The Cost of Money

I love writing. Really, really love it.

I don’t always have the inclination to do it, but when I finally do drag myself away from the myriad distractions in my flat, I do, genuinely, love it.

But you know what else I love?


Not so much just having money, but rather what it affords. It can pay for the roof over your head and the food in your fridge. It can pay for that cute new pair of shoes, or that dress that you’ll ‘totally wear all the time’. It also buys security, status and confidence.

Having money means choosing whatever you feel like off the menu.  It means not having to carry a calculator in one hand when doing your grocery shopping. It means being able to travel, being able to go to the movies, to the theatre. I know I’m unintentionally quoting Malema, but money really is freedom.

It can however, also be a trap.

When I got my first pay cheque, I was beyond elated. It was just enough to pay for my bachelor flat (read: converted garage) apartment and keep me in baked beans and toast for the rest of the month.

Over the years, I have worked hard to climb up the ladder, and have used the number at the bottom of my payslip as a measure of my skills and my worth.  Any time I received a promotion, or let’s be honest- a pay raise- it was an affirmation of my abilities, and of myself. Giving me more money means you like me! You really like me!

Without me realising it, that number at the bottom of my payslip became more important than the hours of my life I had traded for it. Like I said, I really love writing. Getting a creative brief, fulfilling it and then getting paid- it doesn’t even feel like work sometimes.

But in recent months, I have come to realise I was doing less and less of what I loved, and more and more of what I ‘had to do’ to see that magic number at the end of the month.

More importantly, I had come to realise that the hours of my life I was pawing off have far greater value to me than that number. Hours that could have been spent challenging myself, or reading great books, learning a new skill, hanging out with loved ones, walking in the park, video games. The quality of my life had become worse, not better, by using money as my qualifier for my success.

The cost of money had become too high.

Recent news about my partner’s serious health condition cemented what is still a scary decision, even as I eagerly await the passing of the next 2.5 weeks for this decision to actualise.

I quit my damn job, yo.

Yes, I’m scared about paying the rent every month, yes, I’m scared of building up my freelance network and yes I’m worried about making a big  financial decision while we  are staring down the barrel of 4 months of chemotherapy. But I’m also excited about the prospect of being far more wealthy and  fulfilled where my time is concerned, and really- time is our greatest asset in life. How we spend our time, I think, counts for more than how we spend our cash.

So what am I going to do with all this free time that promises to sprawl out in front of me like a drunken debutante?


You’re goddamn right, Napoleon.



9 thoughts on “The Cost of Money

  1. I am so glad that you made this decision! I know quite a few people that have reached this same point, and I think that this is the start of a global re-awakening to the important things in life.

    I wish you all the best!

    • Thanks so much, Hermien! Hopefully now I’ll have time to finally get good at games… or at least change the difficulty setting 😉

      Appreciate the comment!

  2. Hi Jade,

    You could learn an instrument, can be a great source of enjoyment and meditation – but I would say that, wouldn’t I?

    Hope you’re okay and good luck with self-employment.


    • Thanks Dan 🙂 I do dabble on the guitar from time to time, but now I have no excuse on quieter days to try and get better.

      • True, what sort of guitar music do you like to play? My mind is like a guitar library, my home has 1,000’s of articles, and my hard-drives are full of lesson material. Basically, I can send you something, let me know 🙂

      • Wow, thanks- to be honest I’m not even sure right now. I’ll give you a shout when I have a little more musical direction/ questions though-thanks again!

Comments are closed.