Tools For A Check

Using Tools For A Check

Here's why it's so important to use tools when it comes to working from home if you are HRTW because using tools makes life so much easier.

If you ahve decided to work from home then you're going to be doing lot's of stuff on the computer which takes time. It's important to find tools that make your life easier and speed things up.

For example recently I was doing a task every day that would take me around 3 hours every day! But I created my own tool for a few hundred bucks that really makes things much faster. So instead of it taking 3 hours every day it now only takes 30 minutes!

Total Cost: Zero dollars!

12:00pm: Lunch at home, with as much protein as we could manage. Mainly bacon and eggs.

1:00pm: Drive both cars to tire shop 1 mile from house to switch out winter tires for summer tires. Drive one car back home to get the bag of lug nuts we forgot. Drive back to tire shop. Thankfully they do this for free each season, since we bought the tires from them.

HondaBacon31:30pm: Head to local humane society to pick up a med refill for Apollo. Since we were still waiting on the other car, and we are almost never there without a cat in tow, we decided to take a tour around the shelter. We met this little guy named Honda (on the right), and the friendliest Akita around, Bacon (on the left). Our humane society does an awesome job taking care of their animals and trying to get them adopted out as soon as possible. We can’t say thank you enough for the great work that they do!

Total cost: Zero dollars!

2:15pm: Stop at McDonald’s for two hot fudge sundaes. Hey, we did CrossFit, obviously it’s time to eat ice cream.

Total cost: $2.70

IMG_01822:30pm: On our way back to the tire shop, we drove by the Natural History Museum which is part of our local university. Some of their new exhibits were featured in the online “things to do” list. We hadn’t been there in a while and we had some extra time so we decided to stop in (Mr. Paradise happens to be a big dinosaur fan). Here he is checking out the Sinonyx jiashanensis. Did you know that most dinosaurs were vegetarian? And that most were human-sized or smaller? You probably did.

Total cost: $10 donation

3:30pm: Pick up car from tire shop, including bag of lug nuts. Drive home. Label bag of lug nuts and store with tires.

IMG_01863:45pm: We live within a mile of a giant indoor “ice and fitness” facility which has public skating sessions on weekends. Mr. Paradise, who hails from the Great White North, was born knowing how to skate and play hockey. When we first started dating he bought me a pair of hockey skates and got them professionally molded to my feet. So even though my skating motto is “just try not to fall down”, I can still fool people into thinking I know how to skate because of my sweet gear (as long as I’m not moving). This one hour skating session probably also contributed to the fact that I am having trouble walking today.

Total cost: $8.00

4:45pm: Conveniently, the skating rink and our public library share a parking lot, so we strolled over to see if we could find a movie to watch for the evening. We picked up Source Code and The Men Who Stare at Goats on Blu-ray for free, which I still find hard to believe. This saved us a couple of dollars and a driving trip to find a RedBox.

Total cost: Zero dollars!

5:15pm: Arrive home, eat crazy amounts of snacks, followed by dinner (leftovers) plus movie plus not moving on the couch.

holmes8:00pm: Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective with long-lost grad school friends over Skype. We use Skype to keep in touch with some of our friends who don’t live in the area anymore. The call quality is pretty good and it doesn’t cost anything, so we are willing to put up with a few dropped calls. When they moved away, we both bought a Sherlock Holmes game which consists of 10 murder mysteries that are solved cooperatively, and your final score is judged against how Holmes himself did. We consider any score above zero to be a success (if you try it, you’ll know what I mean…). The game was $30 when we bought it, so we can call this $3.00 of spending.

Total cost: $3.00

10:00pm: A little bit of Amazon Prime TV before bed to wind down.

did not take. If I get to work and I realize I’m not wearing the Fitbit, my first thought is to sit down and stop moving immediately. Of course, I’m supposed to be doing all this moving around for my health, but obviously some part of me is also doing it to “get credit” for it.

One of the very first posts on this blog was a spending review for 2015. Since then we’ve been posting monthly spending reviews as well. I can’t tell you what a huge difference it makes when facing a spending decision knowing that that decision is going up on this blog at the end of each month, whether in the form of a positive or a negative. As an example, our trusty Eureka Boss vacuum cleaner, which was given to me as a gift in 2005 when I got my first apartment, finally decided to breathe its last breath this month. It was simply too overwhelmed by the long-fibered, squishy carpet in our new house. To be honest I’ve had my eye on those fancy Dyson vacuums for quite a while, and I was admittedly somewhat excited at the prospect of finally getting one. I mean, look at this, it comes in purple! And this one says the word “allergy” in the title, which is tempting. However, several hours of research later it looked like a better vacuum for our particular brand of carpet might be this much cheaper, albeit not as awesome looking, Bissell which we had shipped from Walmart for $130. And a big part of what sealed the deal was the knowledge that I wouldn’t have to admit online that we’d spent over $600 on a vacuum cleaner. I suppose I could lie and just leave certain things out, but then what would be the point? (Also I’d have to propagate all the lies forward every month and that sure seems like a lot of work.)

The point of this isn’t to put yourself in a situation where you have to feel guilty for making a certain choice, it is to create an environment where you can’t hide from that choice. It’s out there front and center, and there’s no other option but to take responsibility. The other part is to save money on purpose, not by accident. Even if you automate your savings and investments to make sure it always gets done, take a look at your accounts each month and be excited about the fact that you chose to save “X” amount of dollars, which means your net worth is that much higher and you are now days / weeks / months closer to your financial freedom. Then go post it online and get some credit for it!

P.S. I’ve just realized that I’ve now told everyone who reads this blog about the push-up goal. Time to go do some grip exercises…

12:00pm: Bedtime!

Our total spending for the day was $23.70. If you include gas, that brings us up to $24.35 as reported by the car. By the end of the day we were completely exhausted, and definitely had had enough “frugal fun”, but it’s nice to know we can go out on the town for an entire day and spend less than $25.

What do you do for fun that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?

Articles about tricks for saving money are one of the absolute most popular in the realm of personal finance blogs. There’s a ton of great advice out there that can save you thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime, often by making small, simple lifestyle changes that will barely impact your day-to-day. A general theme of these tips is to adopt strategies that essentially trick you into saving money. If it runs in the background so that you don’t notice it is happening, even better.

Today I am going to risk suggesting something a little bit different: be present in your financial decisions, and then own your successes and failures. Own them so much that you tell other people about your goals and your progress toward financial independence. There is nothing more powerful than a public commitment to achieving whatever your dream may be.

Here’s a quick mostly related aside: A couple of months ago I mentioned to a colleague at work that one of my fitness goals is to be able to do a pull up (I know, ONE pull up, sheesh). This colleague happens to be ex-military and pretty big into lifting weights, so he offered me several tips to try to help build upper body strength. I only see this person once or twice a month, but when we do run into each other he asks for an update on how things are going. If I decide not to make any progress toward my pull-up goal, I only have two options: run and hide when I see him coming, or admit to him that I didn’t make it a priority this month. On the other hand, if I did make progress, then I get to share my success.

One more: Mr. Paradise and I both have Fitbits that record our daily steps and stairs. Once a week our results get emailed out to everyone on our “friends” list, so there’s no hiding how many steps we did or

So start using tools and you can save time which will help you work on other things.