Your money or your life!

I spent a wonderful evening with friends this weekend, telling them all about my plans, and how I will set about accomplishing them.  We talked about a great truism in American society that is rarely brought up: one of the easiest ways to make money is to need less of it.

As I get my financial ducks in a row, I keep thinking about creative ways to make money.  On the flip side, I’ve already come up with multiple ideas on how I can simply SAVE more money, and therefore, have way more of it in the long run.  Some were no-brainers–like, getting the paper delivered at home.  I get it free in the staff room every day at work, so why duplicate that?  Presto!  There’s $336 in the bank in one year.

Other ideas took some very serious reckoning.  I’ve been training at a strength and conditioning gym about 15 miles away from my house for 3 years.  It was a fantastic place to grow, both physically and mentally.  I learned lessons under a bar that have served me well in the real world and made me tougher.  I loved my trainer, and I felt a part of a wonderful community.  But, for me and my partner to be in that community over a year came out to nearly $6000 for the two of us.  In the face of no other particular reason to save, it wasn’t unreasonable to pay that for an amazing experience.  As we look towards an impending financial goal, we realized that we weren’t willing to delay that dream for years in order to keep going to the gym.  We have the knowledge now to be strong on our own.

And others just required some ingenuity and the chutzpah to see if they were feasible.  I’m on a family cell phone plan originated  by my dad, and I pay him $816 per year for the privilege.  (Indeed, I know that this would be a great time to debate the merits/needs of a smart vs. dumb phone, but that’s for another day!)  My folks are getting on in years, and still live on the farm where I grew up.  The workload remains the same, but they find they have less ability to get everything done.  I proposed to my dad that I would work for him one day per month in exchange for a free phone. 

So just there, these 3 changes equal approximately $7000 saved in one year, and an untold amount of less stress to get all that money!  I’m freeing up my life to use that money in ways that will benefit me even more.  I’m getting more life!

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