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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 March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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