Ask the Readers: What’s your Best Life Hack?

Hey Readers, I’ve been obsessed with optimizing my life lately. Truth be told, I’ve always been obsessed with it. This list could be 1,001 items long:

  • I hate wasting energy at home: This leads to never ending spousal battles over thermostat settings and light switches.
  • I hate wasting fuel: I plan car trips for maximum efficiency. I minimize my miles and left turns. If I know a light is going to turn red, I gently coast to it. This usually pisses off people behind me who step on the gas to get around me. I then get nasty glares from them when I catch up 10 seconds later at the light.
  • I hate wasting water: If it’s yellow, let it mellow. If it’s brown, flush it down.

OK, TMI on that last one. Sorry.

And now, this book has made me even crazier than I already am:

I liked the book so much, I bought it. Of course, owning the book flies in the face of optimization. I need less stuff in my life, not more. However, it is perpetually checked out from the library and this is one I want to read repeatedly.

More on life hacks in a moment. First, we have to get to last week’s question: Is fear keeping you from your best life? Here is what you had to say:

Reader Jeff from Jersey:

Not sure if my biggest hold back is fear/anxiety or laziness, but often refer to it as “Syllabus Shock.” Happened all the time in college on the first day of class, and even in my career – get overwhelmed/nervous about the amount of work that has to get done to be successful with the task or project, and forget that I have the entire semester to get it done. Probably have passed up a significant number of opportunities, because I get blinded by the massive amount of tasks and not able to effectively compartmentalize the individual steps quickly to settle my initial fear.

Tonya from Budget and the Beach:

I think one fear I’ve been avoiding is packing up and just moving somewhere random without a job or knowing anyone. Or even knowing if I’ll like the place. I spend a lot of time thinking of the future place I want to live and going into analysis paralysis. The funny thing is when I was a lot younger I did the very thing I’m afraid of now, and it worked out great. I think as I get older, it’s like I’m hanging on for dear life for what I already have. Funny how that happens.

Tonya’s point about becoming more fearful as she gets older is interesting. I think it’s something we all have to be mindful of. ***Looking at you crazy old relatives who insist on arming yourselves to the teeth.***

Kyle from Kythesis:

My friend and I are in serious talks about starting a local brewery, business plans are being drawn up. He’s owned a small business and is a good salesman. There will be a couple test phases for a while to nail down a couple recipes and see how the local market reacts.

Kyle, I’ve had your beer and I know you can brew. Go for it! Your town square could totally use a good microbrewery. I’d love to support you whenever I’m in town.

Duncan from Duncan’s Dividends:

I think the thing I’m most afraid of is being in your position at the end of the journey. I’m just starting out and just started recording it online myself, but I think fear of jumping off and letting go of conventional work mentalities is the most challenging thing for me.

That one hits home, but maybe not for the same reason as you Duncan. More soon…

 

What is your best life hack?

I love life hacks. Anything that allows me to squeeze more time, money and happiness into my daily routine is a win. Here are a couple of my own:

Gamifying your Life

I like to give myself little challenges that encourage me to live right and improve. Here are two of them:

  • Cell phones: I’m on a cell phone plan where the less you use, the less you pay. This accomplishes two things
    • I pay less than $20/month for phone service (I’ll write about this soon).
    • My nose isn’t buried in the phone constantly.

The 17.17 MB day kills me.

  • Track it: Forcing myself to keep track of beer consumption and spending through online logs makes me drink and spend less respectively. Having to answer to the spreadsheet is a powerful behavioral changer.

The Beer-O-Meter helps me cut back on alcohol.

Organization

I write everything down as soon as I think about it. Google Keep is an awesome tool for keeping track of stuff, especially since it syncs to all of your screens; if I take a note on my laptop, it instantly appears on my phone. Here are some ways I use it:

  • Lists: I always know what I need from the grocery store until I get there. Then I forget it all. To prevent this, I keep a list in Google Keep. Pro-tip: I share my list with Mrs. 1500 so it automatically syncs on her phone.
  • Ideas: If I don’t write down blog ideas when they pop into my head, I’ll forget them. This annoys this me immensely because I always remember that I had an idea; I just don’t remember what it is.

