 last week, where he announced that he would be quitting his job to become a stay-at-home dad. I hope you’ll check it out, his reasons for making this switch are against the grain (especially for a personal finance blogger), and yet very admirable.

The amazing thing to consider (for me, anyway) is that this is not just a career change, and it’s definitely not retirement. It’s a deliberate step away from making full-time income so that he can spend time investing into his children. He’s reached the point where he doesn’t have to trade his time for money– he’s now able to make the decision, confidently, that his relationship with his children is of more worth than a full-time job. He explains how it all came about in the article, but the short version is that it didn’t happen overnight. He planned and worked and saved for quite a while to make that dream a reality.

His move lines up with one of my goals, which is to spend as much time with my kids while they are young as I can. There are so many opportunities out there to create income streams from home that I think it’s reasonable to make your family the top priority and wrapping work around them. Reasonable to strive for, anyway.

It’s not easy to get to the point where you can make that change though, especially if you already have a family, already have a full time job, or if you’ve set your lifestyle expectations at such a point where it’s going to be difficult to bring them back down to an affordable level.

Part of my FI journey has been trying to get myself and my family in a position to make a change like that. Just like Brian, if we can eliminate our mortgage and all other debt, and reduce our expenses to a reasonable amount, we’ll be able to achieve a certain level of financial independence at a much earlier point in life and hopefully be able to wrap a sustainable business model around our home life.

But even if that can’t happen– even if I end up having to go back to work in 5 years because we can’t sustain our financial goals– I think the investment into our children will pay off huge in the long run. To us, time spent together with them, helping them to get a solid start in this world, is worth way more than money.