I just started a new job this week. It’s the first time I have been excited about a job in over 5 years. Not only did I get a huge pay raise, my employer is going to pay for my share of health insurance in FULL. I’ve never had a job do that, and now, in addition to my raise, my husband can stop carrying me on his health insurance and we will save A LOT of money. It’s been a very welcome event in our lives. Not to mention, so far, I LOVE IT. However, it also put time management outside of work into perspective.
I’m now off at 4pm and have to be in bed by 9:30. I have roughly a 20-30 minute commute, so let’s say I will average getting home at 4:30. That means I have exactly 5 hours to have dinner, prep lunch for the next day, clean house, budget, pay bills, write blog articles and take photos (hence the lack of posts lately while I adjust) and relax.
That number seems like a lot in theory, but to me it was a stark reality check as to why I need to make household duties as efficient and painless as possible. After many months of trying to live life as frugally as possible I have made a few decisions to help keep life balanced. I have kept a motto around for several years and truly believe it is the key to balancing life: You should work to live, not live to work.
I decided to STOP trying to keep up with the coolest trends on Pinterest for cleaning products
To put it bluntly, I don’t care to make the time for it in my life. I already clip coupons, so by watching sale ads when I am already making grocery lists, I can add relatively inexpensive cleaning products to my list. In my case, the other morning before I hopped in the shower I sprayed the toilet and the bathroom sink with a cleaner, showered, hopped out and wiped everything done and my bathroom was clean with minimal effort. I also bought those same cleaning products for every room where they are regularly used. This saves me from forgetting them in another room and wasting time running back and forth. I still use vinegar on the floors because of the pets, and let’s face it, vinegar is pretty frugal, but aside from that, whatever requires the minimum effort to get the job done goes in the shopping cart.
I decided to ONLY clip the coupons we NEED and USE regularly.
I have shaved over an hour off of my Sunday morning coupon clipping routine by only clipping what we NEED. Yes, I know a lot of the freebie deals rely on random items that happen to come together at the same time from something like taco seasoning and tampons. However, if it’s not a product we normally use, I waste more time in the store looking for the items, and generally find out some other shelf clearing couponer has already destroyed the deal for the day anyway, so what’s the point. I am also not distracted by other items in the store if I stay on our normal paths. This keeps me within the budget.
We make sure to schedule time to LIVE
There is nothing worse than working a full work week, taking care of your home, and spending very little time doing anything fun or exciting. Everything doesn’t have to be expensive, and I think my list of free things to do in all 50 states proves that, but what is the point of working so hard if you can’t also sit back and relax, smell the roses, bird watch, or spend a night putting a puzzle together with your family? Remember: Work to live, don’t live to work.
What steps have you taken to make your personal life more simple after you leave work each day? Tell me about it!