Mastering five of the most cost-effective life skills

As the division of labor in society has become more detailed, human hands-on skills have indeed become less and less capable. For example, my father could not only fix his own electrical circuits and plumbing, but he could also make his own furniture, and he even assembled a TV when I was three years old. Nowadays, I’m lucky if I can find the remote control on a cluttered couch.

Of course, there are those who will defend this generation of urbanites, whose basic life skills have changed in scope, who can’t build a TV, but can manage a foreign trip or improve their “jerk-off” scores very quickly. But believe me, those skills of the previous generation are not obsolete, and some of them are saving young people in mega-cities a lot of money, and they are not difficult to master.

We have summarized five of the most cost-effective life skills, some of which are not really life skills but a habit. To quantify the effect of these skills, we did a survey of company people in Beijing and Shanghai, whose average monthly income is around 8,000 to 10,000 yuan.

01 Bookkeeping

To be precise, bookkeeping should be a habit. The great thing about bookkeeping is that you can know where your money is being spent. If you have certain financial goals and have a basic understanding of your spending, then when it comes time to adjust your spending plan, you will be more targeted and know where you better cut back on your spending and where it is no longer possible to save.

And it is also true that bookkeeping can have a suggestive effect on people’s prudent spending, a phenomenon I discovered with a couple in Beijing. This couple got into the habit of bookkeeping because they had plans to have children, and their average monthly spending decreased by about 30% before and after bookkeeping. I suspect that in addition to the hinting effect I described above, the couple’s financial transparency with each other reduced a lot of hard-to-account-for spending for both people. For example, the man is less likely to pay for a meal at lunch for a pretty girl at work out of favor – you know what I mean, it’s not a bad intention, it’s just an instinct or a joke, and many people will do it. Of course this also leads to a negative effect of bookkeeping, that is, bookkeeping will erase a lot of life’s little pleasures.

The biggest disadvantage of bookkeeping is that it is boring and troublesome, which has something to do with the way people keep track of their books. There are now many apps dedicated to bookkeeping, and these software experts have developed many social and interactive ways to make bookkeeping more interesting to people who are interested in the boring activity of bookkeeping. Of course, there is the concern that your financial secrets are not safe. I talked to the executive of one of the bookkeeping software companies that now has the highest market share in China about this issue, and he swore that it was impossible to make money from customers’ books, so let’s believe him for now.

02 Endure a shorter safe distance

Many mega-city corporate people, they spend a lot of money for safe distances. For example, on their way to and from work, what they hate most is congestion, which adds to their already somewhat exhausted state and even makes them anxious when they think of it. Many people rent or buy a house near their company to avoid this anxiety, and this buying and renting makes the monthly cost of living for company people more than 100% higher compared to the cost in the near suburbs.

Many people mistakenly believe that the reason for company people’s anxiety is the long commute they spend to and from work. I know many people who could walk 20 minutes from work to home rather than take the subway for a 10-minute walk – don’t think of metropolitan corporate people as too diligent – but what they are really anxious about is the proximity to strangers, which makes them think of many They are really anxious about being in close proximity to strangers, a proximity they associate with many insecurities, such as infectious diseases, sexual harassment, theft, and violent confrontations. In reality, the probability of unpleasantness from close proximity is very small, and even crowded subways are not as scary as one might think.

Of course, the only-child generation, who already have their own bedrooms at a very young age, have a greater safety distance from people than previous generations, and it’s pretty hard to get them to put up with shrinking their self-imposed safety distance. But think about it, it can save you $3000 a month, this self-setting change is still worth a try.

03 Can like a class of books

If you have a regular hobby – excluding drugs and mahjong, of course – and you like to read about it because of that hobby, that’s great, and it could potentially save you about $1,000 a month. This saving is not the content of the book you read really played any edifying effect, but this behavior squeezed your time to do nothing. How do people spend their time doing nothing? In our survey, we found that many people would use this time to organize very boring parties. Although in many cases the organization and participants of such parties know that the event is not very interesting, they will still participate more actively because a few people looking at their phones in a cafe seems to be slightly more fun than looking at them at home. This phenomenon seems to be very common among single corporate people. Of course, that’s fine, some people will use those social apps to shake hard when they’re bored – which is not uncommon, even among my colleagues – and the biggest problem with this broader “boredom” socialization is that it creates a financial risk, you just don’t know what’s going to come out. You just don’t know what’s going to come up.

As the Jews say, it’s better not to make financial decisions when you’re bored. Because it’s usually wrong, and there’s a risk that you’ll keep investing capital to make up for bad decisions. Trying to enjoy a class of books is the best way to squeeze in the time when you might make a mistake.

04 Exercise daily

What should you do if someone enters your room to burglarize it?

Yes, protect yourself! This answer is also true from a financial point of view. Because house burglars can’t move, furniture and appliances are worthless, cash is in the bank, and bank cards can be lost. But your secondary robbery comes when you are physically hurt and have the opportunity to face a surgeon with a scalpel. Daily exercise is the best way to reduce your health risk, now living environment, I recommend the best way to exercise is to jump rope, this is the best way to avoid the neighborhood dog chasing you.

05 cooking

If you can cook properly each month can save you an average of about 1000 dollars. For some people, their definition of cooking is subtle, they don’t want to cook because if they can do it, they’ll have to take on some of the cooking duties later in their family life, and they hate brushing dishes. One way I can get pleasure from cooking is to go to a restaurant and look at the price of a certain dish, then go to the supermarket and buy the relevant ingredients and make it myself at home. Using the restaurant price minus what I spent on the ingredients, let’s say that’s $20, I can make a very inspirational pose with a clenched fist, “Yay, I made another $20.” This will give you a feeling of doing a part-time job, and I suggest you try using this to provoke you to cook for fun.