Back before I started this blog in ’08, I was your typical bachelor. I bought a lot of stuff I didn’t need but I really wanted, I hung out with friends 24/7 outside of my 9-5 (okay, so that’s not mathematically possible), and I drank like no other on the weekends.
Life was good :)
My wallet – and health – however, did not agree. I wasn’t very good at saving my money even though I *thought* I was (I’d go $200-$300 over budget every month but never knew it cuz I didn’t track anything!), and my body was onto my tricks of pretending I was still 21. Oh, and then there was that job thing. I was never a bad worker, per se, but I also didn’t go out of my way to REALLY kill it like I do now either. I did just enough more than my fellow colleagues to “look good,” and then I hightailed it out of there to get back to my high flying ways.
And I spent, and I spent, and then I spent some more.
Over time I settled down and became an “adult” – buying a house, getting married, and eventually producing two of the most beautiful little boys I’ve ever seen before – and then I eventually became a workaholic. I’m still in the reformed days as I type this :)
Now essays and books (and movies!) have all gone over the troubles of being a workaholic, so we’ll promptly skip over all that for now, but the part most people leave out is how much you SAVE in the process. Not to mention how much you EARN too, since, of course you’re working your ass off.
But let’s stick to the savings… When every waking hour is dedicated to your job/hustles outside of the stuff you can’t get away from (potty breaks, food consumption, getting clothed), you honestly don’t have time for anything else. Your brain, and your body, is on workaholic lockdown, and the last thing you’re thinking about is gong out to buy a new pair of shorts. In fact, I’m down to my only remaining pair as I sit here – it literally has 4 holes in them ranging in size from a dime to a dollar bill! No joke. Remember last year when I said minimalism was ruining my clothes? Well, it’s most definitely true – and not having the time to go shopping for more plays a major role too.
But back to the saving. When you genuinely have no time to go to the stores or out at bars/clubs with your friends, you don’t spend squat. You may jump on Amazon from time to time simply to procrastinate and join the rest of the world for a few seconds, but outside of that your wallet is right there with you in that chair along with the aforementioned brain and body.
This is a GREAT thing. Savings wise.
Of course, the other parts of your life suffers dearly (friendships, sanity, health again (why is that always getting in the way??)), but financially speaking the more you work the more you save. And earn.
This does not mean to go out and become a workaholic.
Being a hustler is kick-ass, I’m not going to lie, but it’s not the only way to keep yourself from the mall. If you’re smarter than us workies (my new name for workaholics – has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?), you’d fill your days with other productive uses of your time instead. Such as:
- Learning (you can learn anything with the internets these days!)
- Reading (you can read anything on the internets too! :))
- Getting outdoors and walking/hiking/soaking it in
- Decluttering your house
- Fixing stuff up
- Exercising (not fun, but productive!)
- Joining a (cheap) sports rec league
- Taking up intriguing (non-expensive) hobbies
- Giving back or volunteering
- Doing stupid stuff that makes you smile (practical jokes?)
- Hanging out with friends and family more (just not at the bars every time, okay?)
- And even taking up a nice (non-hardcore) side hustle.
There are literally thousands of ways to keep yourself occupied and away from the stores. In fact, I just read a post on 99 things to do instead of spending money by
Jay-Z Phroogal.com, and they summed up this whole post in a mere two sentences (goody goodies):
“The key to not spending money is being busy. When you are busy earning your money, you do not have time to spend it.”
Again, not saying you have to work your tail bone off in order to save money, but it is one of the thousands of ways to do so. Didn’t the Bible have some quote on this? “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop?” That workshop – among other things – is your wallet ;) If you can keep your hands off it and entertained outside your 9-5, that retirement date will move closer and closer as the months tick by. Sure beats working for the rest of your life! (Even us workies don’t want to do that…)
Your mission this week is to not spend a dime outside your work hours. I don’t care what you do with yourselves (I forgot to mention sex on that list!!), but try and go an entire workweek without spending a single thing. You can use the weekend to reward yourself if you must.
[Idle hands pic: megan ann]