Many artists that I have spoken to say that their best work comes when limitations are set on them. They are only allowed to use a certain medium or only allowed to draw still life. In fact, many artists put limitations on themselves. This structure forces them to be creative.
Similarly, entrepreneurs face limitations: not enough capital, hard deadlines that need to be met, etc. With these challenges, they have to get creative with their approach. Often, the end result is MUCH better than it would have been with unlimited resources. You can see how parameters have a positive affect on many disciplines.
So why wouldn’t the same be true regarding your entertainment and your finances? Life in New York and almost anywhere can get mundane. People fall into routines that are devoid of excitement. For a while, in New York, I had this problem. I would work all week and go to bars every weekend. Now, I’m not saying this wasn’t fun. It was. I happened to have creative, fun friends who liked variety. We wouldn’t always go to the same bar. We wouldn’t always have the same conversations about work and the daily grind. But even so, there was potential for so much more creativity.
When I started really cracking down on my spending, I didn’t want to give up my social life. I suddenly has seemingly conflicting parameters and I needed to get creative. These days, I search for cheap eats and the satisfaction of the discovery is almost as good as the food itself. I find fun walks in and around the city and get to connect with New York even more than when I was just going to work and going to bars. My friends and I have parties at our apartments, whether we be having some beers and playing video games or hopping from apartment to apartment where each person has prepared a fun mixed drink (we do this on Halloween and call it Liquortreating), my drinking life hasn’t suffered. I have renewed energy to research investing, saving, and blogging ideas that lead to new NYC blogger friends, and new opportunities for growing my wealth.
So while many people think that being frugal leads to sacrificing your social life, for me, it has done the opposite. Before, if a friend asked “what do you want to do tonight?” The answer would be, “same thing we do every night. Try to take over the local pub.” It’s too easy to fall into that rut. But if you are proactive and are up to the challenge, you will be amazed at how much more fun and fulfilling your life can be when you set parameters on your spending.
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