Time freedom isn’t just some fantasy or marketing scheme. It’s real, and countless passive investors have achieved time freedom by investing in real estate. However, since time freedom is a common phrase that people throw around, we’re going to explain what time freedom is, why most people never reach it, and how you can obtain it to live a life by your own design.
What is Time Freedom?
Time freedom is something that everyone wants, even if they aren’t aware of it. Time freedom allows a person to decide where and how to spend their time, and who to share it with. Having freedom of time is what gives someone the ability to create the future they want, and be more intentional with their time. People with time freedom get to build a life by their own design. Someone with time freedom can spend more time working on things that actually interest them, and they can spend more time with their loved ones.
Time freedom is what allows you to live a full life, and also pursue interests outside of work.
Right now, you might be working at a job with long hours, and doing work that doesn’t excite you. The reason time freedom is so important is that it gives you the flexibility to decide what you should spend your time on, leading to more happiness and satisfaction in your work and life.
Obtaining time freedom isn’t easy, but after reading through this article, you’ll understand why it is more than worth it.
Why is Time Our Most Valuable Resource?
As William Penn, founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, once said, “Time is what we want most, but what we use worst.”
Time is a nonrenewable resource. Once you spend it, it’s gone. This is something that people often forget, and time is typically lost on things like social media scrolling and work meetings with no clear agenda.
Although both money and time are scarce resources, studies show that people who prioritize their time over money live happier lives. According to Ashley Whillans, an assistant Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, people who place value on their time will make choices based on meaning rather than money. In other words, people who understand how valuable time is will do things they want to do, not because they have to.
I know what you’re thinking. Of course, everyone needs money to survive in our society. We all have needs, such as a home, food, healthcare, education, and a lifestyle we’d like to maintain or improve. But there is a way to have money and time freedom (which we will talk about later).
Why Don’t People Ever Reach Time Freedom?
Time freedom goes hand in hand with financial freedom, because you need to have the means of covering your financial needs and obligations before you can have complete freedom over your time.
However, most people plan to work until they can retire at 66. This is the mentality we’re conditioned to adopt. Most employees spend around 43 years working for someone else. There’s nothing wrong with having a boss, but it’s important to be intentional with your own time, and understand the reality of the corporate “rat race” that tells us we just need to put decades of our lives towards a job in order to earn retirement and a life by design.
Instead of waiting until we’re 66 to earn back your time, time freedom allows you to place more value on your time and spend it doing things you enjoy in the present moment, not sometime down the line.
People spend their entire lives in the “rat race” to buy things that will impress other people. According to the Oxford Dictionary, the rat race is “a way of life in which people are caught up in a fiercely competitive struggle for wealth or power; an exhausting, usually competitive routine.”
People in the rat race are so focused on making money to buy things that will impress other people. What they don’t realize is that they’re sacrificing their most valuable asset-time- in exchange for money.
In the absence of time freedom, your family will spend less time with you. You will constantly show up late to dinner. You’ll miss your kid’s soccer games and school events. Your friends will stop asking you to meet up because they know you’re too busy.
The question this sparks is this: What’s the point of having money if you don’t have any time to enjoy it?
Your bank might be rich, but time-wise, you’re broke.
Why Should Everyone Have Time Freedom?
Having time freedom will allow you to have the choice of whether to stay at a 9-5 job or not. If you do not like the job, or feel you are underpaid, you can leave and pursue other paths. If you do like it, you have the comfort and peace of mind of knowing that each day you go to work, it is because you want to, not because you need to.
Time freedom allows you to spend more time with your family and loved ones. Studies have shown that spending more time with loved ones results in lower stress and anxiety levels. This means you can lead a healthier lifestyle and even live longer.
Having the freedom to choose what you do with your time means you get to spend more time on work you enjoy. You will lead a more fulfilled life, and you’ll likely be more energized and productive. It can even improve your health. If you’re working a job where you are under lots of stress, and you don’t enjoy the work, the consequences can be serious. WebMD reports that “you’re more likely to have a heart attack on Monday morning than at any other time of the week.” Doing work you enjoy isn’t something to overlook, and time freedom can grant you the ability to make this positive change in your life.
