An average human can live 3 weeks without food, 3 days without water and 3 seconds without checking their iPhone. But how long can you live without money? I’m not talking crazy here (well I am) about going off to live in the caves of Utah like Daniel Suelo. I’m talking living the life you want, but doing so without spending a dime of real money. I think I’d like to give it a shot next year as a bit of fun, and am starting to lay the groundwork for it now.
First steps would be:
Set up a household budget
Since we have just moved home we have a completely new budget to build. Things like Utilities, Gas, Taxes, all have changed. So I need to know what the outflows are per month, and how then to lift them all off the budget without spending money.
Find leverage solutions
As I mentioned at the start, I’m not going off reservation here – I plan to eat good food, drink good booze, and maintain the lifestyle that I want. The solution is to lift off things via points and giftcards. It builds upon the concept I raised yesterday that we are overvaluing points. And by doing so, we are hoarding them unnecessarily.
Think about this. If your monthly outflows are $3,000 but you ‘Travel for Free’ then you are still laying out $36,000 per year, and still making conscious decisions to not spend points as you want to have them available for travel. If instead you can find a way to use your points for not just travel, but all monthly outflows – your inflows from salary can leapfrog you forward. Just imagine how much faster student loan debt would be eradicated, or how you could save up the downpayment for a house in a year or two with the extra $36,000 saved…
Is it possible?
Perhaps. We just spent a ton of money on our new kitchen. It is possible that we could have bought appliances with points. The key here reverts to the leverage solution. If we were to just use statement credits and gain a 0.5 cent value VS if we bought a Gift Card at 1 cent value and then churned it into a relevant card… that’s doubling your value right away. The challenge will be the ‘real money’ things. Such as rent or mortgage payments – but these already have App partners like Evolve and many others. So if we have a pipeline of Gift Card>Evolve>Mortgage we would just need to find a way to craft the originating gift card from points, and there create a solution without cost. The interesting thing for me will be how much time it would take to generate this. I feel that when the system is in place the challenge will be to maintain points inflows, and I’d rather not be standing in line in Walmart for more than an hour a month.
I can see this blowing up in my face for sure, but if in the process of failing miserably I learn how to remove an entire line item – EG Groceries – from my budget, its a win.
What do you think? Would you want to take the leap from traveling for free to living for free? What pitfalls do you see here?