How about you? Share your best life hacks?

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65 Responses to Ask the Readers: What’s your Best Life Hack?

  1. I do lists for things like blog ideas as well, usually on post it notes virtually or physically stuck to a tablet I carry around.
    My biggest life hack is I do things as they come in. I’m a procrastonator at heart. If I wait I’ll never do it. As such I usually do things almost immediately. I use the lists to hold myself accountable here.
    Fulltimefinance recently posted…Net Worth is Not All That Important For My Financial PlansMy Profile

    • Yeah, this is a good one: “My biggest life hack is I do things as they come in.”

      Looking in the mirror… Thinking about emails from 6 months ago that I still need to respond to…

  2. My biggest time hack is I’ve learned to employ the word “No” into my vocabulary. I have a tendency to be a people pleaser and as you know trying to help out everyone is a huge time suck.

    Having recently learned to say No has freed up a ton of time and while initially guilty I love all the free time I have now.
    Mustard Seed Money recently posted…Clarity Money ReviewMy Profile

  3. I’m a big Tim Ferriss fan. Haven’t read Tools of Titans yet, but it’s now on hold for me at the library. Thanks for the suggestion.

    Lists helps me a lot as I forget something about 5 seconds after I think about it. I’ve tried all sorts of apps to keep track of lists but nothing seems to work as well as good old pen and paper for me.

    I also tend to eat one of 2 or 3 meals for each meal of the day. Cuts down on decision fatigue so I don’t have to mull over unimportant things like what I’m going to eat for breakfast today.
    Go Finance Yourself! recently posted…Warren Buffett’s $1 Million BetMy Profile

  4. Brian says:

    I like the “to do” list, I have several posted in google docs. I like to use a reward system for myself. If I want to goof off and spent some time mindless surfing the internet or playing a video game I need to get a certain percentage of my “to do” list complete first.
    Brian recently posted…Interview Series: Mustard Seed MoneyMy Profile

  5. Team CF says:

    Just curious, if you could trade in Mrs. 1500 for Tim Ferriss, would you 😉

    No specific life hacks here, it’s all the little things combined that makes the difference. So it’s key to optimized everything a bit, rather then one item a lot (generally speaking anyways).

  6. Beth says:

    My biggest life hack is a monthly financial check in. (I get paid once a month, so YMMV) I update my spreadsheets that track my savings goals and net worth. It’s an opportunity to see how my automated savings are doing, make sure all bills are paid, and to set aside some extra cash as desired.

    I also like even numbers and round up to the nearest $50 or $100 in my savings accounts after the monthly interest goes in. (Emergency fund and short term savings goals.)

  7. Mr. SSC says:

    It’s not a big lifehack, but we put all of our required things to make a sandwich in its own little tub in the fridge. When I need to make a sandwich for work in the morning I open the fridge, grab the tub, and bam! there’s meat, cheese, mustard, bread, whatever you need! I make my sandwich and slide it back onto the shelf. super optimized and there’s no aimless searching for everything – every morning at 5:25am. 🙂
    Mr. SSC recently posted…“Intimate” Interview at FruclassityMy Profile

    • Scooze says:

      We do this with grill supplies. One basket on the bottom shelf of the fridge with condiments, and another with silverware, napkins, etc. One fits in the other and – boom – one trip to the deck with everything we need except the food itself.

    • yyz guy says:

      Hey Mr. SSC…

      I used to do your sandwich trick….then optimized it further: Got rid of the bread and condiments and put only sliced turkey and cheese into a container and then ate the slices. (the container was only for transporting the slices..if eating at home a paper towel or plate would suffice). This had the added benefit of fewer calories. The only drawback was I felt the need to have extra clean hands at eating time.

  8. I like “Honey Do Lists” that the Mrs puts together. It gives me a sense of accomplishment.

    We wash all our fruits/vegetables before we put on the fridge that way is a quick grab & go.
    Dividends 4 Future recently posted…Robinhood to Merrill Edge TransferMy Profile

  9. One of the simplest “hacks” I’ve implemented is intermittent fasting every day – this entails only eating during an 8 hour window each day. It takes a little time to adjust to this schedule, but being able to skip breakfast each morning saves me a decent chunk of time and I find that I have way more energy throughout the day. This hack isn’t optimal for everyone but it fits my schedule really well and simplifies my life!

