What is your Happiness worth?
Here is a shocker, sometimes spending money to save time is not the best way to maximize our happiness. It can be a real benefit to our lives to save money and gain not just more time, but better use of our limited time. In a world where we feel we have fewer and fewer economic options we can decide how to allocate our time, what we do when we're not working to put food in the fridge. For some the answer is outsourcing tasks and paying for free time. For many others the best choice is to spend time not money and gain a happy, well balanced life and bank account.
Save money and gain time
Some activities, which take up more time or take a little longer when we're trying to save can actually add to our GDH, Gross Domestic Happiness. We can not count everything in our life with a dollar standard, there is more to living than counting bank balances. One of the most precocious of resources we have is our time to enjoy, to thrive, to live with a sense of well-being.
Challenge your wallet and your calendar to 12 whole months of pursuing GDH instead of only GDP.
"Money has never made man happy, nor will it, there is nothing in its nature to produce happiness. The more of it one has the more one wants."
Stop cooking any meal that involves more than six ingredients total. That includes oils, sugar and spices. Keep it simple to keep it cheap. Save on the weekly grocery bill by cooking simple, easy to prepare meals.
Get to know the people at your green stands, farmer's markets and road side stalls, they'll be more willing to cut you deals on fruits and vegetables and, bonus, you'll make friends and build a community in your life.
Keep spices simple and don't spend a fortune at whole-paycheck-foods. Buy two good seasoning mixes and a dollar's worth of salt. These few things will make it much faster and easier to whip up a healthy and wonderful tasting meal.
Only buy organic what you really need, buying pesticide free or local will keep prices down but nutrition up. Try looking at the dirty dozen (yes, that does sound like a bad western), at EWG.
You could always tie a towel to the dog's butt and hope he mops everything up in a timely manner but lets just say my Sir Fatty isn't very timely unless it involves stealing dinner. So instead get back to basics with simple, homemade cleaning agents and quick solutions to normal cleaning problems. You'll save a ton of moola during your year of savings on window spray, floor cleaning and stain remover. Everything you have in your cleaning tub was synthesized from something in nature so get back to the natural side of clean.
Ice is a great blood remover for your favorite underwear or sheets that took a wrong turn.
Water with a small amount of white wine(yum) vinegar makes a good floor cleaner for titles. Word to the wise, don't mix the vinegar with super hot water, warm water will help remove build-up but very hot water will mix poorly with the vinegar and make the smell worse.
Driving Vs. Riding/ Biking
Take a good hard look at all the ways you can save on transportation. For what purpose do you do most of your driving? Work, school, getting kids to and from places (ingrates)?
Getting to know your public transit can be a huge saver if you live somewhere with good, safe and efficient mass transit (you can always move to South Korea). If you live somewhere like I do that makes it imposable to take buses, trains or subways think of different modes of transportation: a scooter, electric bike or car pooling can be big money savers over time. Add up the numbers and see what you would be saving each way during the next 12 months.
"Many people take no care of their money till they come nearly to the end of it, and others do just the same with their time."
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe