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Own a computer and save money for traveling

There is a high probability that my computer is the sole reason I have been able to save anything for our RTW 2012. It is hands down the cheapest hobby available (except maybe walking). So I thought it would be a fun to go through all the myriad of ways my computer is distracting me from spending money and giving me value to spend.

You are being avoided. But don't worry, it is only temporary.

When you’re planning a big trip and start to save money it automatically means that you have to decline from many social events. No more shopping, concerts, booze filled nights out or ex tempore road trips. Eventually your friends will think of you as a bit of a bore. And you kind of have to agree, since you even bore yourself on most days.

When people generally start to avoid you, you get a lot of time alone which will sooner or later lead you to watch the drapes get old, make shoelaces from noodles, play merry-go-round with your office chair, introduce your left foot to your right foot, ad lib to old movies and finally apply for a unicorn hunting license. After you go through all the stages of boredom (1. Being bored and 2. Being bored out of your mind) you finally open your computer and start to practice the wonderful art of self destruc….self distraction. All in the name of saving money.

What do I do for distraction

  • I open my Google Reader, browse through all of my feeds and after that spend a good amount of time going through the list of recommended items as well. Did you know that Google made that list endless? Yeah, well, I’m in the process of proving otherwise.
  • I play Diablo II with Maca and after finishing it in Normal-mode and swearing  ”No moar!” I open it again and go through it in Nightmare-mode.
  • I rent all the movies on the IMDb Top 250 Movies-list, make a categorized HTML-list of them with linked Youtube trailers and ask my friends over each weekend to fight over which movie to watch next.
  • I check and re-check my social media sites and comment on links that normally wouldn’t interest me at all. This also makes me feel that my social life is somewhat still alive and people still (somewhat) like me.
  • I go through my unfinished digital art folder and think that I should finish something and then leave it at that. But while being in that folder I notice that all the files are not really named logically and start renaming them. After many hours I realize that I’ve renamed every folder and file on my disc, removed all the unnecessary software and made a new wallpaper collection.

All this could easily take a year from one’s life. Specially if you’re prone to being a bit OCD when bored -like me. But considering other more expensive alternatives these are pretty good distractions if you ask me. They are not damaging to your health and they make some effort to keep up your social life.

But distracting yourself with your computer is not the only way to save money. You can also create value. Future value to yourself and to other people. And I think this is the best part. Why slumber in a stagnation when you can educate yourself for free!

What I do for value

  • I again open my Google Reader and browse through my educational feeds and start studying. I make sure that I’m up to date on what’s happening in my field. The latest and greatest of UI Design. I also follow feeds on front-end development, SEO and graphic design.
  • I go to lynda.com and use the subscription that is provided for me by my employer (though it’s not that expensive anyway) and study new skills that I need.
  • I research. A lot. About the thousand-and-one things that interest me. Everything from philosophy to survival skills. Currently traveling happens to be on my research list as well. I have a special relationship with Wikipedia.
  • I develop my non-profit clients’ sites. They make the world a better place for us so I want to help them do that. I usually use their sites to try something more experimental and I learn tons and tons of new stuff. Of course, I’m also expanding my portfolio at the same time.
  • I blog. I want to create some value for other people with content. One might argue against the value of some blog posts but then again I’ve produced some gems in my history;)

Being bored is OK and you should really know how to do that as well. But after being bored starts to be boring you can stop your anxiety about being boringly poor and start to make use of the time that is now available to you. Not everybody has that luxury.

Hanging out with yourself is a luxury.

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3 kommenttia
  1. Juhani
    Kirjoitettu 30 maalis 2011 klo 19:37 | Ikilinkki

    If someone needs more distraction ideas, you could:
    a) Introduce your OCD to your MP3’s ID3 tags.
    b) Start playing Subspace (ok ok, ”Continuum”).
    c) Learn programming which gives you godlike power to create things to make your life easier, freeing up more time to feel as bored as you want. Repeat.

  2. Kirjoitettu 31 maalis 2011 klo 11:43 | Ikilinkki

    Anyone who was thinking that:
    ”Hey, nice about the Lynda.com but what about when you’re saving money and DON’T have the extra 30$ a month to educated yourself?”. Maybe Khan Academy could be your answer? It is first-class education for free and it is totally, utterly, completely amazing.

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