Yesterday we talked about investing, minimizing your bills, eating out less, and selling the car. Today, we're going to continue with a handful of other life choices that could get you that much closer to a life of freedom.
Live Where You Work
The commute is the single worst thing a person can do with their time. Not only are you spending $10k per year to own and drive a car, you're throwing away hundreds of hours of your valuable time every year. If you have a one-hour commute each way for your entire working career, you will have wasted 833 entire days sitting in your car.
250 work days per year x 2 hours x 40 years = 20,000 hours or about 833 days. Or if you only divide by work days (20,000 hours / 8 hour business day), that's 2,500 work days lost. That's ten years of work days.
That's two full calendar years, sitting, using gasoline. "Sorry Earth, I'd rather drive for hours and hours than move closer to my workplace." Now I know some of you probably don't have the freedom to move tomorrow. Maybe you already have a house or it's too expensive to live right where you work. But even then, there are options to relocate. You could rent your house out or if rent is expensive in your work area, find a house that needs a roommate. I would much rather live close to work and pay more than spend my time commuting. If you commute two hours a day and make $30/hour, that's $660 worth of your time every month, wasted.
If you want to hear more about my own move from an hour commute daily to a 4-minute walk to work, check out this post.
This is a hard one for many of us to stomach. Advertisements tease us with new gadgets and fashion every single day. It's everywhere we look. Heck, I even make tv commercials for a living, so I'm part of the problem. But I'm also part of the solution ;)
Luckily with the rise of technology and the internet, we can hop on our smartphone and find literally any used item being sold by the owner. The prices of these used goods will range from 90% to 10% off the original price, with some items even being completely free. It's an amazing system. It's cheaper, reduces waste, and sometimes comes with same-hour shipping! I recently bought a barely-used iPod Nano for my mom for half off and the seller drove it to me not one hour after I initially emailed him. Wild.
Here's a selection of resources to find used and refurbished goods:
- Craigslist - local classifieds posted for free
- Ebay - online auctions where you can find anything and more
- Freecycle - online community of people giving away their used goods for free
- Yard Sales - nothing is more vintage than a real 1920's blouse
- Goodwill - Thank you Macklemore
- Salvation Army - Like Goodwill, but identical
- Buffalo Exchange - Like Salvation Army, but more hip
Adjust to the Weather
Turning down the thermostat is almost more of a psychological victory than a matter of physical comfort. When winter comes, put some slippers and a robe on and get cozy. You shouldn't have to rely on a heater to survive all the time. If you're wearing shorts and a t-shirt while it's snowing outside, you're using up a lot more energy than you need to. The same goes for summer. Our bodies were designed to sweat and get hot. Sure, it might not be as comfortable, but letting your body get really hot or cold builds your tolerance for discomfort.
When it comes to living a good life, health plays a major role. Not only does it allow for more opportunity, it keeps your medical bills low. I recently had to pay $1,000 out of pocket for a dental gum grafting surgery. And that was after my dental insurance paid for most of it. This whole procedure probably could have been avoided if I flossed properly every day. So to keep in good shape, you should follow some basic principles:
- FLOSS DAILY!
- Maintain overall good hygiene
- Get your heart thumping on the daily
- Eat a diet that keeps your body in a healthy shape
- Drink less and do less drugs
- Avoid watching tv for hours a day
- Have more sex
- See a doctor and dentist often! A checkup today could save a surgery later.
- Read The Minimal Minute
- Cook for yourself more
- Eat bacon (for mental health)
Use Toilet Paper Efficiently
It's surprising how many people wad or wrap. These techniques waste a lot of paper! If you learn the one-square-per-wipe technique, you could save up to $600 in a decade! Sound crazy? Well it is. Read this article to get the full breakdown. It's worth the read. I'm currently averaging 1.2 squares per wipe. (Yes this is somewhat satirical, but all of it is true! I used to clog toilets on the regular until I started using this technique. I mean, what is life all about if we can't talk about our restroom habits?).