Monday, October 12, 2015


I've noticed a spurt of budget-focused posts lately. Having been a victim of corporate consolidation few months ago I get it. While I could make a list of ways to spread money thin and a list of ways it disappears in big chunks, I find one thing helps more than all the others.

Know what you want to do. Going to the movies, shopping, or out to dinner is what happens when conversation slides to Jungle Book:

 "What do you want to do?"
"I dun know. What do you want to do?"
"'What do you want to do', 'I dun know, what do you want to do.' Well let's do something!"

When I actually know what I want to to do, costs go way down. I'm too busy doing it to notice the advertisements or all that is for sale in the world around me.

  1. Write a book or an article.
  2. Paddle wetlands or whitewater.
  3. Climb ice or rock. Travel can make this expensive, but local is free.
  4. Bicycle.
  5. Read a good book. I love libraries.
  6. Sail somewhere.
  7. Fix something. Though the part may cost something, more often it is still cheaper than entertainment, and something is accomplished, which will allow for guilt-free reading of that good book a little later.
  8. Research something. This probably circles back to one of the above. Very engrossing.
  9. Learn a new skill.
  10. Get a group together and do the thing that one of those people is interested... but not the movies.
But as a general rule, when I'm doing something or working on something, I'm not spending. When finished, I either kick back or get on with the next thing. But the moment you find yourself saying "I'm bored," you might as well pull out the checkbook, because the lazy answers come with a price tag.


  1. We/ve switched over to the retired life-style (military retirement at age 55 doesn't leave many professional options - companies don't like to hire someone my age. 50 yes; 55? Not so much.) sooner than our siblings, so the economics of "doing stuff" always gets a hard look.

    No complaints. I don't want to "work" again, especially now that I'll be 60 next year. But we do have to be careful. Your approach is thoughtful and effective.

  2. Rick, everything you said:) I'm just trying to find enough little sources of income to fill the gap, since rejoining the corporate race is neither practical or what I want in this chapter of my life.