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Friday, February 17, 2012

The best way to spend your time

One of the great things about living in this day and age is that we don't have to work all day just to make sure we have food to eat. That gives us plenty of time to do fun things, or hobbies, or complain about being bored.

I never really got the people who can't imagine not having a job because they are afraid of being too bored. Don't you have any imagination? I can easily think of 20 things that I would like to be able to do for an hour each day at least. But I guess that's the topic for another article.

But suffice to say we all have hobbies and activities and other things that we do to pass the time. As with everything else the average American does, this usually involves spending a LOT of money.

One of the best things you can do to reach financial independence, and lower your cost of living in general, is to try to engage in hobbies that actually make you money. Or at the very least are cost neutral. The activities don't have to make you a lot of money, just the fact that your time away from work is spent NOT spending money is extremely helpful.

Somebody's book writing hobby may only make them $10 a month from ebook sales, while they are spending 5 hours a week on it. Many people would look at that and say "he's only making .50 an hour, that's not worth it!". The fact of the matter is, this guy got to indulge in an interest of his for 20 hours last month and actually came away with MORE money than he started. So not only did staying busy writing keep him from spending money doing other things, but it actually made him a little too. And there is always the chance that one of these endeavors could take off and actually make a substantial amount of money.

Look for activities you enjoy that fit into one of the following categories:

1. Gives you skills that could be sold or traded (construction, mechanics, art, design, music skills, etc)

2. Allows you to make money (writing, blogging, ebaying/craigslisting,)

3. Basically free hobbies ( Reading, playing music, drawing, etc)

This is one area that I am good at. Most of my activities are either free or actually make money, even if only a little. The difference this can make over a period of years can be huge.

-The Money Monk


  1. Well said money monk. I think to many times we assume we have to indulge ourselves in expensive activities to keep ourselves happy. Sure, those things can be enjoyable, I won't deny that, however it's a trade off. Most of the time we can find things to do that we get great joy out of and continue to save money in the process.

  2. Exactly, and there is nothing wrong with spending money on entertainment sometimes, but many people seem to not be able to entertain themselves without spending tons of money. And that can be a problem if you want to retire early!

    Thanks for the comment.