Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Life Work Balance

At the beginning of every semester at my university, it's a bit of a scramble, as everyone runs around trying to find overtime and extra classes to teach. I always have the internal debate in my head as to how much my free time is worth. I have lots of hobbies and even during vacations, with no classes I'm ever bored. So, I try to maintain a happy balance between a decent amount of money coming in each month and free time. I definitely make less than a few of my colleagues but in the end, I perhaps save more than they do. My secret is having cheap or free hobbies.

I exercise, which is essentially free (I signed up for the gym at my uni...$10/month). I read, and try to get my books through book swapping via the expat boards and forums here in Korea. I cook a lot, which in the end saves me money by not going out. I garden, which makes me money because I don't have to go to the grocery store for weeks a time for a few months of the year. I like investing and follow the markets, which is theory should actually make me money in the end. I chill out with friends, by going out for dinner, which in Korea is quite cheap. I just avoid the chilling out that revolves around drinking, which is the fastest way to suck up money. I take advantage of the internet and download TV and music for free. I go on vacation twice a year, so spend a few months planning each one of those. I think it saves me money in the end, as I feel confident enough to just book stuff when I'm on the ground and not before, which almost always ends up being cheaper.

So forget the working all the time. Who needs that? Just find some stuff that you like to do that doesn't require much money.

No comments: