A Wage Slave (WS) is someone who works for money but hates his job. He’d much rather do more personally fulfilling stuff. Maybe he’d like to read, play tennis, hang with friends, go for walks, run, work on a hobby, volunteer, or whatever. Maybe he’s just sick of the actual work, the jerks he works for and with, or the agonizing commute. Maybe he resents selling, creating or supporting a product or service that is worthless or even evil. Does any of this sound familiar? Does any of this describe you?
Maybe not. Maybe you love your work and don’t feel like a WS. To find out for certain, try a thought experiment. Suppose you had a billion dollars. One day, your boss comes in and says “I know you are super rich and love your job. We really appreciate your hard work, but we’ve decided to stop paying you to save money. We hope you’ll continue working here exactly as you have been. Keep up the great work!” Would you come in the next day and work the same number of hours? Be honest with yourself. If you can’t answer a resounding YES, then I’m sorry, but you’re a WS.
If you can answer a resounding YES, congratulations! It’s pretty rare to find work you truly love AND get paid to work the number of hours you want. I often find that Non-WS workers are self-employed. Even if you’re not a WS, it’s still a good idea to become Freaky Frugal so you can do something else if you get tired of your work or are unable to work.
There was a time when I loved doing software engineering and felt lucky to be paid for it. But if I had a billion dollars, I would’ve immediately quit and started creating software whenever and wherever I wanted. I was, sadly, a WS until I became financially independent.
Being a WS sucks, but being an Oblivious Wage Slave (OWS) sucks even more. You’re a WS but you don’t even realize it! You can’t feel your own heavy OWS chains because those chains are considered normal. It’s normal to do work that you hate for 8 to 10 hours per day plus commuting, five days a week, 50 weeks out of the year for 45 years until you retire at 65 if you’re lucky. That’s about 112,000 hours of working on crap you hate! You do this to earn enough money to live but it’s not much of a life. You are grinding away trying to get ahead, living for your limited vacation time, and time leftover from tedious weekend chores. What. A. Waste.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that Mr. Freaky Frugal is here to help! You can chop down those 112,000 hours by being Freaky Frugal, saving more, and investing smartly. I cut down my own hours by more than 32,000 even though I got a late start. I became financially independent and retired at 52, but I could have easily done it in my forties if I’d known sooner what I know now. You can do so much better than me!
Thanks for reading! Can you hear the crack of the WS whip in your own life? In other friends and family?