Showing posts with label time. Show all posts
Showing posts with label time. Show all posts

The Price You Pay For Your Life

 
Today I sat in eight hours of boring meetings, except for the twenty minutes when I gave my presentation of course. Except not really, mine was really boring too. It was all data and numbers that are purely speculative and not very meaningful to the manager's in the audience. They also were bad numbers about how thousands and thousands of cases are stuck in a status where they will not move without our clients cooperation. And that won't happen.
 
So, In addition to listening to the state of the world at work which was depressing and boring, some of the people (actually a lot of the people) spent over an hour in traffic commuting to our office for this big meeting. Some of the people actually work out of my office and drive over an hour, one lady drives 90 minutes! Just to get to our boring job! But, she's a manager and probably has hopes of climbing up the career ladder and attaining one of the few higher choice positions that will open up in a few years as people retire with their nice thirty years of service and a comfortable pension. But to do this she will have to drive fifteen hours a week(1.5 hr x10) times fifty weeks for a total of 750 hours/year (an equivalent of 18.75 work weeks). This is in addition to her work week of 40 hours, so effectively her work week is 55 hours.
 
To me this is absolutely ridiculous. There is no way in hell, I would drive more than thirty minutes to work anywhere. I've never done it and I never will. Don't people calculate the cost of the their time and cost of travel when they interview for a job? Maybe not. Maybe those pristine little ponds in their backyards are worth the drive, I don't know. But I do know that some jobs aren't worth the money. The golden handcuffs are not always shiny and bright. There is often a price that people sometimes pay, but forget to calculate into their costs - of their job. Its either the commute, or the stress, or the hours and the fact that you won't really just work the forty hours you're paid for its often more in corporate America. And all the office politics that come into play. It's exhausting. Then the crazy commute home with all those stressed out people texting and driving like they're drunk. It's madness that I want no part of.
 
Anyway, I enjoy my bike ride to work. It always the highlight of my day.

Ideas for Frugal Family Time

According to a recent CNN Money article, many people have embraced a frugal lifestyle over the past few years, tightening their money belts, as a result of the economic downturn that has affected us all. While frugality certainly entails sacrifice, one benefit of living within ones means is that, instead of spending so much time spending money, we return to the more important things in life—spending quality time with friends and family. If you are relatively new to the frugal life, you may be wondering what fun activities you can do with your children that doesn't involve going on expensive shopping trips or eating out. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1.      Board game night
Although it may sound old-fashioned, most children love the thrill of playing games with parents and siblings. Board games are an incredibly inexpensive way to spend hours together. Even better, most games require building important life skills like strategic thinking, planning, and more. Some challenging classics that are appropriate for all ages include Monopoly, Risk, Scrabble, and Clue.
2.      Picnic in the park
With the rising popularity of tech gadgets among this generation's youth, many children are not exposed to the outdoors as frequently as in years before. Considering that playing outside costs nothing, planning outdoor activities with your family is a great, and inexpensive, way to spend quality time together. Organizing a picnic at a local park, feeding ducks, or playing simple games like Frisbee are some great options with minimal associated costs.
3.      Matinees and college performances
Kids love going to the movies and seeing shows, but think about the last time you went to the cinema. Add up the cost of tickets, food, and parking, and you soon realize that the price is simply not worth the fun. There is, however, an alternative—most local universities put on plays, concerts, most of which are free or very cheap. If your kids are in school, they'll likely get a student discount. Most movie theaters offer large discounts on morning or early afternoon shows, called matinees, that'll give your kids the fun of going to the movies without the cost. Having a filling meal before going to the movies will help you save on movie treats as well.
4.      Cooking and baking
Aside from being an essential life skill that will serve kids well later in life, especially when they first head out to college or are otherwise on their own, cooking and baking make for fun and in expensive family activities. Concerned that cooking will be too complicated for your kids? Check out these kid-friendly recipes, courtesy of FamilyFun.com.
These are just a few ideas for a fun time with the whole family. The most important thing to remember is that spending quality time with your loved ones is usually more meaningful if you take money out of the picture.
This guest post is contributed by Lauren Bailey. She welcomes your comments at her email Id: blauren99 @gmail.com. 
 

My Time Is Worth More

Last night we were scheduled to work security at the Dave Matthews concert at the amphitheatre. We've worked that show four times in the past, and every single time there are thunderous storms and heavy blowing wind. This time was no different, except the storms blew in before the show, right as we were getting off work from the boring government work day. I read a great blog post on www.WiseBread.com about replacing a crappy job. The first sentence was about the crappier the job is, the easier it is to replace. Or in my case, just don't go.
 
We ended up calling off the concert gig, blaming it on car problems and we couldn't make it there. I felt terribly guilty about it, but I had been dreading the drama that goes along with working security. First the weather always is a factor, with extreme heat conditions and warnings to limit outdoor exposure. Here we were planning on standing for at least 6 hours straight in the heat. The other unknown is where we'd be deployed. The gates suck because you have to stand in the sun and search peoples bags, and throw away their beverages that they try to sneak in. I hate doing that, so I usually ignore the beverage if I can and not have some other newbie security guy next to me point out that I missed it. Also working the lawn sucks too because the people are so wasted and they just pee everywhere and smoke all kinds of things up there, and generally are loud and drunk and obnoxious. Anyway, there are only a few good positions for security where you can have nice guests who paid too much money for their tickets to get wasted and miss the show up front. These are usually assigned to the regular workers who come to every single event, obviously we don't have the clout anymore.
 
I went for a walk with a friend on our afternoon break, and we were discussing the concert and my dread of going to another job after work. He asked why we were doing it, since he knew we have seen DMB many times, plus we don't particularly care for the music - its kind of sleeper. I guess it helps if you're buzzed which we aren't when we work. He knows its not for the money, a measly fifty bucks each to work a show. I can save more than that in one good grocery shop using coupons! I didn't have a good reason why we worked security. We've done it for six years and have attended hundreds of concerts, so there's rarely a performer that comes along we haven't already seen that we want to see.
 
So, here I have two gnawing coincidences today, the blog post and my conversation with my friend. Both made me question working security. I realized my free time is worth more than they pay me. I didn't want to give up my evening of free time. I'm not sure I can put a price tag on what my free time is worth, but now I know its at least $50.

My Frugal Day

Being frugal is a lifestyle and it starts everyday you wake up. Here's how I live frugal
  • Make my own coffee at home, use a reusable mug and some of that free creamer from Publix.
  • Take a shower and use the free Scrubbing Bubbles to keep the new shower sparkly clean.
  • Eat some free cereal for breakfast, along with fruit, a glass of milk and a vitamin. 
  • Pack my lunch - a salad we made on the weekend, a free yogurt and a soda. Keeps me away from vending machines.
  • Pack a snack to have mid-morning
  • Ride my bicycle to work to save on gasoline, plus get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors in the morning.
  • On Mondays, say thanks to my coworkers who bring me their coupons from the Sunday paper.
  • Check the coupon blogs, RSS feeds and forums for the deals. Do a couple surveys.
  • Start planning my shopping trip to Publix on Thursday when the sneak peek comes out.
  • After work, do a secret shopper assignment, or run an errand like change the oil in the car.
  • Make dinner from the stockpile, cut or print a few coupons I'll be needing.
  • Read a book, play with the dog, go for a walk. All frugal fun.
If we're lucky, we can go all week without spending any money, except for a few bucks at the grocery store. Of course, thats the ideal. There are always the days you need to get gas for the car, or purchase something needed.
 
Being frugal doesn't mean you can't do anything. Many of the best and most wonderful things in the world are free. Enjoy them.