Tell me if this sounds familiar too you, you have about an hour to eat and then have a list of things you want to get done. You think to yourself “I’ll turn Netflix on and watch ONE episode and then get stuff done”. Next thing you know you are in the next season because Jack got out of the coma and you have to find out if he remembers that Jill is the one that tried to kill him.
As I write this I had to almost force myself to turn my show off (I am a HUGE West Wing buff on my fourth time watching it). But there have been plenty of times that I have started watching something with the thought that I would watch just one episode then write a blog post, or get some chores done around the house, or anything constructive and it never happens.
Almost everyone in the personal finance field would tell you to get rid of cable and get Netflix, Hulu, amazon prime and save hundreds a year, and they would be right, but these things if not used carefully will ruin our lives.
Realizing this got me thinking what other things we are often told we should do to save money that if not used properly will end up taking up too much time, money, and defeat the purpose. The first one of course is streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime, but here are 5 others that I have come up with that can “ruin your life”.
When I started down this path to getting out of debt and purchased a few books I soon realized that it would cost way to much to continue to purchase every book I wanted to read. I also found that my local library works with several others in the area and if a book is at one of the libraries I can have it sent to the one close to me.
This works great and I highly recommend that if you are trying to get some books read but are low on cash (or storage space) then the library is a perfect alternative.
How this can ruin your life is the same way it complicated mine. When you first start down the path to financial independence you are excited and want to read everything you can get your hands on. With the library I was able to get my hands on close to 20 books at a time. Who can read 20 books at one time? Right now doing all I do to get to financial independence I’m fortunate if I can read 3 books a month (I read 3 in January and am still reading my second for February).
Assuming I read an average of 3 a month, 20 books would take almost 7 months, the library requires them back long before then. Also if you are late returning them you have to pay a fee, like I had to this morning.
So even though you will save money and get what you want, you may end up paying money for something that is free, as well as spending too much time trying to get everything read of which you won’t remember anyway when it’s all said and done.
I stumbled accross this site when Lewis Howes posted on twitter a giveaway for his book (of which I won). I was so excited because I love reading that I started going on there every day and requesting books that are on there for free whether I have heard of them or not.
So this site is awesome, except one thing. I now have 14 books to read (physical books taking up space), and no time to read any of them. I have placed them in order of when I want to read them but as of yet they are just sitting there collecting dust and only 1 book (The School Of Greatness) has been read.
So even though no money has been spent on the books, I also now feel guilty because I can’t get to reading them as well as they are taking up too much space in my tiny apartment and my wife is unhappy.
This is an amazing site if you love to read but don’t want the same probelm goodreads gives you of taking up space in your house.
You answer some questions as to what your favorite kind of books are, who your favorite authors are, and it will send suggestions every day of ebooks on sale for you to download. Some are even free, so I of course jump on all free books that come my way.
Similiar to having books laying around however, I now have 16 Ebooks to read and no time to read them. Though I didn’t pay any money for them and they don’t take up any physical space it’s still a pain to have so many books I’m not reading.
Youtube can be a great place to go to learn things, or simply be entertained. The problem comes in when you go down a whole of this video then this video then…. you get the point.
Not only that but Youtube has advertisements, and some of the people who make the videos try to sell their own products in the videos. So not only are you wasting time going down this video train, you are now spending money on it as well.
Social Media (Twitter Mostly)
I love Twitter and would love for you to follow me on it. That being said it can be very dangerous. I have spent untold amounts of money through an ad on twitter, or started down a path of finding article after article after article (noticing a theme?).
Twitter (and all other social media platforms) can be used for good and I do try to do just that so I’m not saying don’t use them let’s just be careful about it.
I think finding ways to get things for free or cheap is a great option, I also think that making the best use of our time is the best thing we can do.
So because of that I’m going to strive to focus on ways to cut costs, not just on my wallet but also on my time.
What do you think, do you spend too much time on some of these things? What are other things that sound good but take too much time or money to do? Have you ever got caught up in a series of something on a streaming platform? Let me know in the comments.
Image courtesy of winnond at FreeDigitalPhotos.net