Finance talks: Could we cut out work and money?

A friend and I meet once a week to talk finances. It began when we both realized we were reading similar material in books and online and enjoyed talking about it with one another. Since then, the conversations have gone all over the place, although they usually still orbit around finances in a broad sense.

Last time we met, I asked him about his goals with his finances. Specifically, I wanted to know if he was more interested in growing a small (or large) fortune or creating a certain level of cash flow. I wanted to know that, and I wanted to know why.

He told me he wanted to have enough money to have freedom, freedom and security, he said.

“Freedom to do what?” I asked.

And he said, “Whatever I want.”

When he said that, I wondered how much of what he wants he could he do right now. Like if you ask the guy working long hours at the office why he’s so intent on amassing his personal fortune, he might tell you it’s because he wants to have enough money to quit his job. But what would he do if he quit? He wants to just spend his days with his kids and fishing.

I always wonder how much of this we could do now instead of having to build up some kind of nest egg to pull it off. Could we cut out finances altogether? Instead, could we just barter for what we want directly? Or could we trade the time working for time that could move us toward those things we want even faster? Why do we got to use money?

That’s what I’ve been thinking about lately, at least since our last meeting about finances.