Cut Back On These 6 Things To Save Hours of Time

There are a bajillion posts out there on saving money. The more money you save, the more money you have for things you want, like retiring early or that extra vacation.

But if time is money, what about time? How can we optimize our lives so we can be saving time, and as a result money?
Take it from me, there never seems to be enough time in the day. I have a full-time job, a husband and 2 kids that need my full attention. I would love to have more time to either spend with my kids, invest in my blogging or visit family.

24 hours is just not enough.

And yet, I’ve been able to invest at least 5–10 hours a week towards my blog and 6 hours a week of tutoring towards my six year old daughter. How am I able to make the time?

The key is to cut out all the extras, the things that are being sold to you so you spend time on them.

Here Is How You Can Save Tons Of Hours Out Of Your Week:

Commuting

Commuting can be a huge time sucker. The average American spends over 100 hours a year just on their commute. What can you do in 100 hours?

I’ve always had a long commute. When you live in metro NYC area, all the jobs are in NYC so it’s impossible to avoid a commute. And living near work in prime NYC real estate is just outrageously expensive.
So right now I have a commute that’s about 15 hours a week. That’s right, I commute 3 hours a day and about 1.5 hours each way!

Cutting down my commute if I worked 20 minutes from home would save me 12+ hours a week.

Unfortunately I can’t just quit and find something more comparable in the suburbs so I make my commute efficient by writing posts while I’m on the bus to and from work. If you’re using public transit, it’s a perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone by commuting and working or studying at the same time.

Commuting is a necessary evil, but you can optimize it by cutting the time down or multi-tasking during your trip on public transit.

Social Media

We all know what a waste social media is. YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. All the big tech companies are making you spend, not your money, but your time. They want to sell you content to consume.
Most people can look at their Screentime App and see that they’re spending hours a day just checking their Facebook or Instagram. Some are spending hours arguing with strangers on Twitter. And others are spending time watching puppies and babies on YouTube.

We’re talking about people out there spending 20+ hours on social media a week. Scrolling and swiping and liking, all damned day long.

And I guess it’s not my place to tell people how to spend their time, but wouldn’t you be able to do sooo much more without all that mindless chatter on your phone?

The only people who should be committing 10+ hours a week on social media are people building a brand and/or business from it.

By cutting back on the social media access, most people can easily save 10 hours a week.

Online Games

This kind of ties into social media but online games are a huge time sucker-for no reason. Games like Fortnite, Candy Crush, The Sims, Words With Friends, etc.

My favorite is Candy Crush, I’m on level 825. As you can see, I’ve spent TOO many hours on this.

What have I gained from making sure all the jellies and candies matched? Nothing.

It’s a huge, huge, huge time sucker and, again, these gaming companies are giving you free games in exchange for adspace and $1.99 power ups.

The only games I want to move up in life are the money games and power moves. Cut the games, and you’ll get your life back.

Emails

This one is stealthy. Everyone and their mother has an email. And we spend too much time checking, giving out, organizing and even writing emails.

This is a huge issue at work. I get literally 100 emails a day from various people asking about this and that.
I was able to organize my emails tab so that all the spam went directly in the trash. I don’t have to spend any time looking at them. I’ve also set up my email so there are rules; certain emails will go into certain folders, so it’s easier to follow up.

Making a simple phone call can easily save you time spent on a bunch of back and forth emails. Calling is so much clearer for sorting out details since the back and forth of the conversation happens instantaneously. Emailing complex details can take hours as you wait for the other person to get back to you, reading their response and writing back.

Learning how to use email effectively will cut back on the work you have.

Household Tasks

If only there was more time in the day, but chores are a majority of what adulthood consists of, unfortunately. Even with the high tech Roombas, washing machines and dishwashers, chores take up a lot of time.

Thankfully, there are services you can pay for to help save some time. Things like laundering, dry cleaning, housekeeping services, and gardeners can really make your life so much easier.
I know what your thinking, I don’t have money for that!

You can just choose one thing that you hate doing for chores and outsource it! Whether it’s to clean the bathrooms in the house or to have the gardeners mow two times a month or give 10 lbs. of laundry to the cleaners, you can definitely keep your spending under $50 and save an hour a week.

TV

The OG of time wasters. As I’m writing this I’m watching “America’s Got Talent” and as great as that show is, it’s still a waste of time since I haven’t been able to post this.

According to Wikipedia, the average person spends nearly 4 hours watching TV a day!

That’s too much time. That’s literally the time when you come home from work to the time you go to bed, you’re glued to the TV. You can literally spend that time playing with your kids or starting a business.

