Happy March. Two months out from making all those resolutions. How is everyone doing? My New Year's resolution was to find five hours and $100 per week that could be better spent . I have been doing this for some time, so it's getting more difficult. Just the same, there is plenty of opportunity for me to 'lean' my life.
'Better spent' is pretty vague, but taking a walk, laying in the sun, watching television, and working on this post for two hours all give me pleasure, so I'm not talking about productivity. Porterhouse steaks, red wine, and fine restaurants are off the table as well.
Three years ago, I got off Twitter and Facebook. That's what started this. It wasn't my idea to get off Twitter but I quickly realized how much time I spent getting worked up over things that did not matter. I quit Facebook while 'hardening' security after an update. Best security? Stop using Facebook -- pick up a phone, get in the car, or send an email. No need to share every mundane aspect of my life and no need to vote on every mundane aspect of everyone else's life.
Every year, I've broken my pledge to spend $0 on television. It's easy enough to do, but I like playing with new toys and trying new things. So, I decided to replace 'television' with 'things I do not value'. Going forward, I will spend $0 on things I do not value. Difficult at first, but I have developed this voice in my head that has all but eliminated impulse purchases. I carefully plan my grocery shopping to minimize waste. No more club memberships. No more subscribe and save. Maximizing 'cash back' credit cards (and paying off the balance each month). It's already impacting my checking account.
This year, I have attacked my AT&T spend and participation in news/politics discussions with people who do not agree with me (I like talking politics with those who do ).
The AT&T monster had gotten out of hand. I pay for my adult kids' cell service. It's less expensive that way -- for them, anyway. When my wife was sick, I added Hot Spot so my oldest could telecommute when required. We also used it at my sister's camp in the middle of nowhere. Getting the 'right' Hot Spot features forced me to bump my plan which qualified me for discounts on things that were kind of nice. This year, I got rid of the Hot Spot feature and the 'kind of nice things' and settled into an unlimited voice and data 'value' plan. This saved me about $100 per month and no one noticed. I am also month-to-month, so I am free to jump on a better deal. That won't get me to $100 a week. I am also working on my utilities -- unplugging things I don't use and not heating/cooling areas where no one goes. I hope to cut $100/month off my grocery bill as well.
The 'news and politics' vampire is not simply an internet thing. I have avoided politics as much as possible in real life too. No cable news, no national news, no local news. Alexa keeps me abreast of the weather. When an instigator engages in political discourse, I simply excuse myself. It's been liberating.
After two months, I feel like I am on track to keep my resolution. I feel pretty good about that.
Anyone else crushing their resolutions? Simplifying their lives?