    • There were a couple folks in that Tool of Titans book who also skip breakfast. I used to never eat breakfast either, but at some point as an adult, I picked up the habit again. Lately though, I’ve been pushing it back. I try to eat my first meal at 10am. I’m really hungry by then, but the net result is that I eat much less over the course of the day.

      • Team CF says:

        In this case your biology is actually going to work against you. When starving your body, your metabolism starts to slow down too. When you then eat next, your body responds by storing some of what you eat fat, because it was short in nutrient and fears it will continue. I.e. you actually gain weight by this approach.
        You’re much better off eating the largest breakfast you can, and reduce meal size as the day gets older. Lots of science to back this up (works great for me too, about 2/3 my daily calories will be eaten by the time I hit lunch hour).
        Seldom have a hungry feeling in the afternoon, and when I do I eat. Hunger is a sign your body is deficient in nutrients, so you should not ignore. You have to feed it what is needs: fruit, vegetables, whole grains, nuts/seeds, legumes. Pretty simple actually.

        • A lot of folks to believe in fasting. I wonder what the supposed health benefit is?

          I’m a bit sick of reading articles on workouts and diets, so I don’t bother anymore. For example, more than one person has told me that you’re supposed to eat within an hour of a weight workout. Just last week, I stumbled across another article where the guy said that you need to wait at least an hour after the workout to eat. Everything you read has someone else telling you to do the opposite.

          The bottom line for me: I’m eating more vegetables and less crappy carbs and meat. Well, with a Samoa thrown in now and then…

          • Scooze says:

            Fasting is very popular in the low-carb crowd (which I am in). If you eat a lot of carbs, it’s much harder because they give you a rush and then crash, making you hungry a few hours after you eat.

            If you don’t eat a lot of carbs, it’s very easy and it does not slow down your metabolism. If you are burning fat rather than glucose (from carbs) then you have a constant supply to draw from.

            Read or watch videos by Dr. Jason Fung to learn more…

          • Thanks for chiming in Scooze! So far, my mini-fasts seem to be working out well, but I’ve never considered them to be any more than an experiment.

            And carbs! We have a couple boxes of crappy, sugar cereal that we let the girls eat on rare occasion. I avoid them, but for the heckuva it, I had a big bowl a couple Saturdays ago. Just like you said, I was starving hours later. I wish I had paid better attention to my body earlier in life. Oh well.

          • Team CF says:

            To not make this a diet blog, two short comments: Fasting is definitely shown to have health benefits. But this fasting is generally done longer (i.e. a whole day or more). The “short” (few hour) fasts before a meal have a different effect as mentioned earlier.
            As to the crash after carbs, this is shown to only occur with refined carbs. Whole foods (including fruits and grains) don’t have this effect due to the packege of nutrients and fibre that accomodates the carbs. I.e. you bloodsugar peaks, but it does not drop below your normal baseline level when it’s brought down by your insuline production. As a result you don’t feel tiredness either after eating lots of fruit, but will do after a big pasta meal. Isn’t science cool 🙂

          • Brandon says:

            Fasting seems to really be gaining popularity lately. That is also my most recent life hack.

            I starting eating more vegetables and eating less crap paired with fasting for 36 hours bi-weekly. I stop eating on Sunday night about 8p and then don’t eat again until 8a on Tuesday. I can’t believe how amazing I feel when I get up on Tuesday morning. Not hungry at all, just full of energy. From what I’ve read, it has something to do with the body switching from burning carbs to burning fat, idk.

            I’ve lost 26lbs since December 12, 2016 and I’m a huge advocate now.

          • Brandon says:

            Fasting seems to really be gaining popularity lately. That is also my most recent life hack.

            I starting eating more vegetables and eating less crap paired with fasting for 36 hours bi-weekly. I stop eating on Sunday night about 8p and then don’t eat again until 8a on Tuesday. I can’t believe how amazing I feel when I get up on Tuesday morning. Not hungry at all, just full of energy. From what I’ve read, it has something to do with the body switching from burning carbs to burning fat, idk.

