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Investing Our Time and Money: The Seven Action Series

Juggling Time and MoneyOver the next week or two I will be posting a series on the Seven Actions. Each post will define one of the actions and explain its important in our lives. The first in this series is investing.

Investing is the act of using something in order to receive a benefit or advantage. Usually we think of an investment in terms of future returns. But investing can also provide immediate benefits. For example, when we invest time in attending a movie, we get the immediate pleasure of enjoying of movie. We may also get a future benefit from interesting discussions about the movie.

Simply put, investing is putting something in and order to get something out. We invest time at work to get a paycheck. We invest money into a car to get transportation to places we want to go. Every use of our money and time is an investment, even if the return is not significant, or beneficial.

When we spend our time or money, we expect to get a benefit or advantage. But like investing on Wall Street, some investments just don’t deliver. We may buy a product that simply doesn’t work, and we get no benefit for our money. We may invest time in helping a friend get a job, only to have that person quit a few weeks later. Investing is making a decision to spend time or money on something that we believe will provide us a benefit.

Giving our time and money for charitable reasons is also a form of investing. First, we invest in the belief that the investment will benefit those we are helping. We usually chose to invest where we believe our resources will make an important impact. Secondly, we invest in order to gain the self-appreciation of knowing we are helping. Like our mothers said, it feels good to help others. It is an investment in anticipation of that good feeling. And there is nothing wrong with doing good to feel good. Giving is one of the most important investments we can make.

To get the most out of our time and money, we need to consider the investments we are making. If we choose to watch a television program instead of playing with the children, we need to understand where we are placing our investment and where we are choosing NOT to invest. Our investments define what we believe to be important. What investments did you make today? Did your investments best represent your life goals and values?

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