When you are growing up, life can be carefree and fun. You’ve got school to attend and chores to do, but for the most part you have lots of time for play and for activities with your friends. Summer time is idyllic, with beautiful weather and hours to spend doing whatever you like. Time drifts by like clouds in the sky, with new adventures around every corner. It’s how life was meant to be, enjoyable and wonderful, day after day. Then the big changes come.
Graduation comes all too soon, promising a range of career advancements and new opportunities, and it’s then that the true reality of the adult world is revealed. The time for fun and enjoyment is nearly over now, because you are going to work yourself to the bone for the next 45 years.
How Long Does the Average Person Spend at Work?
If you are employed full-time for 45 years at 40 hours per week, with two weeks of vacation, you’ll be spending 90,000 hours at work. That’s depressing enough, but it doesn’t even factor in all of the extra hours you’ll spend at your job. Most people often stay late to catch up on their lengthy task list or wind-up working overtime to finish special projects. It doesn’t end then, as there are always more emails awaiting you once you are home.
When you factor in your commute to and from the job every day, that can easily add another 5 hours or more each week. Worst of all, the time we spend at our job is almost always stressful and it rarely if ever nourishes us. Most of the time, if you ask people, they don’t even enjoy the work they do.
Start to Think About Investing
One of the ways to escape the ‘nose to the grindstone’ approach to working your life away is to start thinking about investing as a way to make money. When you learn to invest wisely, you can leverage your funds and put your money to work making even more money for you. With smart investing, you can grow your nest egg and create a life where you have more free time and more financial freedom.
Investing can be new for a lot of people, but fortunately there are great resources so you can learn everything you need to know. One of the best ways to master the nuances of the market is to get into paper trading so you can practice investing without using real money. You can get a trading simulator for students that let you build a portfolio and make trades with no risk at all.
Ways to Decrease Working Hours
In our society, it’s really hard to live a different life. We’ve been indoctrinated in the ‘you have to work hard to get ahead’ mentality from an early age. Achievement in school is praised. Little children, creative and playful by nature, are taught to sit still in their straight lines of classroom desks. Then, as adults, we have to strap on the heavy pack of responsibilities and adult financial obligations. It’s nearly impossible to decrease your working hours when you are part of a system that demands all of your time.
If you move from full-time to part-time you are punished by them taking away benefits. On top of that, you won’t earn enough to live. Sure, you can get a side hustle to make more money but that adds even more hours to your week. You’ve got to come up with a solution that is outside the box, that makes life work for you and your family and gives you time to enjoy life.
Decide How Much to Invest
Once you’ve spent time learning about investing and practicing your paper trades, it’s time to get into the market. You’ll want to decide how much you are comfortable investing and stick to those parameters. As a rule of thumb, it’s good to invest between 10% and 15% of your annual income if you are putting away money for retirement.
If you are using investing as a way to step away from full-time work in the next couple of years, you may want to be more aggressive. Take a good look through your budget and see where you can lower your monthly expenses. You can then take the funds you saved and invest them too. Investing offers you the chance to chart your own course in life and leave the 90,000-hour work life behind. By studying the market and working on your trading skills you can create an investment strategy and portfolio that is perfect for you and your loved ones. With good investments, you’ll receive a financial reward and have the freedom to create a life you can truly enjoy.