I developed number of time and money consuming habits, commitments and routines. Working from a starting point of zero I could change my life from a clean sheet of paper and a "Zero-based" approach. Zero-based approach to financial independence helps to reduce amount of time and money through rationalisation of every routine and habit that become part of new life.
This review exercise helps to make it clear (visible) and understand behind what I do, to sharpen the focus. Zero-based approach to financial independence requires courage and be ruthless to your existing habits and commitments.
How can it help:
- Does your current habits and commitments exceed amount of time and money you need?
- Do your routines litter your life with non-value added and wasteful tasks?
- Are your life commitments accurate and consistent with what you want to achieve (your goals and desires)?
Zero-based approach it does not mean to stop doing everything drifting to the extreme savers or monks’ life style. However, what it does require is that all existing habits, routines and commitments are assumed to be wiped out.
Why and how did I reach that point in life, requiring a Zero-based approach?
My current commitments and habits are not sustainable or affordable. Making our life too expensive in comparison with the peers. For some time, I have been in a position that I need to drop something, before I could add a new routine, but a new piece of close or do something I like to make time available. It may sound exciting – you are busy, maximizing your time but it also limits you. Many of the tasks were not sustainable in the long run.
I start reviewing all areas of my life, starting with what I want and how I am going to get there.
This includes that things I owe and buy – all of them need replacement, maintenance and my time. For example, you decided to buy a video camera at initial cost of $2,000. In 5-10 years, you need to replace one, this includes additional expenses – accumulators, increasing your information storage, your time commitment. Looking back, I rarely looked at my own video when I was a child, so I think this is a waste of time and money.
Entertainment – at the moment we spent about $400 a month various things – going out, entertainment parks, cinemas, fun fairs and so on. This is about $5,000 a year. Do we want this or going on vacation somewhere we cannot afford otherwise?
Time – the amount of time I either spent on social media, surfing internet and watching movies. This is time which add very little to what I truly enjoy or want going forward. This time could be spent on something else.
It’s important to remember that no motivation while last continuously, it’s much easier to convert something you think is important into a habit by repeating it at least 20 times.