June 09, 2013

Money, Time, Energy

Last May, I attended Boulder Startup Week. The gist of the event is to gather a bunch of tech-oriented folks, attend events ranging from hiking to tech talks to startup parties, and attract folks to the area. Let me tell you…

It didn’t take much to win me over.

After a week of meeting new people and roaming downtown Boulder, I went back to Kansas City convinced that Tamara and I should move. And not just for selfish reasons. I believed that the Boulder/Denver area had something to offer Tamara as well as myself. It helps that we’re both creatives.

With very little convincing, Tamara agreed and we decided to move. We didn’t have a job lined up or any worldly reason of moving except that we liked the area. That was all that mattered.

Why am I telling this story?

Tamara and I learned relatively early in our relationship that planning together can lead to living an autonomous life-style. We knew that living in Kansas City was not an option, at least in the near term. We wanted to try something different, and so we did. This could only happen with smart planning.

Money, time and energy are three things couples tend to actively talk about and plan. I’m going to briefly talk about these resources and how we manage each.


Tamara and I purposefully spend the bulk of our money on traveling. Why? Because we’re young, and we want to see the world before we get old. Instead of getting a nice ass crib or car, we focused our funds on things that would promote new experiences in our lives.

We also automate all of our expenses. For example, we each get a guilt-free allowance from our primary account; meanwhile our bills get paid automatically and on time. The only thing we concern ourselves with is feeding the beast with enough money.


People who know me know I plan my life in themes by the decade. During my 20th birthday I coined the theme “travel and new experiences,” which meant for roughly a decade majority of my time would be spent exploring and taking risks. So instead of wasting money on material things, I live frugally and spend a bulk of my earnings traveling and taking risks. Tamara and I have behaved in a similar manner since being married, which allowed us to make the move to Boulder without much stuff and ties to Kansas City. It’s the reason why we’re planning to take four overseas trips in 2014.

The aggregate of your time is important, and the thought of being buckled down working in your 20s sucks. Hence, figure out a theme for the next 5 or 10 years, and position yourself, career wise and personally, to devote as much time to that theme as possible.


Lastly, managing your energy not your time is severely important. To do this takes discipline and a cadence of meditation, exercise, and kindness. I won’t go into detail, as this blog post is longer than I wanted it to be. Just think about how you and your spouse can produce the most energy from your mind, body, and spirit.With the two of you being cheerleaders of each others biggest asset (you), it makes for a healthy and fruitful relationship. There’s a great Harvard Business Review article on this topic.

Thanks for reading. Would enjoy getting feedback.