            I’ve lost 26lbs since December 12, 2016 and I’m a huge advocate now.

          • Whoah, that is some massive weight loss. How difficult is it to get through Monday?

  10. Clothing – I am red / green, blue / purple color blind, which can make matching clothing a bit tricky. In order to simplify my wardrobe, in both function and cost, I have gradually transitioned to wearing only black pants and shorts (I’m a PE teacher). I don’t need as many options b/c they are all the same style, and I no longer get funky looks from my wife when I come downstairs in the morning. That’s a bit of a funny example but it has greatly simplified things for me!

  11. Oh man….so many life hacks.

    One of my favorites happens because I have kids. They love to draw and color, but occasionally those pens and crayons tend to wander off the page….onto the floor, the wall, the ceiling, and so forth…

    So knowing how to clean that stuff up easily is a big win:
    Pens & Markers – Most of the time 99% drug store alcohol will clean it right off. Even permanent marker and sharpies.
    Crayon – This one is genius….the secret is WD40. Even in carpeting it works like magic. I don’t understand why it works, but it does!

    Unfortunately I haven’t found a genius secret to remove fork scratches…at some point in the future I’ll need to refinish my dining table.
    Mr. Tako @ Mr. Tako Escapes recently posted…The Sleep ExperimentMy Profile

  12. When I was freelancing and had an extremely tight budget, I still wanted to do things like work out at a gym, and take yoga and beach volleyball classes. So I found a way to do that for free by exchanging time and help for free classes. I coached beach volleyball, worked a shift at a yoga studio, and did blog and video work at a gym. Even though I have a good job now, I still do this (although not as many because I don’t have have as much time).

  13. I also really enjoyed Tools of Titans. I borrowed it from the library and took copious notes, and plan on borrowing it again in a year or two because I imagine I will pull different tips and tools when I am in a different place in my life.

    I have spent a lot of time thinking about optimization (as you might imagine given the name of my blog). There are tons of different ways to optimize pretty much everything in your life, and I enjoy digging into each and everything thing I can find. But for my money, keeping notes and lists has had the biggest impact on my life.

    Everything that pops into my head ends up on a list. (I am currently using Evernote, but have floated between systems in the past.) I have a grocery list and a blog ideas list like you, but I also have a to do list sorted by category. As soon as I remember that I need to do something, it goes in the list so that I know I won’t forget it. Every Friday evening I go through that list and create a weekly to do list that I then break down by day. This process alone has cut a life-changing amount of anxiety out of my life.

    On top of that I have started over the past couple of years to keep notes from pretty much every book that I read. If an idea or a quote or a phrase strikes me, I will put it in a note. If I hear something interesting on a podcast or television show, I will put it in a note. If there is something that I think deserves deeper thought, but I don’t have time at the moment, I will put it in a note.

    I’ve got notes on potential creative projects that may never come to fruition, loose song lyrics from songs that I may never write, and well-thought out ideas that may never be published for general consumption because they are unrelated to anything that I do or write about.

    The benefits from the usable notes is pretty obvious, although easy to underestimate. (I cannot recommend highly enough that everyone keeps a running list of things that need to get done.) But I have also really enjoyed the notes that don’t seem to serve any practical purpose. It pushes me to more fully develop creative ideas, even if they serve no practical end. It helps me learn to think through ideas that are outside of my comfort zone. And sometimes I end up with notes that unexpectedly tie in to something that ends up being relevant to my work or my blog.
    Matt @ Optimize Your Life recently posted…How to Buy HappinessMy Profile

    • Cool tips about note taking. I like how you use them at a deep level. You’re not just using them for a grocery list.

      I find that writing stuff down (like your notes in books) helps reinforce the memory in my head too.

