Trading Comfort for Capital

I’m 27 years old and have lived a pretty comfortable life so far. I moved out of my parents house into a fancy condo. This I downgraded to a big apartment in an older build. Now I am realizing, I don’t want this much space and will find a room in a shared house. This will save me money and help me eliminate possessions.

Going forward, I will not stay in hotels anymore while travelling. Usually I stay in hostels, but I splurge on hotels. I don’t need that comfort at this point in my life, so I won’t spend the extra money required to upkeep that comfort. In hostels I’ll stay in larger rooms with more beds to further shave costs off travelling (my biggest expense).

Walking, biking and transiting to work versus driving has been my life so far. I don’t plan to change this. I will no longer Uber to work unless I have no other option due to time. I’ll walk to the GO station instead of transiting. 30 minutes enjoying a walk through the city is better than spending to sit on a hot subway.

Are you able to trade comfort for additional money in the bank? Determine your tolerance and push your boundaries. You might find you’re a glutton for punishment like myself.

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Technology to Support Simple Living

I frequently browser /r/simpleliving and I think a lot of times people miss the point. There is this idea that you have to drop everything and revert to the stone age in order to live a simpler life. I truly think that doing so is a step in the wrong direction.

Many modern technologies give you the tools to make your life simpler. Here are spme examples:

A Library Card: Get a library card and borrow books instead of buying them. Borrow eBooks and load them onto an eReader. Borrow DVDs instead of buying them or pirating. Use library internet instead of paying for a connection at home. Your taxes pay for this so take advantage.

The Internet: Manage your finances using online spreadsheets like Google Docs; don’t bother buying a business suite. Do you banking online, why bother trudging to a bank to move money around. Use the internet as a research tool to learn more rather than enrolling in a course. All of these things and so much more are available for free at your leisure.

A laptop: Don’t buy a TV, watch things on your laptop. Modern laptops are nearly as good as a desktop, you probably don’t need a desktop and all of the peripherals that go with it. Get a normal cellphone and use video conferencing on your laptop to keep in touch. A laptop is versatile; don’t buy a million internet enabled devices to feed every perceived need.

A Smartphone: Maybe you don’t need a full sized computer (I do) and a large screen smartphone will feed your need. Use apps to help rather than distract. Keep your apps limited to what is necessary; don’t download everything on the market. Social media apps are typically bad. I keep messenger and snapchat to keep in touch with people, nothing more. Additionally, don’t buy a top of the line phone; get a robust off brand model to save your hard earned dollars. A smartphone with a good camera is also a benefit, you won’t need another camera and you can collect pictures instead of things.

Apps: Tinyscanner is a great replacement for a scanner. I use Trello to keep notes (and I can access it from anywhere). Google Maps so you don’t need a physical map everywhere you go. Carrot Rewards as a step counter with free Aeroplan rewards to boot! As I said before, don’t download what you do-not-need.

IOT Devices: Find Internet of Things devices to help you reduce your impact. The only one I would use would be a smart thermostat to help reduce my power bill. Find things that fit your needs and don’t go overboard.

Things you probably don’t need: A smartwatch, A TV, Multiple Computers

See how technology can HELP you with what you need, rather than adding more to your life. Buy used tech if you need something for a short time. A used eReader is half-price and is much more expendable as a result.

Keep it simple, smartie.

-Mike

Don’t Sweat Your Past

Now, I certainly didn’t start off on a bad foot on my way to financial independence. I finished school and gained meaningful employment at 23 years old with about $5000 in the bank. This was thanks to generous investing in my education by my parents, and 40+ hour weeks for years during college. Additionally, I’ve been working since I was 13 years old in one capacity or another.

I’ve spent some money along the way: $60,000+ on travel, $15,000+ on some university that I dropped out of, 10s of thousands on partying and expensive food. All of these things taught me lessons and were a lot of fun, so I can’t feel too bad about it. Now I travel on better budgets, invest time teaching myself, party without over consuming, and cook amazing food myself.

You can enjoy life in so many ways without spending excessive amounts of money, which was a lesson I had to learn. I’m glad I figured it out when I did. Sure, if I had an extra $100,000 to invest I’d be miles ahead. In reality, I am already miles ahead of where I would have been had I not found this lifestyle. Many of the most important lessons in life are hard learned, so I consider myself lucky.

Forget about your past and focus on the future while making sure you take in everything along the way.

-Mike

Documentary: Slomo

I came across this documentary on Slomo, a man who took back his life from the poorly named ‘American Dream’. By his own choices, Slomo stumbled upon his meaning of freedom and life satisfaction after significant hardship. Listening to him talk about his new found freedom and life is inspiring, and I am glad I discovered a sense of what I want in life. Not everything is clear yet, but I see a light in the distance and I’m working my way there. Enjoy!

-Mike