It’s Either Time or Money

Yesterday I had a conversation with a son who needed to get something and I told him about a less-expensive place to purchase it. He said, “It’s not the money, it’s finding time to go buy it.”

His comment got me thinking about how it is either time or money that impact decisions.

Larry H. Miller was one of the wealthiest businessmen in Salt Lake, owner of the Utah Jazz and a chain of car dealerships. He died at age 60 of complications from diabetes. Those who knew him said, “He didn’t take care of himself. He was too busy taking care of everything else.”

People miss out on a lot because of  those twin devils, no time or no money. Sometimes even life itself as in Larry’s case. He had plenty of money for medical care but neglected getting it due to lack of time.

When Larry Miller died the Salt Lake area lost a great and good man. He used his wealth to build the local economy, to bring a major NBA franchise to Salt Lake City, to donate generously to charity.  The entire community felt the loss.

My husband’s brother also passed away from untreated diabetes. He was 56. Unlike Larry Miller, my brother-in-law didn’t believe he had much to live for. He wasn’t married, had no children, lived in isolation on an island off the Washington coast.

Once when my husband talked to him about his health, he replied, “Why worry about it? The Gowen men die young anyway.”

Their father and grandfather both died at age 60, thus his fatalistic attitude. He was resigned to the fact that his time on earth would be short so why spend time or money trying to prolong it? Being a self-employed carpenter with no insurance, this decision made sense to him.

Time and money are two huge assets bestowed upon us all in varying degrees and amounts, and learning how to utilize them effectively isn’t easy. Serious mistakes can be traced back to poor use of one or the other, and success is achieved by their wise use.

One’s perceptions about them are often based on emotions or prejudice rather than actual fact. And there are ways and means to accomplish goals without an abundance of either; like creative thinking, asking for help from others, and just plain old focus and determination.

Back when our children were young, my husband and I didn’t have much money. We wanted a large family, so we had one baby after another and money was understandably tight. One day my daughter commented that our family didn’t feel poor.

“That’s because we aren’t poor,” I said. “We make choices and live with them. We have what we need, who says we’re poor?”

She said, “Well, my friend Tara’s family eats the same kinds of food we do, like Toasty-os instead of real Cheerios and sometimes Ramen for dinner. Her mom says they have to eat that way because they’re poor.”

“Well, we aren’t poor. We eat Ramen because we like it. We eat Toasty-os because they come in a bigger bag and last longer and taste just as good.”

My daughter said, “That’s what I told her! But I just wanted to see what you’d say.”

Perception! Although time and money are tangible items,  they can shift and move and turn into slippery creatures of one’s own imagination. They fascinate me.

Not surprising that they are recurring themes in my books.  Choices made about time and money can change the course of a life. Such everyday, ordinary, basic elements of each person’s existence yet with such a powerful impact.

“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”~H. Jackson Brown

“Time is the measurer of all things, but is itself immeasurable, and the grand discloser of all things, but is itself undisclosed.” ~Charles Caleb Colton

“It requires a great deal of boldness and a great deal of caution to make a great fortune, and when you have it, it requires ten times as much skill to keep it.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The use of money is all the advantage there is in having money.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

25 thoughts on “It’s Either Time or Money

  1. ed pilolla

    i like the franklin quote best of all, which may mean i barely understand it:)
    what we value comes out in how we spend our money and time. the results aren’t always pretty.

  2. karenjonesgowen Post author

    I thought the Franklin quote was interesting because when he says “using” money has value, at first glance I assumed that meant “spending” it, When I give money away to charity, or I start a business, I am using money but when I go shopping I am spending it.

    Thanks for stopping by, Ed. Insightful comment.

  3. Tracy

    Karen, I truly love this post. You put into words something that I struggle with – this last year I have been committing more time to my passions, pursuing my dreams. With that though…it has taken time away from friends & a few of those friendships are suffering. At times, I feel selfish but how can I reach my goals…always pleasing others. Your paragraph that starts with – Perception! – is wonderful!

    1. karenjonesgowen Post author

      Tracy, I know what you mean! Still, I think that true friends should be happy for you, and excited that you are pursuing your dreams rather than jealous of the time it’s taking away from them.

  4. Rob-bear

    The first thing I thought about when reading this post was part of a song which was popular years ago:
    “Love will get you through times with no money better than money will get you through times with no love.”
    For me it’s not so much time or money; it’s just “not enough time” to do all the things I want. Or the perception of not having enough time. So, perhaps, I’m trying to do too many things.
    Busy Bear.

    1. karenjonesgowen Post author

      Great song! I had never heard of this group, thanks for the link! I love the 80’s style of their hair and clothes, I was listening to country in the 80’s, don’t know why this isn’t familiar to me.