  14. Hahaha, I too conserve water by limiting the amount of toilet flushes. 😉 Our water bill is pretty high, so I’ll do just about anything to limit water usage.
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…What A Frugal Birthday Weekend!My Profile

    • I knew there was a reason I called you Ms. PP! Ha! 🙂

      • Lindsey says:

        We lived in an Alaskan village where water was 18 cents a gallon and it was delivered only twice a week so if you ran out, too bad (water was such an issue that my husband’s work contract didn’t give him a raise one year, it took over paying for water for that year!). The husband and I learned to get both of our showers done in the length of one song on the radio—one of us would get in first but the other would get in as the first person was rinsing off and getting out. Second, we never flushed unless we “had to.” When we moved back to a larger Alaskan town, with much cheaper water, we started back to separate showers, but still one after the other so no water wasted in heating it. But we still don’t flush after we pee because it saves a lot of money. We do, however, have to remind ourselves to flush when visiting other people or our relatives who have never lived in remote areas. (Sometimes we collect the husband’s pee in a bottle and I use it to give a boost to the compost heap in the spring. Cheaper and as effective as those commercial compost enhancers! I also dilute it 10 to one with water and use it to fertilize my flowers. (Can’t quite make myself do it for the vegetables…) Public gardens in Great Britain are using the urine of male employees for compost by having the staff who works after hours pee onto the straw going into the compost heaps. If it is good enough for them, it is good enough for me!

        • I love puttng the pee to use! Awesome!

          I recently read an article about future, worldwide water shortages. While $.18 may be a bit much, we’d prevent a lot of future problems by paying more for water. Hell, same thing with auto fuel.

  15. Joe says:

    Google Keep sounds interesting, I will check it out.
    My best life hack? Figuring out how to quit working for the corporations and live life the way I want. It’s a collection of hacks, but it really starts with the realization that I can do it. After that, I just had to put a plan together and execute it. Best of these would be.
    – Living in a smaller home.
    – Sharing one car.
    – Make money outside of the main job.
    – Minimize lifestyle inflation
    Joe recently posted…What’s Your Ideal Work?My Profile

  16. I’m not sure if this counts but my favorite life hack is ordering basic goods online. When we first had kids (twins), I found myself at Target EVERY DAY for diapers, bottles, toys, etc, etc. I just did not have the time. So we ramped up our Amazon account and we’ve never looked back. Someone once asked me if I actually buy toilet paper online … that’s a yes. We buy everything except groceries online (and maybe that will change soon), we save money with monthly subscriptions, and we get 5% back using our Amazon credit card. My wife and I both work full time, so it’s a life saver. As a bonus, my kids don’t bother me to go to the toy store.

    Great topic! –R
    Rich @ pennyandrich.com recently posted…Book Review: Tribe — Rich Digs The Modern FoxholeMy Profile

  17. Mrs. BITA says:

    We’re a Google Keep household too. Some of my life hacks:

    1. I hang my clothing sorted by colour. I am convinced that this saves time when choosing what to wear. Plus it makes my wardrobe look prettier.

    2. I store my cans on a lazy susan in my pantry. No more digging and poking.

    3. I don’t consider any cosmetic product (moisturizer, shampoo etc.) done just because the pump stops yielding results. When the pump stops working I turn the bottle on its head and then unscrew the lid to get every last bit out. I am not convinced that this is the worth the savings but I just can’t seem to stop myself from doing it.
    Mrs. BITA recently posted…Fear versus FIREMy Profile

    • I go farther than you on #3. After the bottle seems empty, at least for shampoo, fill the bottle halfway with water, put the cap back on and shake it. You can get at least one more use out of it!

      • Beth says:

        I’ll cut open bottles and tubes when I have to 🙂 And use a lip brush to get the very end of the lipstick.

        My thinking is that any unused product either ends up in a landfill or going down the drain (when recycled.)

        We paid for it. We might as well use it!

  18. Anony-mouse says:

    My current “hacks” are as follows:
    – Renting out two rooms in my house for an extra $13,000/year income (and I rarely see them since they’re usually at work when I’m at home)
    – Intermittent fasting (skip breakfast every day, I have lost 10 pounds and saved money)
    – Eat lunch from the free food in the office pantry (free oatmeal, canned tuna/sardines, and PBJs)
    – Bike to work (just under three miles each way)
    – Put EVERYTHING on my Costco credit card, use the annual cashback to stock up on ridiculous amounts of cooking staples
    – Never, ever pay for entertainment (library books, emulators+roms for retro video gaming, go swimming in the river instead of pools and waterparks, etc.)
    – Never, ever buy anything new, including clothes

