Parameters for a Better Life

creativityMany 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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16 thoughts on “Parameters for a Better Life

  1. K Wong April 28, 2014 at 2:20 pm

    Liquortreating FTW. Yes, sometimes limitations end up not being limiting at all. An example that comes to mind: my boyfriend and I deciding NOT to rent a car during our first trip to Seattle. It actually ended up being much more fun to walk the city and explore than it’d have been to whiz by the sights stuck in a vehicle.
    K Wong recently posted: How I Made a Cross Country Move on a BudgetMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget April 28, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      Perfect example! I’ve actually never been to the pacific northwest and I absolutely need to visit!

  2. Phil April 28, 2014 at 4:27 pm

    I find many cheap and sometimes free things all around NYC. Also, there are always the pubs and happy hours too. You don’t need to spend a ton of cash to have a good time here as most people think.
    Phil recently posted: Spring is in the air so it’s Breakup Season in NYC!My Profile

  3. Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life April 29, 2014 at 11:54 am

    I totally know that feeling of the satisfaction of a good deal or find being as good as the find itself.
    Stefanie @ The Broke and Beautiful Life recently posted: Job Search Tips From a Full Time Job HunterMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget April 29, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      There’s definitely something energizing about it!

  4. Kassandra April 29, 2014 at 8:01 pm

    As someone who recently moved to Brooklyn, NY from Montreal I still feel visually overloaded whenever I’m Manhattan. I am having fun discovering new sights and eateries though and it’s not breaking my budget either!
    Kassandra recently posted: Living Below Your Means, Your Way!My Profile

    • Mr NYBudget April 29, 2014 at 9:55 pm

      Welcome! And good for you – you’ve achieved a good mastery already!

  5. Even Steven April 30, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Yeah liquortreating is a great idea and pretty funny. Don’t think the Pinky and the Brain reference would go unnoticed with me, I try to get people to respond to my “What are we going to do today Brain” on a regular basis.
    Even Steven recently posted: Why You Must Attack Your Debt Like Ragnar LothbrokMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget April 30, 2014 at 10:16 am

      I was hopeful that someone would pick up on that reference!

  6. Andrew@LivingRichCheaply April 30, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    I also love it when I find a good deal…I think I get a high out of it. Good for you for being creative and being frugal while not sacrificing your social life. I think I had a difficult time when I was young and single…but I started grad school while working so I was forced to sacrifice my social life which did save me some money. And when I met my future wife, she was frugal as well so that worked out great as she loved creative frugal fun ideas…whereas some women might have labeled it “cheap.”
    Andrew@LivingRichCheaply recently posted: Small Baby, Small Apartment, Small BudgetMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget April 30, 2014 at 2:46 pm

      Yeah, that is a topic worth a whole separate post: dating and walking the line between frugal and cheap. I like to think that being creative in this way can go a long way in that battle, but it is tricky.

  7. FI Fighter May 1, 2014 at 10:08 pm

    Good stuff! This is how a lot of investors without a lot of capital get started as well — they get super creative… Creative financing is kind of an art, and you come across a lot of people who started with nothing and somehow find ways to keep buying properties. Today, they might be millionaires… And they got there through a bunch of 0% down deals, or infinite return deals.

    Sometimes I feel like I’m not creative enough, b/c I simply follow the rules… I think I might need to challenge myself more to find better deals.
    FI Fighter recently posted: April 2014 Net Worth UpdateMy Profile

    • Mr NYBudget May 2, 2014 at 10:02 am

      Great point – limitations make for some awesome advances in every aspect of life!

  8. Mel @ brokeGIRLrich May 4, 2014 at 11:22 pm

    Liquortreating just made my night. I am definitely passing that gem on!
    Mel @ brokeGIRLrich recently posted: Gift Card Swapping: Why I ♥ the “Latte Factor”My Profile

    • Mr NYBudget May 5, 2014 at 12:18 am

      Nice! The event is just as fun as the name!

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