4 hours a day is equivalent to 28 hours a week, 120 hours in a month or 1460 hours a year!

That’s just crazy!

And with unlimited shows and channels with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Video, and regular cable, the options are endless.
But at the end of the day, we need to realize that TV doesn’t really give much back.
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Our time is so precious, so it’s insane that we would spend hours upon hours on our commutes, phones for social media and online games, emails, TV and chores.

It’s all so mindless, and yet we engage in things that really bring no value to our lives.

Imagine if you were able to cut back 20 hours a week, or 3 hours a day to devote to a 2nd business? You could literally retire early 10 years!

By cutting out a majority of these time wasters, you can get so much of your life back. And in my opinion, time is worth so much more than money.

Check Out My Other Posts!
How To Stay Motivated And Keep Your Goals

Organize Your Mind: How To Be More Productive With Your Day

Work Smarter, Not Harder

How To Deal With Crushing Disappointment & Other Negative Emotions

I wish this was a happier post but how do you write about disappointment and make it sound happy? It’s kinda hard.
The reality is that disappointment is something that will happen to every human being at some point in life, most likely several times or many times in your life. It’s easy to feel disappointment if someone you loved let you down or if you failed a big test or if you didn’t get an apartment you loved. Actually, there are a million reasons you could be feeling down and negative.

Disappointment is a complex emotion. Not quite sadness, not quite anger but something in between. It happens when you genuinely believe something good will happen and it doesn’t or, even worst, something bad happens. It’s probably one of the more dreaded and hardest emotions to handle properly.

But running from or ignoring disappointment, it doesn’t really do much. Most likely, the negativity will manifest in other ways like arguing with your family or getting frustrated at smaller things. Neither are really great ways of handling your emotions.

So Here Is The Best And Mentally Most Healthy Way To Deal With Disappointment:

Allow Yourself To Feel Bad

A lot of people would tell you the opposite but I find this counterintuitive. If you feel bad, then you feel bad. Especially if you’ve just went through something traumatic or were really let down by someone you love. You don’t owe it to anybody to feel happy or to save others from feeling guilty because of how they disappointed you.

Sulk. Cry. Feel Bad.

It’s important that you to give yourself time to feel. Disappointment isn’t an easy emotion to deal with but allow yourself to feel it, then move on.

Drink Some Tea And Take Some Vitamins

I’m all about holistic solutions to problems. Alcohol and drugs are a big no-no for me. What they really do is create a dependence and a bandaid over the problem.

The reality is that with disappointment or any other negative emotion, your body reacts to the stress with a fight or flight physical response. Your body responds by producing hormones that put you on edge and mentally trick you that you’re about start a fight or need to run.

But there are herbal tricks you can use to help calm yourself if you’re feeling bad. I like taking teas that have valerian root and camomile to help me relax and boost my mood.

On occasion, if I’m really feeling like it’s hard to shake my bad mood, I’ll take a vitamin supplement that includes L-Theanine and Magnesium, which are known to have calming effects without sedation.

Take A Break

Whatever is on your mind and bothering you, it’s good to just take a break from it. Yes, you should allow yourself to feel but you also shouldn’t dwell on it either. It creates a cycle of negativity.

After you’ve allowed yourself to feel bad for a day or two, distraction is the best remedy to help you get back to your normal self. My husband likes to go see a movie after we’ve had an argument or if he has a lot on his mind. When he gets back, he’s cool and collected, and feeling much better than he did before the movie.

Distraction is not necessarily running from your emotions, it’s more like pressing a pause button and allowing yourself to deal with it later or at least lessen the pain. Obsessing over your disappointment or anger is not healthy and won’t help you move on in the long run.

Make A Plan

It’s hard but playing the victim forever just doesn’t work. You’ll need to find a way to make sure whatever disappointed you or upset you doesn’t happen again. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.
After you’ve cooled down, that’s a good time to chat with the person that put you in a bad mood. It’s always good to do it with a clear head.

If something just didn’t go your way, you can now start planning on what adjustments you need to make to get over your hurdle. Disappointment can be the catalyst for something big. Even though you’re upset things didn’t work out, you can use that frustration to push you towards solutions.

Put It Behind You

Last but not least, you have to let those negative feelings go. They can’t last forever and they shouldn’t. Putting whatever is bothering you in the rear view mirror is healthy. Sometimes it’s easier to hold a grudge or to put yourself in a bad place but I like to follow the 5/95 rule. You can spend 5% of your time feeling bad about yourself but then the rest of the 95% should be spent on getting better and growing.

