Are you forking over money for someone to cut your lawn? Or to clean your house? Or to trim your hair? Or to paint your nails?
If so, your lifestyle is robbing years of your life without you even realizing it. By consuming these services instead of doing them yourself you have to work extra to cover the cost of the service. This is likely causing you more stress and forcing you to spend less time with family, friends, or relaxing by yourself. Let’s run some numbers on some common expenses that are completely optional, yet people choose to pay for them. Note that these costs vary widely depending on location, but the underlying logic remains the same.
Wait a minute! You’re telling me that if I stop paying for these optional services I can save enough to buy a house? Yes! And not only that, but think of how many years of extra work this equates to. Being true to the example, one who spends this much on optional expenses is likely to make at least $60K/year; with that income level it would take an extra 4.5 years of their life to fund those optional expenses! And that’s not even factoring in the time value of money lost by dishing out those optional expenses when you’re young versus saving (and investing) them to use in your retirement.
Now ask yourself–what is having an extra 4.5 years of life enjoying time with your loved ones worth? The inconvenience of mowing the lawn after work, or cleaning the house for an hour on Saturday morning? I sure don’t think so.
As if that doesn’t have you convinced, let’s add some fuel to the fire. By choosing to pay someone else to do these activities you’re robbing yourself of the small mundane moments in life that you can choose to enjoy. Remember, your attitude towards doing these activities is completely your choice. If you choose to embrace them you’ll gather extra benefits in your life like exercise, meditation, pride, self-reliance, self-improvement, etc. If you choose to detest them as you’re doing them, then at least you can remember it’s saving you years of work down the road.
Bottom Line: Take a careful look at your optional expenses. Eliminating them will allow you to retire years earlier.
Did you find this post interesting? If so, check out our website at www.minmylife.org. If the subject material of this blog post caught your attention, I recommend reading our post on The Minimalist Insurance Policy.