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10 Incredibly Easy Ways To Live Better While Spending Less

10 Incredibly Easy Ways To Live Better While Spending Less

You don’t have to break the bank and live paycheck to paycheck, spending your hard-earned cash on things… just to enjoy the good life.

A few alternates you can choose from include:

1. Define Your Goals

What is the good life for you? Having more money so you can afford to stay at home all day, Netflixing and eating whatever you want, whenever you want?

One of the toughest things for me to figure out, has been this: what the Hell am I working for?

If I was working myself to the bone for food… Food came and gone. My life isn’t happier for that. So it’s not food.

Was I working for the weekend? Being able to hit bars, drink myself stupid, and spend the rest of the weekend sleeping and watching TV?

Every time I did that, I felt like I was missing out on SO much more life had to offer. Not to mention, hangovers hamper my creativity – and this creativity I cherish above almost anything. So I didn’t want money to party more.

Why you want more money is a hard thing to figure out. Some say to travel more. Where? Why? To see the sights? What is it about the sights that fulfills you?

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Find out what it is.

2. Grow a Garden

Aside from saving gas on trips to the grocery store, buying your own seeds and planting your own crops cuts down on pollution.

Not to mention that, because you’re growing your own, you don’t have to worry about pesticides and GMO chemicals most commercial farms put in their junk.

Another plus is you can grow exactly what you need. Everything we buy in stores has such a pricey-tag because (oh no!) it had to be cut before being packaged. The horror.

3. Carpool

Aside from that one person we can’t stand – the only downside to carpooling is some people have such small cars.

But for cutting down on gas and spending time with good people, certainly makes a strong case for carpooling.

It’ll also give you time to get to know more about people, things you didn’t know beforehand. Remember: everybody has a story, even if they themselves aren’t sure about that.

4. Declutter Your Home

I don’t know about you, but I always feel rejuvenated when my home is nice and clean and not a war zone.

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The key to living a better life is managing your life. There is no other place in your life you can completely control than your home. So why not take control of your life and maintain your dominance?

People also say that, when you’re depressed or sad, cleaning helps boost your spirits and health, as well. Another reason for keeping your home clean is, for me at least, it makes me feel more professional.

Who doesn’t want to feel like a professional while walking around in their underwear?

5. Swap Clothes

When it’s time to buy yourself or your children new clothes… there is no cheaper option than trading clothes with a neighbour or Tradezone.

Not only do you get new clothes (well, new to you), you save $10-40 that some store clothes go for. Plus, it’ll give you a chance to get some face time with strangers – and what’s life if we don’t make the most of each and every experience?

You’ll never know who you’ll meet in the course of a day.

6. Barter Better Rates

Bartering is a skill, a world-class skill that separates people who talk… From people who “talk.”

You’ll also learn more about how to persuade people, and how to wear a more confident face when you’re dealing with people. Name one person those benefits won’t work for.

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Let’s face it: sometimes, people are stubborn and you just want them to see your way. Not to agree with you, rather… Showing them your point of view. Bartering with cashiers, who hold onto their money like an iron monkey death grip, are a tough crowd.

Wack five or ten or twenty bucks off their original bid, when you’re selling, and you’ve learned the first rule of salesmanship. (I can’t tell you what that is – only people who have been there will understand. So get bartering.)

7. Host a Family Dinner

Unless you’re a black sheep of the family, or ostracised from members for whatever reason – family time goes by like no time at all. It truly is the most cherished, wonderful time for creating memories that will never be the same.

So, prolong the good times (and create new ones!) by letting your fam know that you’re going to have a dinner at your place.

The catch?

It’s a potluck. Everybody brings their own special, unique dish that they and only they are known for. (Mine would happen to be Indian Fry Bread.)

8. Save Raises

When you get a raise, save half of it. Be sure to do the same with each and every bonus you get. The time for satisfying your instant gratification by blowing it on “what you want,” is over. Paying bills and living life become a lot more bearable when you aren’t buying in bulk at Costco and the Price Club.

You’ll never get anywhere if you keep doing what you’re doing. Start with your wallet.

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Plus, with all that money saved, you can go on a budget family vacation much more often.  You can share the cab and even hotel rooms with your family – all you have to do is plan in advance and make necessary arrangements/bookings at least a month before so that you can get better prices.

9. Make Breakfast Early

Like, the day before early. For me, waking up in the morning is pure Hell. Having to make coffee, clean up the house from the night before (we have a terrible tendency to not put away dinner plates and go straight to bed)… and waking up in general… is like trying to calm down a dragon by handing it a dish rag.

It just doesn’t work. On top of all that, I’m supposed to make breakfast? Forget that.

Simple solution: make what I want to eat, in the morning, hours before I go to sleep. Pop it in the fridge or freezer – bam. Instant breakfast.

10. Cherish Experiences

This is the most important key for a better life: invest in experiences, rather than things and items. George Carlin said it best when he said, “A house is just a box of stuff with a roof on it.”

We don’t need fancy stuff. What we need is shared time together with our loved ones – the ones who make us happy. A fulfilled life can’t be quenched to its core, by expensive cars or other goodies.

“We buy things we don’t need with money, we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.” – Ed Norton

Final Words

Only you can choose to be content – nobody can choose it for you. You have to find your sweet spot in life, manage your time wisely (we all have only 24 hours), and pursue the best things in life. For yourself, for others, with others. Together.

Featured photo credit: pixabay.com via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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