Being debt-free is the first step to reaching Financial Independence. Let’s revisit our only assured way to be debt-free and the thing that keeps us away from it. In an age where everything looks very necessary what can we count as unnecessary expenses.
I will count a few habits that I did still do which I consider unnecessary expenses. For this, I will take an average week or month out of my life and talk about it.
My usual week involves me travelling to work, buying groceries for home, restaurant visits on weekend, one movie per week is a must, buying new items from China for experiments and a few more. These were the things that I could list. But if you want the truth and be critical about yourself then you should ask your partner for an outside view. And I did. My wife said I party a lot, buy groceries when there are old ones and buy more alcohol and stock them. So yes, you may never know who you are until you ask others and sometimes be brutal to yourself.
Let’s talk about each thing with the mistake I do and how I have/will correct myself.
Travelling to work
My Makerspace is very nearby. But I have a pet and he comes with me to work. His name is Mike and he is 3yrs old. I make that as an excuse to take my car and go every day. I do have a Royal Enfield Bullet and a cycle too. My Mike can site on my bullet and travel. Yes, I have trained him like that. But still, I take the car. Going by cycle is out of the question not because I don’t like it. In fact, I like riding a cycle. But Mike cannot sit on a cycle. And if I make him run the short distance the other dogs on road chase us and its a chaos. Anyway, so I take a car which consumes more petrol. That’s more money out of my pocket. So I have decided neither to take the car or bike but to walk to the shop. The excuse always I give is that I am late for work. I am going to think that I do not have a car and I will walk to work. Mike gets his exercise and I get my exercise too. Money saved!
Buying groceries for home
I buy more than I need. I anticipate that I may cook more or buy things that I like but don’t need. This includes cola drinks, chips, cream biscuits and ice creams. There are cheaper alternatives to these. Now I buy curd or lemon instead of cola drinks. They actually cool my body and it takes a minute to make. And these drinks have no sugar. Instead of air packed chips, I take chikki and dry nuts to munch on as a snack. It’s good for health and its not fried. And as for ice-creams, there cannot be an alternative. So I take just one for the time being and never buy more than that. One ice cream is my reward for controlling other wants.
One movie per week
I am a movie buff. And I am too specific about watching a movie. I am specific to the point of remembering the screens that are best in any theatre, how many rows from the screen I should sit in, which seat numbers are the best, shutting down my phone and oh! I am that guy who stands even after the end credits while the cleaning lady watches me with an awkward look. My wife is unlucky because now she also has to stand with me, not that I ask her. But she is sweet enough to do it.
By now it is understood that I cannot cut this expense. I did not like buying food from cinema stalls. Not only they are expensive but they don’t taste good too. And in many theatres, they have now brought in a habit where they take the order and deliver it to our seats. This takes out the opportunity to complain if the food is bad. Not just that the theatres make 26% profit from just-food and beverages. A big savings for me because I avoid it totally.
New items from China
Since I run a Makerspace I tend to order a lot of items from China. These are mostly electronic circuit boards, LEDs and tools for a future project. I get so many ideas to try on that when I get a chance (payment) I add them to cart and buy them. Recently when I was restructuring the office I found out that most of the items I had bought have been lost somewhere or gone never used. This made me very sad because not only did I waste the money, I also did not do the project for which I ordered it in the first place. So from now on, I am finishing off a project before I buy for another. This will help me complete those ideas which I wanted to try. Completing one project at a time will help me have a large array of finished products. Also, put a speed breaker to the amount of things I order without a second thought.
This post is getting long. As a human, I have some much to correct that I cannot write all in one post. Please read the rest of the post here. Buying more than I need!