    Hacks I will be starting this year
    – Home gardening
    – Foraging for edible plants in my neighborhood
    – Get a deer hunting license for organic, free range meat I catch myself
    – I’m chipping in with a buddy to build a chicken coop on his property in exchange for weekly eggs

    Basically I do my best to remove all transportation, housing, food, and entertainment costs, leaving 80%+ of my income free to be invested

    • Anony-mouse says:

      Oh I forgot a big one- I started water-only washing back in December. No shampoo, conditioner, soap, or toothpaste. I floss and use coconut oil to oil-pull, and also use it as deodorant. Has this turned me into a greasy, stinky, bad-breath mess? No, on the contrary my skin and hair are way nicer (I shaved my head when I started so I could skip the greasy-freakout-hair phase) and my breath is just as fresh as ever. Washing with cold water also makes my skin and hair come out especially nice.

  19. Erin says:

    Very timely, Amazon is delivering Tools of Titans to me today :). I’m a total book buyer, I’m actually going on a no-buy for March and April so I can read down my shelf a bit. I use the library too, I just read A LOT.

    My biggest financial life hack is maxing out my 401(k) — this will be my second year doing it. I’m the worst at saving, but when the money doesn’t even touch my account, it’s easy. Future Erin better be pleased.

    And I use lists for EVERYTHING because my memory is seriously lacking. I have Evernote notes for specific lists (work tasks, stuff to buy, goals, movies to watch, etc.) and then I have a Moleskine notebook where I write down anything that pops into my brain — tasks, ideas, things I’m curious about, etc. I cross things off as I deal with them and fold pages down once the whole page is dealt with.

    Not sure if this counts, but I’m currently working on using shit up — bulk items, random canned foods, skincare samples, etc. I’m moving across the country this summer and I don’t want to move these things or throw them away, so I need to use them now.

  20. ESI Money says:

    I got the book from the library, got 10 pages into it, and decided I needed to buy it. It gets here tomorrow.

    I’ll read through it all, take notes (in the book so they don’t get lost), and implement several steps. I know I could have done much of the same with the library book but I think I’ll refer back to it several times and want it on my bookshelf.

    Besides, one simple tip that makes a decent change in my life will be well worth the $16 I paid for the book.
    ESI Money recently posted…Do You Outsource Tasks?My Profile

  21. It’s an obvious one really but listening to podcasts while commuting or doing something manually with your hands I.e. DIY seems like a pretty good time hack that I use.

    I also write blog stuff on my commute when I can but this may be dangerous for car or bike commuters (I get to work via the train)

    Also I do my side hustle which is fairly mindless while watching crap on TV so get to relax a bit while making money 🙂

    Totally with you on your water saving methods BTW. I started doing the same after I made a few batches of home brew and realised how much water the process uses, and felt I had to attempt to rebalance my water usage karma somewhat!

  22. Love this article, I actually just wrote one on razor blades as it’s a personal pet peeve of mine that those little strips of metal wear out so quickly. I mean, honestly when was the last time you used your skin to wear down metal? At $25 a pack I would think that they would last longer than they do and once I figured out that it’s actually the water that degrades the quality of the blade and not my super Brillo pad beard I’ve honestly stopped buying the things since my last pack purchased back in 2014. Yes the moisture strip wears away, but that’s just a gimmick when it comes down to it and it really is used to drive consumerism to have us purchase more than we need.

    • yyz guy says:

      Instead of buying razors, I merely quit shaving. Now, I just use a beard and mustache trimmer about once/week. Back when I did shave, my neck stubble would ruin a shirt’s collar long before the rest of it wore out. So the added benefit was fewer shirt purchases. Yay

  23. I have way too many. Here’s a few that I haven’t seen others list:
    – I track my caloric intake every day, weigh myself at least once per week and maintain a calorie budget. I am not very anal about the exact calorie numbers, so it does not take long to make a record each day. If I spend too much, it means I have to eat less or earn more (exercise).
    – Self imposed 3 day wait period for any purchase over $500. There are no large impulse purchases in the Zero’s household.
    – I wash my work pants after 3 uses. It saves on detergent, water and extends the life of my clothing. I wash shirts after 1 use. Re-wearing shirts would be gross.