      And thank you Rob for subscribing to my website. You are the first one! Woo hoo!

  5. Theresa Milstein

    Congratulations on your new website.

    I love the idea of perception. My husband and I struggled with $ for many years. But I hope my children have a different impression, because they had other things they needed.

  6. Old Kitty

    Love your new website – nice and sparkly shiny new! Love your post on perception too! Money is relative, time is controllable, perception is all! Yay! Take care

  7. Hilary

    Hi Karen .. we were brought up to respect money and had things but I never felt spoilt – I probably was, but not in the way people would say today. I’m just grateful when I meet people and families who don’t hanker after the latest gadget .. making demands all the time – especially those who have no money, and probably won’t get, and almost certainly aren’t striving to learn and better themselves.

    As people say .. if you don’t have time – get up earlier … I’m still working on that one! – but I need to .. now especially as I have my project in embryonic status! At least I know what I’m aiming for .. cheers for now – great you’ve started this site .. well done – Hilary

  8. Rosalind Adam

    That’s so sad about your brother-in-law but I get what you mean about perceptions. My mum always perceived herself as poor. She scrimped and saved and now she’s gone and we have her money. It’s not a lot but she could have treated herself with it, just a little. It hurts to spend it and it hurts to save it. I just wish she’d have used it when she was able to.

    Love the new site, by the way 🙂

  9. Linda G.

    Amen about perception. It’s all in how you look at it. I don’t mind admiring the grass on the other side of the fence, but I’m perfectly happy with the shade of green on my side. To me, that’s the key to contentment.

    Really like your new site!

  10. Ann Best

    You’re absolutely right. Attitude, including perception, is the key to everything. Good post. And of course I love your site because I love WordPress. Don’t you love the way you can reply right below the comment?!

  11. Marguerite

    Love your new website! Congrats on a job well done! Also love all of the quotes on perception. But my favorite is “Money, you can’t take it with you”. (author unknown) 🙂

  12. karenjonesgowen Post author

    Dear Friends, Thank you all for stopping by and viewing my website! I appreciate it so much, and that you left comments as well 🙂 I will be posting here infrequently, just once a month or less, with most of my blogging still done at Coming Down the Mountain, as my intention is to use this as my official author website just to say I have one. Yay, I did it!

    Thanks again for all your support!!

  13. Arlee Bird

    It’s often said that “time is money” which is equally as true as the adage “time or money”. It’s a bit of a contradiction, but it makes sense as well. I often idle away my time and feel a bit guilty later that I wasn’t doing something more productive that could have led to making money, but sometimes one just has to do things for themselves or loved ones. It really comes down to balance and management.
    You got my brain working–ouch!

    Tossing It Out

  14. Victoria Marie Lees

    My favorite part on this blog is in the upper right hand corner: “author, editor.” Good for you, Karen. My favorite parts of your most recent post are the quotes, especially H. Jackson Brown’s. Congratulations on the website.
    ~Victoria Marie Lees

  15. marja

    Great post. Time and money can indeed be big issues if you choose them to be. We had like you a period that money was very tight after we moved to NZ. I only realised that later. We thought we ware rich as suddenly we had a beach nearby and the mountains and lost of other goodies.
    Great quotes

  16. melissaanngoodwin

    This is such a great post. I’ve pondered on this conundrum many a time. When I worked for a large corporation, I made tons of money and had absolutely no time. All I wanted to do on the weekends was sleep. I certainly didn’t have the time or energy to write. When I started to make different choices – choosing to do things that brought less money but allowed more time, it was an adjustment to get by with less. But I find there is a certain comfort and satisfaction in living more simply. The world is full of beautiful abundance that is absolutely free. There’s a woman called The Mirth Doctor, who speaks to businesses and organizations about the power of laughter in the workplace. She uses examples like when we sigh and say, “What a long day!” to show how off our perceptions are. Every day is the same length – no one gets any more or less than 24 hours. It’s what we do with those hours that matters. You are terrific – I loved this, and you write so well. Of course!

  17. Rob-bear

    Lately, I’ve been very involved in Occupy Saskatoon. It has taken a lot of time.
    Which means I’ve been working with (not for, with) people who are homeless, some working and unemployed. (Yes, you can be employed and homeless at the same time — the money you make may not be adequate to give you food, and housing, and clothing.) Quite a few of those people have adopted our camp as their home.
    It wasn’t something we planned on; it just happened. But it is one example of the economic injustice which is at the bottom of the Occupy movement’s concern. (Remember, Occupy not a protest, it’s a process.) So that’s what we took to City Council last week. And that’s why we marched yesterday. (Yes, we’re still doing that.)
    So I, and we, carry on. “Occupy Saskatoon: Join the conversation,” is the way we put it. Can’t think of many better ways to use my time. And money.


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