Steps to Getting More Time Freedom
Obtaining time freedom can seem impossible. But there are three simple steps you can take to reach it. In order to successfully reach time freedom, you need to have patience, discipline, and the right knowledge.
Step 1: Track your time
If your goal is to earn your time back, then you first need to identify where your time is currently being spent.
Did you know?
Sleep: The average American sleeps around 7 hours and 19 minutes each night.
Work: In 2021, the average American worked 38.7 hours a week (The Balance Money). So, that’s about 7.74 hours Monday through Friday.
Social Media: Americans spend an average of 2 hours and 27 minutes on social media everyday.
TV: In 2021, Americans 15 years and older spent 2.86 hours watching TV per day.
Exercise: We spend 11.7 hours a week on health and exercise. This is about 1.7 hours a day.
Eating and Drinking: We spend an average of 1 hour and 7 minutes a day on this!
Driving: Getting to and from places in our car takes the average American about 1.7 hours per day.
I think you get the point. After you account for things that you need to do each day, the time leftover is even more valuable. Some things, like social media surfing, may not be the best use of time.
That’s why it’s important to track where your time goes. Performing a time audit on your day will help you cut back on activities that waste time and help you be more intentional to spend time on tasks you wish you did more of.
Writing down what you do each day and how much time you are spending on each activity is a great exercise. You should compare the averages you come up with to the ones provided above, and see if you think you should increase, decrease, or maintain the time in each category. It can also be helpful to make a note of which activities you enjoy the most, and which you dislike. This will give you clarity on what you should no longer be doing to improve your time management.
Step 2: Tackle Debt
When you’re working to pay off debt, you do not own your time. You are responsible for paying back the money you borrowed, as well as any interest owed.
The cycle of taking on debt and then paying it back can be crippling. This is what keeps many people stuck in the rat race. When you take out debt to buy something you can’t afford, you’re stuck living life for money, and you’re not living a life by your own design.
When you’re working to pay off debt, the money you make from your job is going directly to the people you owe money to.
There are two different types of debt, and it’s important to be aware of them. Investopedia puts it quite eloquently: “Good debt has the potential to increase your net worth or enhance your life in an important way. Bad debt involves borrowing money to purchase rapidly depreciating assets or only for the purpose of consumption.”
So, first off, try to avoid bad debt. But if you already have bad debt, Dave Ramsey’s Debt Snowball is a good model you can use to become consumer debt free. Here’s an article explaining it in detail, but I’ll also provide a brief explanation.
List your debts from smallest to largest regardless of interest rate.
Make minimum payments on all your debts except the smallest.
Pay as much as possible on your smallest debt.
Repeat until each debt is paid in full.
(Please keep in mind we are not financial advisors. This is purely educational. Consult with your own financial advisor for advice tailored to your specific financial situation).
Becoming debt-free allows you to earn your time back. This means the money you make can go to you and towards building your financial future.
Step 3: Invest in Cash Flowing Real Estate
With the money you keep, it’s important to invest it. Investing in cash flowing assets like apartment complexes is the best way to grow your wealth, and create the passive income you need to reach time freedom.
Cash flowing assets are the best type of asset to invest in. Here’s why.
Cash flow is realized when you buy an investment and hold it over a certain period of time. During this time period (aka the hold period), this investment will put money in your pocket. This can happen on a monthly, quarterly, or annual basis. You can take the money you earn from your investments and your job, and reinvest it into other cash flowing assets.
As you build your portfolio of cash flowing real estate investments, you will reach a point where the cash flow you receive from your real estate will surpass your living expenses. Eventually, your cash flow will be able to fund future investments, which will grow your cash flow. This cash flow is the passive income that will help you create more time freedom in your life.
Once you become financially independent, you can spend your time however you want. You can spend your days traveling, or you can start a new business, or stay at your job because you choose to! You are in control of your own time.
Cash flow from real estate is also the lowest taxed income class.
With enough cash flow, you don’t have to stress out about retirement. And investing in an apartment syndication is a great way to passively invest and receive cash flow-without the hassle of real estate management.
Now that you understand the importance of time freedom, and have a general understanding of what it takes to get there, you can take back control of your time and start working towards living a life by your own design.
Let us know if you have any questions about time freedom or investing passively in real estate.