  24. Stafford says:

    This is a great post. I’ve got two life hacks to share.
    1. About 3 years ago I invested in a double edged razor. Total amount spent was about $70 (stainless steel razor that will last me forever, 100 blades, shaving cream, and a brush to apply the shaving cream). 3 years later and I have not spent a single penny on shaving supplies. no more $30 packs of mach 3s. I estimate I still have at least 5 years left of supplies.
    2. Being a person that budgets and likes to watch every in an out of the bank account, I’ve found that having a side hustle helps keep me sane when the miscellaneous expenses in life pop up. My side hustle has been becoming a volunteer fire fighter for my city. I’ve learned some great skills and met some really great people on this journey and the city decided to start paying the volunteers minimum wage. Not much, but definitely enough to cover those pesky misc. expenses.

  25. Brian says:

    While not really something I control, I do live in a suburban area that pretty much has zero traffic lights. They replaced pretty much all of them with traffic circles (or roundabouts). It makes driving so much nicer. I can get from my house on the far north side of two to the airport on the south west side of town and the only time I have to stop is at the one stop sign they haven’t yet converted to a traffic circle. It is so nice.

  26. “We all make choices, but in the end our choices make us”.

    When I first began savings I set myself a challenge to have a money free weekend once a month. In fact I found the challenge so addictive and fun I’m still doing it twenty two years later.

    The following is a list of activities that require no money to participate in; however they all provide the foundation to experience a higher quality of life; for you and those important to you.

    You’re guaranteed to find the experience inspirational and your expense account appreciate it.

    http://www.peterhorsfield.com.au/my-blog
    Peter Horsfield recently posted…My Money Free Weekend ChallangeMy Profile

  27. Pingback: PoP Income Statement - February 2017 - Planting Our Pennies

  28. Mrs.Wow says:

    Started composting this year and absolutely love how much it has cut back on waste. Plus, it will be a nice addition to the home garden once it is ready.

    Use cloth napkins so no longer spending money on paper napkins that we just throw away. Also use old shirts/towels as rags rather than paper towels.

    Oh and I make my own laundry detergent which is way cheaper and lasts forever. Little things here and there make a world of difference!
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  29. BucketBabe says:

    Life hack #1 – I kept all grocery receipts for about 6 weeks and made a master grocery list and no go to Aldi once every 2-3 weeks for most groceries. I now buy 3 quarts of half and half at a time because it KEEPS :), so do eggs, cheese, etc. I do have to get veggies and fruit at the market in between but use a lot of frozen to even cut this down. I keep the list in my Notes (i-phone). It was revealing to see how much of the same things I bought and how I could cut down on grocery trips, the time suck involved, and the not to mention, not using the fuel, etc.

    Life hack #2 – pick out all work outfits for the week the night before my shifts start (I work 4 ten hour shifts). Really cuts down on my time getting ready in the morning.

    Life hack #3 – Use soap only on the stinky parts and coconut oil sugar scrub on everything else that I make myself. Wash my hair every 3-4 times unless required by some particularly dirty activity because I am lucky in that I don’t have particularly oily hair.

    Life hack #4 – I have minimized my make up routine to the bare essentials and bonus – I’m told I look younger at 52!

    Life hack #5 – Learned how to trim and color my own hair and go to the salon only 1-2 x a year now (cut out $300 every 8-10 weeks which was a huge time waster too).

    Life hack #6 – make my own dog food (see Pinterest for recipes) and the dog’s tummy is happier too

    Life hack #7 – wash clothes when they require it (are dirty or I have sweated in them). My job is a professional job so I don’t get particularly dirty and my clothes last longer.

    Life hack #8 – Have vowed a no spend clothing year – nothing. No socks, purses, work out clothes, shoes, nothing. So far, three months and not even an urge.

    Thanks for the opportunity to share and learn others hacks!

    • Wow, thanks, these are great! And totally agree with #7. Underwear and socks are one dayers. Everything else is evaluated. In the winter when the weather is cool, my jeans probably get washed after 7 use or more.

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