No one likes to be around a negative nelly and I’ve been guilty of dwelling on things way too long.
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At the end of the day, we are beings built on emotions. We can’t always control what emotions come our way but we do have autonomy over how we react to them.

For so much of my life, I’ve been pushed around by the waves of my feelings. Happiness, sadness, embarrassment, anxiety, anger, and disappointment have dictated how I lived my life and what my next move was.
Getting control of your more intense emotions will help you live a better and more balanced life.

Check Out My Other Posts

The Power Of Positivity

Stand Up For Yourself, Even When You Have Everything To Lose

How To Make A Change in Your Life

Why Multiple Streams Of Income Are Absolutely Necessary

My job had threatened to add a third agent almost 2 years ago. Since then my colleague and I have been sitting at the edge of our seats, pushing our limits, and trying to show that we didn’t need a third agent. Adding a third agent would significantly change my compensation.

All this talk about adding another person and there was no discussion about compensation or how three agents will be able to make the same commissions as two when we only have so much product to sell in a year. If you do the math, it just doesn’t add up. When I pointed this out, upper management dodged this question and accused me of being not a team player, as a way of ignoring an essential aspect of my job: compensation.

This story isn’t even all that uncommon. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, employers only care about the bottom line. Even if it’s at the expense of the employees.

So I decided to start a blog and start writing as a side hustle because besides real estate what did I really have as talent? I really searched my brain for the answer and the only thing that could come up with was that I was well written and creative.

That idea was the start of something amazing.

I realized my job was only earned income and I needed other forms of income to balance and make my financial wellbeing less prone to risk and volatility.

The changes that my company made is a prime example of volatility in the workforce. People make the false assumption that having a job will bring them stability. But there are always changes at work; they’re always trying to maximize earnings, profits and results. What happened to me wasn’t abnormal but it was unfair.

So one way of making some additional money is to make passive income. This sounds like the Holy Grail of earning. I mean, who wouldn’t want to make money from doing nothing and having a business running in the background? (Raises Hand).

But the notion that passive money is easy is a myth. Usually when people collect money on their business with little effort, they’ve already done the bulk of the work in the beginning. The beginning is the hardest, where you’re working and slaving and getting nothing in return for months or even years on end. The only instance where I’d say passive money is easy is when you randomly hit the lottery or an inheritance and you can dump that money into stocks or real estate and just earn that way.

But if you’re waiting for the lottery or a windfall of inheritance to happen to you, then you’re going to be poor for a really really long time.

I would consider things like blogging or re-investing your earned income into the stock market or real estate as passive income. Because first you’re doing all this work to get a little bit now but over time that investment will grow on itself and make tons more money than what you started with.

But passive income is anything but easy.

Another stream of income that you can pursue is profit income.

Profit income is when you take an item, you buy it and then you’re able to market it and sell it for more than what you bought it for.

So many businesses are built on the profit income model of buying cheap, selling high and marketing in between to create that value. Any brand that you buy from, whether it’s clothes, make up or household goods, is built on the profit income model.

The surprising thing is that anybody, I repeat, anybody can make money from profit income.

In today’s day and age, websites like Etsy, Poshmark, eBay, and Amazon make it insanely easy to make a profit. Whether you’re making $10 a month or $10,000 a month that’s money that you just pulled out of thin air, out of nowhere. It is much easier to make a profit in today’s digital age than it was it when we only had brick-and-mortar stores.

Back before Internet and all that, mom and pops would take out a loan, then rent a commercial space, buy all these products to fill their brick and mortar store and then try to build a profit from yearly sales.
People still do that, but that’s incredibly more risky than opening up an Esty store spending a couple hundred dollars on products to resell at a higher price and then snowballing each sale to create a bigger company down the line.

Even Uber is a profit model type of income. Drivers want to make sure they’re making more in rides than they spend on the mileage of their car, depreciating value, gas and insurance.

The reality is that my job is just one piece of the pie, earned income is subject to change and I shouldn’t be surprised about how ruthless my manager is or the owners are to squeeze every dollar out of their employees. But if I’m not pursuing the other avenues of income available to me, then I’m just leaving money on the table and leaving myself vulnerable to the changes of the corporate environment.

Working on getting those other forms of income are essential to financial well being. God forbid, I lose my job, then half of our total household income (between me and my husband) is wiped out.

If my job is only 1/2 of my income and I’m able to supplement with passive income and profit, then I’ll be able to survive during economic downturns and avoid debt.

You’ll never realize how risky relying on your job is, until you lose it. I’m all about preparedness and protecting my family from what messed up business practices my employer may enact on me.

So don’t leave money on the table. Take what you can out of this life and make sure you’re capitalizing on all the income opportunities available to you.

