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Thursday, October 13, 2011

How to Make Time for what You Want to Do

We all crave more time for the things we really want to do, that project that we've been dreaming about or that vacation that we hope to take. All it takes is time.

There are only a certain number of hours in the day. And we are bound to use some of those hours to make money for living. We use other hours for sleeping and general life-maintenance. What we're left with often doesn't feel like enough to do anything else. We collapse into our chairs and watch some TV before stumbling to bed and then we rise to do it all over again.

Yesterday Lifehacker had a great article on the true cost of commuting. In which they point out that the real dollar value of driving just one mile to work adds up to almost $800 over the course of a year. So living farther away from work to save money on housing is often a losing proposition since the money is just evaporating into your transportation.

What was fascinating, though, was all of the comments from people saying that it was just impossible for them to change their commuting lifestyle. They have no other jobs, the housing is too expensive, they can't bike where they live, and on and on. But the real problem isn't any of those things. The real problem is that they aren't willing to give up.

If you want more time in your life you must give up. Give up the thought that you must own a home and have a "nice" car and have a "real" job. The needs of housing, transportation and income don't have to look normal. Like Dave Ramsey says, "I don't want to be normal; normal is broke." Normal is also time-broke. You have to give up being normal if you want to get your time back.

If you find a job that is 30 miles closer to your home you automatically save $24,000 a year in transportation costs. So if you have an average American salary of $40,000 a year and you commute 30 miles to work every day, you could get a job within walking distance making just $16,000 a year and still pay the rest of your bills. You could save an hour every day in driving time and work less to boot. But, you wouldn't be normal.

What are you willing to give up?

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