We want to experience once in a lifetime events, spend time with the people in our lives that matter, and spend most of our time doing the things that make us happy. We can do all this and more, but we can’t do it if we are constantly working just to survive. Survive used to mean something different to humans, it literally meant to survive the weather, wild animals and scarce food supply. Now, surviving means working to keep all the things we possess. We work just to buy more things and keep owning the things we already have. If you feel like you are working more hours just to keep paying for things, see if you can cut a few things out and put that money towards a savings account/adventure fund or maybe just a little more free time.
- Eat at restaurants a few less times a month. When I knew I was going to be out of work half of a month, I was super anal about not eating out. I made all my bills with some left over working half the month, which made me realize how much I was really spending on eating out.
- How many T.V. type subscriptions are you committed to? Cable, Hulu and Netflix? Evaluate how much T.V. you are watching and if it is worth keeping all of these contracts.
- Ditch the car a few times a week. If you have errands that are close ride your bike or take a bus to work or dinner a few times. You’ll save money on gas & spread out the maintenance visits.
- Do I need a car? I’ve been struggling with this lately. If you’re like me, you might pay the same amount as your rent to have a car. So what I could I do with that extra $550 a month? Sheesh.
- Shopping til you drop, literally. Limit yourself to one or two new clothing purchases a month. I make the mistake of using my extra cushion as a reason to spend more on things I don’t need. Resist and put that money toward a financial goal or travel fund.
- Bring some of your daily habits in-house. For example, I drink a lot of coffee. I may get two coffees at a shop per day. That costs me a about $6 with tip. So I’m spending about $180 a month on coffee. Whoa. So I’m investing in a coffee maker. Same could go for juice or something else you have daily. See how much money you could save by doing it yourself.
I’m not suggesting that we not work hard, but just that our hard work goes towards life experiences and our overall joy. Every time I tell someone I want to sell my car, they tell me I need it. When did that become a thing? I promise you don’t need a piece of plastic covered styrofoam to keep your life interesting, you were born with that.