Check out my other posts!

Why I Budget and How to Budget: Personal Finance In A Nutshell

The Rent vs Buy Argument

How To Stay Motivated And Keep Your Goals

How To Make A Change in Your Life

On Becoming Mother

I was never one to want to be a mother.

I remember being a child and having no interest whatsoever in baby dolls. As a teen, my friends talked about that one day they would have children but I stood silently in the corner not really thinking about it. It wasn’t a priority for me.

I had other things I wanted to do first like go to parties, travel, be a successful business woman and maybe date the man of my dreams. I didn’t have time for children and the thought of giving birth to a child honestly terrified me.

So when I became pregnant with my first child at 23 years old, it was the scariest thing I ever did. And honestly it took me a while even after she was born to come to terms with the fact that I was now a mom.

Little did I know that being a mother would be the most meaningful and extraordinary thing I would do in my life. I didn’t really understand that right away. Forget traveling and forget being a CEO at some major company, by becoming a mom I was able to make huge a difference in someone else’s life. Jobs come and go, friends too but family is forever.

A lot of things had to change first. I couldn’t just go out with my friends anymore. And I couldn’t just take any kind of work to support my family. I couldn’t spend money on frivolous things either. I had to be smart; I had to think of what I needed long-term instead of what I needed for today.

Sidenote: fathers are pretty amazing too. But what they bring to their children is totally different. My husband is more of a rock. In addition to knowing that he loves them, he gives our kids a sense of confidence, stability and direction.

I’m more of the nurturing mother who stands by her children and comforts them when they cry.

Children are like little miracles. I look at my two month old child and she already knows me and can pick me out of a crowded room. That’s insane.

Looking at her big oversized eyes staring back at me as I breastfeed her gives me a sense of wonderment. Like, who will this little one become? What are her dreams?

My oldest daughter is six. She’s a little more complex since she’s starting to become self-aware about her emotions. So every little emotion she feels, whether it’s happy, sad, or embarrassed, she lets us know. It’s been strange to see her become much more independent, I feel like I just had her! But I know I’ll always be her mother and that I’ll always be there for her when she needs me. There’s a long road of life ahead of her so chances are that there will be plenty of situations where she will need me more than ever.

But six years ago, I had no idea the impact she would have on my life. I’m a better person. I’m stronger, more capable and aware. I can empathize and I know exactly how my child is feeling. Sometimes I can’t make all the boo boos go away, but I try.

My little one is just as amazing! I love the stage where they need you all the time for everything. It makes you feel so loved and cherished. She really is like a little doll. I forgot how beautiful they are when they’re newly born and rely on you for everything. My mother-in-law tells me that I hold her too much and that she’s spoiled but she’s two months old! And I don’t mind a spoiled two month old. Her smiles are pretty amazing too!

If I could have countless children, I would. That’s how much I love children and love my role as a mother.

If you had told 18-year-old me that I would love this role and that motherhood would come to defined me, she would’ve scoffed at you. She would’ve called me a sellout for picking the path that everyone chooses. What about all my dreams to travel, my desire to date, become a rich successful career woman?

Priorities change. And looking back, those goals were great but superficial. What I have now is a never-ending love, for my children and from them.

Being a mom isn’t the easiest path, in fact it has to be the hardest thing in the world to do and do well.

I never asked to be a mother but it was blessing brought into my life with my children. So to all the mothers who are struggling today to keep it all together, be proud, because you are doing something incredible.

Check out my other posts

Top Things To Buy For A Newborn Baby: Baby Product Review

My Postpartum Experience: What I Didn’t Expect

My Experience With Achalasia

I don’t really remember how it started but I’m pretty sure it progressed quickly. I described it as a “stuck” feeling. It was hurting me, so my parents took me to the doctor. I remember doing all these tests, first an x-ray and then an endoscopy.

An endoscopy is a procedure where they put a small camera down your throat while they look at your throat and esophagus. I was only 10 years old. I had to be awake during the procedure with no anesthesia since I needed to swallow while they viewed my reflexes. Nothing came up in the tests.

Th stuck feeling happened more often as time went on. It was actually food getting stuck at the bottom of my esophagus as I ate . My parents, not knowing what was going on, were frustrated. They didn’t know the cause and were beginning to wonder if I was making it up. They tried to coerce me to eat. They begged me, pleaded with me and eventually…hit me so I would stay at the table and eat.

When food would get stuck in my chest, I would have to wait until it passed, otherwise continuing to eat would be agonizing. Eventually, I figured out how to force myself to throw up to help relieve some of the pressure from the food blockage.

