Apr 012017
 

Tired of paying for things? You’ve come to the right place. Here I’ll present a perfectly sound and reasonable plan for you to live for free. That’s right FREE. Let’s tackle the most common expenses:

FOOD

Food is expensive. A decent meal at Mcdonalds is going to cost us upwards of $10, three times a day, that’s $30/day! UNACCEPTABLE! Let’s start by never eating out ever again. That should reduce food expenses by around 2/3 according to my other food post (SAVING HACKS: COOKING). We can make better food than the disgusting poison they serve in restaurants anyway.

BUT COOKING IS ALSO EXPENSIVE. Yea I know. First let’s cut down on luxuries like condiments, spices, salt, sugar, meat, dairy, anything imported, and anything that absolutely requires heat. We can’t be bothered spending precious electricity on heating up food.

All we really need to not die is calories and vitamins. We can get calories from rice and vitamins from vitamin pills.

  • We can buy a ton (literally) of rice through Alibaba for $650. To get to 2000 calories per day we’ll need to eat 13 servings of rice. That’s 585g of dry rice per day and thus our ton of rice will last around 51 months, or 4 years. Thanks Alibaba!
  • Here’s a place that will sell 12,000 vitamin pills for $450. At one pill per day that’ll last us 32 years! Only $0.03 per day!

We’ve successfully gotten our food budget down to $176.50/year:

Rice and Vitamins

Fun and exciting animal shaped pills for intellectual stimulation!

BUT THAT’S NOT GOOD ENOUGH

The title of this post is how to live FOR FREE, not how to live for $0.48/day. Forget everything I just taught you about rice and multivitamins. It’s time to get free food!

We could grow food, but that takes too long and we’ll be dead before harvest time.

We could steal food, but people these days put locks on their doors.

We could live off sunlight, but we’d get too hungry when it’s cloudy.

The solution? GARBAGE. There’s literally tons of food thrown away every year! You only need to find a trash can and get digging!

trash-can-clip-art

Delicious

SHELTER

Houses are expensive. Rent is expensive. But how expensive is it really? A quick search of Kijiji shows the cheapest rentals go for about $300/month. Clearly that’s too much. We can get almost two years worth of food for that! Continue reading »

Apr 082016
 

Before upsetting anyone let’s define cheap:

CHEAP — Buying inexpensive or low quality despite being able to pay for the higher quality item.

Cheapness can be good or evil. The latter can damage reputations, friendships, the economy, and/or personal health. Good cheapness can lead to financial freedom.

Examples of evil cheapness:

  • Postponing preventative medical care
  • Eating low quality food
  • Wearing poor-fitting clothes
  • Bailing on social situations
  • Foregoing international travel

Examples of good cheapness:

  • Fixing things that break
  • Bringing bag lunches
  • Biking/walking instead of driving
  • Drinking water (instead of sugar drinks)
  • Using the library

You’ll notice that all the good cheapness examples have secondary benefits related mostly to health and/or personal satisfaction.  Now that we’ve defined cheapness let’s call it frugality. But why bother with it?

Continue reading »

Oct 182015
 

Alternative title: 4 WAYS TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF HUMAN NATURE TO SELL THINGS TO SUCKERS

Most people realize that companies are in the business of making money. They like using marketing that targets loopholes in our seemingly rational psychology. Lots of self proclaimed “savvy consumers” think they are smart enough to avoid clever sales tactics. WRONG. Like it or not everyone succumbs to marketing! Education and abstinence are your best tools.

Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely describes these psychological loopholes that often end up with us buying more stuff. Lets take a look at some:

1 – Relativity – Making decisions based on bogus comparisons

Given the choice between A, the slightly inferior A-, and B, most people will choose A

Given the choice between A, the slightly inferior A-, and B, most people will choose A

Imagine you are buying wine and there are three choices. You don’t know much about wine so you base your decision on price. The prices are $10, $25, and $30. You don’t want to appear cheap to your hot date so you axe the cheap one, and you are conscious of saving money so you axe the $30 one and go with $25.

Little do you know the $25 wine is exactly what the restaurant wanted you to pick. They understand that most people won’t buy the most expensive item, but they will buy the second most expensive. The priciest item is a decoy. Here is an example right from Predictably Irrational:

You want to subscribe to the Economist magazine. The choices are:

  • Economist.com subscription – $59
  • Print subscription – $125
  • Print + web subscription – $125

Wait what? Why is the print + web the same price as print? does that mean the web is actually free? Well if that’s true then it’s a great deal and you buy the print + web for $125.

Continue reading »

Sep 132015
 

Imagine that instead of buying that expensive thing that you can probably live without, you took your money and invested it instead. Depending on your age and investment skills I’d say over a lifetime that money could easily triple. For example:

$10 invested for 25 years at 7% return = (10*1.07^25) = $54.27

Which in today’s dollars is $36.81. Lets round it down to a conservative $30.

This means that a dollar saved today will became three dollars in 25 years with proper investing. This isn’t anything new, we all realize that compound interest multiplies your cash like rabbits. So I’m going to draw the opposite parallel. Spending money is like murdering those rabbits. Not only do you murder that rabbit, but you murder all future offspring of said rabbit. This is the part most people choose to ignore (the spending part, not rabbit murdering. I don’t condone murdering rabbits unless you are really hungry). Every spent dollar is one that can’t be put to work making more dollars. Continue reading »