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By the author of The Faithful Prepper and The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications.
Thomas Jefferson is known for having said that it’s remarkable how much one can accomplish when they are always “doing.” I think he was spot on with this statement.
There’s a lot that you can get done in a single day. And while some of us are busier than others – perhaps due to school-age children, dissertation work, health issues, or whatnot – I think it also bears mentioning that we as humans are inherently lazy.
We like to sit back and take it easy.
And just like with Newton’s physics, a body in motion tends to stay in motion. And a body at rest? Well, it tends to stay at rest.
But what does all of this have to do with the Frugalite?
I think this comes into play when we consider times of financial difficulty.
If you find yourself struggling to pay the bills, feeling as if you’re doing nothing more than barely living paycheck to paycheck, yes, you should absolutely look at cutting your expenses. You should absolutely have a budget, stick to it, and regularly audit it.
But I also think that it’s worthwhile to take a good, hard look at how you’re spending your time. Why? Because there’s a lot that you can get done in a day, and Thomas Jefferson was absolutely right.
I remember reading a cartoon in a newspaper years ago that showed the main character looking at birds, petting his cat, drinking coffee, and then, in the final panel, complaining about how he hadn’t accomplished the dreams he had when he was a younger man. There’s a lot to be said about that.
Sometimes, you do need a break. Sometimes, you do need to take it easy. Human beings aren’t designed to give 100% 24/7. The human body requires downtime. But I do think that in many cases (not all) that we give ourselves more downtime than we really need, particularly during times when we are struggling financially.
It’s during these times that we not only need to properly steward our money but really focus on stewarding our time as well.
Time is money.
Time is money, and there are always ways that you can use your extra time to generate extra cash. Perhaps this necessitates your taking a second job, even if it’s only for six hours a week. I bet the odds are you spend several hours a day already looking at your phone, computer, and TV, and that this is recreational use – not work-related.
If you’re averaging two hours on your smartphone per day, what could you do with an extra 14 hours/week? Could you apply for scholarships for school? Could you do a few DoorDash runs? Could you sell some stuff on eBay? Pick up a part-time job? Work on a hobby that would allow you to open an Etsy shop?
Let me give you an example for no other reason than to help illustrate a point.
Once upon a time, in a land far away, I worked a miserable factory job that I absolutely hated. The company offered monthly bonuses to those who could write two-page papers with actionable ideas that could save the company money, though.
During my free time at home, I wrote a few of those little papers. And I actually won a bonus, too. That was money that I wouldn’t have had in my pocket otherwise. I had to neglect an hour or so of free time one evening for that particular paper, but it paid off.
When you’re sitting there at your day job, things are incredibly slow, and you’re, in essence, getting paid to stare at your smartphone (there are jobs out there like that) are there ways that you could be using that time to generate additional income for your family?
Can you do a bit of online writing? Can you price out the equipment you need for your next home renovation project so that you can potentially save hundreds to thousands of dollars? Can you work on a side project for work that’s liable to get you a promotion? Can you apply for other higher-paying jobs?
The point is this: can you use your time more efficiently? Can you use it to generate more income with the time you’re allotted in a standard day?
I would venture a guess that the answer is ‘yes.’ It requires work and commitment, of course, but that’s the way life works.
How are you using your time?
If there’s too much month at the end of your money, this is a question that you need to seriously ask yourself. And be ruthless with the answer. Don’t neglect your family, friends, or loved ones. Don’t neglect your inherent need for rest and downtime. But do understand that there are likely to be additional things you could take on with your current time that will help you to better make ends meet.
Aden Tate is a regular contributor to TheOrganicPrepper.com and TheFrugalite.com. Aden runs a micro-farm where he raises dairy goats, a pig, honeybees, meat chickens, laying chickens, tomatoes, mushrooms, and greens. Aden has four published books, The Faithful Prepper, An Arm and a Leg, The Prepper’s Guide to Post-Disaster Communications, and Zombie Choices. You can find his podcast The Last American on Preppers’ Broadcasting Network.