Tag Archives: exercise

How To Simplify Your Life

I was walking home from bus stop just now, and because of the time, there are not many people walking on the street. So I start brainstorming what can I put onto my blog tonight. But I didn’t manage to come up with any brilliant idea during the journey home. So, I just keep walking while enjoy the mild breeze along the street. Then an idea struck me, why don’t I just write about simplifying our life. I realized one of the things we need to do regularly on our journey to early retirement is simplify our life. Our time and energy are limited, it will be unsustainable for us to pursue too many thing in life and the best thing in life normally just a few and won’t cost you much money to get them. So how do we organize our life?


Identify Core Activities

First of all, we need to identify that few core activities that contribute to most of our happiness. This should be easy because we tend to spend most of our time doing this few activities. For me it will be reading, badminton, basketball, and meet up with friend/colleague for meal.

Try not to list your TV watching habit as one of the activity, because this activity really does not bring much benefit to you in my view. When you sit down in front of the TV, your body shut down, your mind slow down, and you start to engage yourself into the TV drama that showing some fake life of those actor/actress. In between the drama you get to “enjoy” those free commercial by various company that try to sell you things you don’t need. With all the 0% installment plan shown on the TV and those free credit that lying around your house, you will stack up your debt bill till 2 buildings high in no time.

Also, based on a research done on the Australia population, compare to a person who don’t watch TV, a person who watch 6 hours of TV a day can expect to have 5 years cut off from their life. It literally meant you will live 5 years less and we are not ever counting the time and money you spent while watching TV.


Choose A Few

Make your choice from the list above; choose a few activities that match your expected return (happiness, cost, time). In this phase, you might want to cut down a few that cost you too much but without much return. For example, I seldom attend gathering that involved drinking unless it is a company event. To me, drinking is not an activity that brings me a lot of enjoyment; it is always the attending crowd that interests me. Interesting people are more important than expensive wine. But by all means choose that one that cost you the most if it brings you the most value because you are supposed to enjoy life in your journey to early retirement and not suffer along the way.



If you cannot let go any of the activities you listed, then don’t do it. You just need to cut down on those with lower return to you. For example, maybe you enjoy playing squash but playing it 3-4 days week is too much of a commitment either to your body or to your time. So, maybe you want to consider cut it down to once or twice a week. Also, you can review the list in term of money needed for each activity. Although happiness is the number one consideration during your review, you can still consider making some adjustment to each activity on the list to cut down on your spending.

Consider add in one exercise into your daily routine, it will not need to be an intense workout, just a slow walk with you dog (if you have one) will do. And the time needed is just 20 minutes to half an hour. I think a daily half hour investment into your health should be a reasonable and wise choice for you.

Lastly, check out this video below, it contain some interesting information you might be interested to know:


How many hours have you walked today?

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Filed under Health, Personal Development

How I Lived With One Dollar A Day For A Year In Singapore?

I think there are only 2 groups of people that will be interested in this post:

  1. People who like to know how did I make it.
  2. People who like to know how did I fail that.

I would like to apologize to the people from group one; actually I didn’t succeed in this challenge. I planned, I tried, and I failed. But the process to challenge myself to live this lifestyle taught me a few things about frugal living and I thought I could share it here.

In case you don’t know, I got this idea from a book written by an ordinary English teacher called Kath Kelly. The book’s title is “How I Lived A Year On Just A Pound A Day”.

The ideas I get from the book is that, it is not about limiting your choice when you embracing a new, more frugal lifestyle (from whatever life style you are having now), it is about exploring more choice you can make to your life style that enhance your enjoyment. If you are into frugal living, you might be able to relate yourself to the people in the story.

Ok, let talk about what did I learnt from the book:

Choose a cheap or free hobby

Now, this is a tricky choice and I don’t suggest you go and drop all your hobby and start spend all your time reading book in library or go walk at the park (although this two are quite a good candidate for the discussion here). The most important consideration I like to put out here is “ Are you getting the equal benefit from the money you spent on your hobby?

For example, you love badminton and you are currently joining a badminton group that played twice a week in the sport hall nearby your house. Is the money you paid for the right to play in the group worthwhile for you? Are you felling satisfied with the return you are getting? If the answer is fantastic, don’t change anything. We do want to retire early but not retire miserably.

What I am suggesting here is if you are having some hobby that costs you quite a lot of money (again, only you know how much is this) but it didn’t give you the enjoyment you are expecting, drop that hobby, choose another one. If that is a group hobby, it might be trickier. You can try convincing your group member to switch together with you but this might not works every single time.

Cycle (it means exercise) more frequently

Ok, if you are already a training freak that workout twice a day, every single day, you need to slow down. I am talking to the people who took 2 hours to think whether should they go out and run for half an hour. If you fall into this group of people, you might want to stop thinking and start running. Cycling and walking are pretty good choices if you are not exercise regularly.

But, remember that you just need adequate amount of exercise to maintain your fitness level, and over train actually do more harm to you than help. I am currently exercise every other day, my session includes 2-3km of running plus some push up and squat (with just body weight).

Maintain friendship

Human evolves over time, so does their spending. We used to be contended with just prata on our plate, ice milo on our side and we can chat away the night without feeling cheap. But somehow all this changed when we start working; we now need at least a restaurant for meet up because “it’s been long time since we last met”.

There are a lot of interesting ideas in the book; I think Kath and her friend did a picnic at the beach after she came back from France (Yes, she travelled to France when she is on a pound a day budget). They also tried things like museum opening, school fun trip and sometime they gather at library (I guess there is a noise allowed section in UK library?)

Be creative, think about what activity you can do with your friend that does not costs you a lot of money. I tried chatting with friend at coffee shop for 2 hours, that was a good night. I tried gathered with friend at beach and playing card the whole afternoon, which was a good time spent.


Filed under Save, Spend