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When I’m saving, ‘Time Is on My Side’

The Rolling Stones’ “Time Is on My Side” (actually written by American song writer Jerry Ragovoy) may not seem at first glance like a song about money, but the more I look at the lyrics, the more I think they could be written from a lender to a debtor.

Time is on my side, yes it is/ Time is on my side, yes it is

Now you always say/ That you want to be free/ But you’ll come running back (said you would baby)/ You’ll come running back (I said so many times before)/ You’ll come running back to me

If you’re lending money out, time is literally money. Your principal grows over time, as borrowers pay you back with interest, and you lend that interest out and get more interest. My wife and I have a running debate about whether immortality would be a gift or a curse, and my trump card is always, “But think of the interest!” No wonder vampires are always rich.

This works the other way, too, though. For debtors, time is very much not on their side. Especially if they allow a debt to grow by not keeping up with at least the interest payments, compounding becomes a stone that can grind their finances to dust.

And like Mick says, lots of borrowers say they want to be free, but either by choice or necessity, they keep coming back to borrowing. That’s understandable; getting out and staying out of debt is really hard, especially if you have a job where you don’t make much money, or no job at all.

But if you can do it, the rewards make the effort well worth it, especially if you can transition to lending money to banks and corporations yourself in the form of deposits and investments. Time is a powerful ally, and having its passage make your financial life easier, rather than harder, can change everything.

What do you think? Does having money invested make you feel like time is on your side? Does having debt make you feel the opposite?

(Photo: Dave Stokes)