My experiment to not spend money for 7 days has officially come to an end today. And guess what, I made it! It was not easy, but it was totally worth it. It made me realize a few things that I wanted to share.
The Things We Take For Granted
When you do not have any money to spend, you quickly realize the things we take for granted. I can’t believe how much I missed going out to the bar and eating once in awhile. I also missed buying the little things like beer and soda when I ran out. Things like this we consider small in our everyday lives, but when we don’t have this option they feel a lot bigger. I felt like I was missing out on a lot of things.
The Things We Forget
However, not spending money also makes us realize the things we already have and enjoy doing. For example, not renting movies made me realize how many movies I already own that I haven’t looked at in ages. It’s easy to overlook our belongings when it is so easy to go out and get new things all the time.
I also realized how many free things there are to do. Going for walks, rollerblading, and hanging out at the park are just a few. Taking pictures and hiking were two other things I enjoyed doing during the 7 days.
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Something that I feel has been missing from Life of Justin is a life experiments category. What do I mean by life experiments? Well, trying various things that people have always mentioned doing.
For example, Steve Pavlina once did an experiment where he tried the idea of sleeping every 20 minutes to cut back on the amount of time wasted sleeping. He also tried switching to a raw food diet and then shared the entire experiment on his blog.
I have always wanted to try some various things like this and put some rumors to test. Therefore, I have decided to give my first experiment a try.
Living For 7 Days Without Spending A Dime
First let me clarify exactly what this means. I know it is pretty much impossible to not spend any money at all. Therefore this does not include basic monthly expenses such as rent, water, groceries (only allowed to buy them this morning), internet, cell phone, or any other fixed cost. This strictly means no out of the pocket purchases of any kind. No rented movies, eating out, or going to the bar.
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If you haven’t noticed from this blog, I travel as much as I possibly can. I enjoy seeing new things and learning more about the world. However, a lot of coworkers and friends always ask me this question:
How Do You Afford To Travel So Much?
So to answer that question, I bring you 7 Ways To Save Money:
1. Ditch The Cable
The first thing I did to save money is ditch the cable package. I would recommend it to everyone because who really needs it. Some packages cost upwards of 100 dollars a month, which is a pretty big chunk of money.
I have been living happily without cable television for almost 2 months now, and I do not even miss it. I have an antenna that allows me to get the free public channels like ABC and CBS. What I noticed is that a majority of the shows I used to watch, were on these channels anyway.
Monthly Savings: $80
2. Use Public Transportation
I used to drive to work everyday, using up a good portion of gas on my 30 mile round trip. Over a course of a month, I would sometimes go through three gas tanks, which easily added up to over $150 a month in gas.
The solution is to start utilizing the public transportation system. I found out that my company offered a bus pass for only 30 dollars a month. So don’t forget to ask your employer if they have any sort of discounts. Taking the bus also allowed me to return my parking permit, which was costing me over $950 a year. Talk about some big savings.
What is even better, is if you can get by without a car. I am currently in the process of selling my car, which can easily save me another $350 in car payments, along with $100 a month in car insurance.
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Monthly Savings: $200+