By the time I was 11, I was throwing up regularly. At meals, my parents watched me like a hawk to make sure I ate; they were still skeptical it was a physical ailment and they shamed me for not eating normally. To them, I chose not to eat. So I found excuses to leave the table and threw up in secret. If I had a lot of trouble eating and used up all my excuses to go to the bathroom, as soon as they left the room, I would throw up in a bag, hide it and dispose of it later.

Eventually they caught me. They found one of my bags of throw up.

11 year old me just didn’t know how to deal with it. The tests said that I was lying, that I had no physical problems. So why did eating hurt so bad?

So now my parents knew I was throwing up to relieve my pain. Except they didn’t really know how much pain I was in. To them, I was just choosing not to eat and throwing up. I felt their eyes judging me as I left the table to “use the bathroom.” I could smell their disgust towards me.

These were the hardest years of my life. The pain got worst and by 12 years old, I couldn’t go a meal without pain and that stuck feeling. My parents and I fought while my sisters watched quietly. One day, they demanded that I stay at the table. “Don’t you dare get up!” they said. I squirmed and writhed in pain as I felt the pressure of the food and my own saliva build up on top of each other. I remember my parents threatening me as my eyes rolled back and I started to faint from the pain.

Eventually they took me to see a psychiatrist. Because of my young age, they thought I was anorexic and bulimic. You would think that a psychiatrist would actually know I was in physical pain. But she diagnosed me with depression. She proceeded to tell my mother that she was the cause of all my problems and put me on Zoloft.

Well, shortly after my therapy stopped. My mom didn’t like hearing that. I was better off anyway, looking back, that psychiatrist just wanted to collect on the exceptional insurance that my dad’s work offered.

The following months were more of the same. More doctors, endoscopies, and barium swallow procedures. The barium swallow was the worst. It was like getting an x-ray done while drinking this nasty chalky drink. I did these tests a few times and nothing was coming up. Honestly, I think the doctors just didn’t know what they were looking for. My esophagus hadn’t been working well for years.

The puberty years are so hard and I had to be sick through it. It kept getting worst and worst. By the time I was 13 years old, I had cried so many times over it and was even considering suicide. It really messes with you to be told that you’re crazy. I’m sure my parents felt a lot of guilt after learning it was actually a physical ailment.

Lesson to parents. If your child tells you they’re in pain, BELIEVE THEM.

When I was 14, I finally saw a specialist that was able to properly diagnose me.

I had achalasia.

Finally, I knew what was wrong with me. It felt like a weight being lifted from my shoulders to finally know it wasn’t all in my head. Achalasia is a rare esophageal disorder that caused my sphincter to tighten abnormally and close the opening to my stomach. The stuck feeling was actually called an esophageal spasm. And food and liquids weren’t able to reach my stomach.

By the time I was diagnosed I looked so sickly and terrible. I struggled to eat every other bite. Fluids were getting blocked. I remember I hated taking pictures and was afraid that people thought I was anorexic. I threw up every meal and several times a meal. The pain never passed unless I threw up. The pressure of the food increased and increased. It hurt so bad because I kept it secret from other people at school, so when I had an esophageal spasm, I would just hold it instead of throwing up. It gave me anxiety to eat at restaurants, go to theme parks, or at my friends’ houses. Achalasia literally ruined my life for those 4 years.

Once I was diagnosed, it didn’t get better right away. They did a dilation procedure. This procedure required me to go under general anesthesia while they placed an instrument down my throat; it expanded at the site of tension to weaken the abnormal muscle. That worked for a few weeks but the spasms always came back. We did this procedure at least 3-4 times. But the abnormal muscle just kept getting stronger and made it more difficult to eat. Then I took a turn for the worst. In the end, I needed a feeding tube inserted through my nose since I couldn’t eat a thing. I was so thin and weak, just basically waiting to die. My face was gaunt and my arms like twigs. I had lived with it for so long now the spasms were constant; I felt happy if I could get liquids down. I grew to hate eating in general.

The heller myotomy was a godsend. It was a miracle. It was the final option for me. The surgical procedure cut through my abdomen to get to my esophagus; it cut and weakened the muscle that was giving me problems. When I woke up and tried to eat, I cried as I realized I was fixed. I could eat again. I remember my parents and I being so grateful, we gave the doctor chocolates at the follow up appointment.

Thankfully, I’m 99% better now. I’ll never be fully cured of my achalasia, but I don’t get spasms that often now. Maybe once a month or at most a handful in a month. I forgave my parents for how they ignorantly gaslighted me and shamed me for my sickness. But I still hide my spasms from everyone. Old habits die hard.