Wednesday, March 2, 2011

52 Pickup: 9/52

Remember, all 52 pickups are open to interpretation. My interpretation might not be the same as yours - make it yours, make it a mantra, make it life lived well.

This week the pickup is:

Have you been aching for more time? More money? More rest? More excitement? Looking for something to fulfill where you feel lacking? Always. Right?

What do you treasure? How can you seek it out and find it? 

Want more entertainment and culture? Have you checked out your local library? They often have free programs for music, museum passes and free movies. What about the symphony? You would be shocked how inexpensive tickets can be (especially as a student). Still saying no because you need a babysitter? Can you set up an equal share system with a friend - you watch their kid(s) one night, they watch yours?

Want more money? Are you really using what you are paying for? Can you trim your bills in new and unexpected ways?

With a little creativity, some patience, and an open, honest heart you can find the treasure you are looking for – probably right in front of you.

The Money Shot

As some of you already know we finally went smart-phone free this week. "Finally" because we meant to do it a month ago but the process was a bit laborious, and, "free" being a relative term. What we realized was that we weren't using our cell-phone minutes, not even barely. Further, we are almost always in places with wireless internet connections. Even more, we didn't want the distraction that smart-phones were bringing to our family – being able to connect socially was taking away from real social connections. So, not using full value + access anyway + not being tempted to check email while being together = bye, bye smart phone.

We switched to, of all things, prepaid phones. No contract was an especially appealing option and, with as few minutes as we were using, we could use, combined, in one year, just over what we were paying per month. That adds up (as in, estimated savings: $1,500). Since our old technology still works, we just popped out the SIM card, disabled data downloading and we can still surf on the couch or wherever there is WiFi. 

Recap: We turned our iPhones into iPod Touches. We got prepaid phones.

What I learned was this: I could achieve many goals with one action (in this case: more money, less distracted time with family) and I could create value in the process. Now that we have the prepaid phones I think of the time I spend on the cell phone in terms of monetary value - before I didn't and I wasn't valuing where our money was going. At all. Further, there is no distraction from trips to the zoo or the grocery, no temptation to check email while at a stop light (terribly dangerous anyway), no escape from being aware and engaged, i.e. the elimination of ubiquitous, omnipresent behavior. I call this a win.

Even more? I challenged my own perceptions of self and ego. I will admit, I had a stereotype of who the target market was for a prepaid phone. I never considered them because we "didn't fit". Foolish and so conceited. But sometimes that is what it takes. A buried treasure is buried for a reason: because you haven't found the solution, you can't see it, or you didn't remember it was there.

Maybe your treasure is in your storage boxes, a literal forgotten find. Perhaps your treasure is metaphorical, or one of eliminating thoughts that hold you back. Or perhaps your treasure is simply still waiting to be found.

What is your buried treasure anyway? Found any recently?


Melissa said...

I did the opposite of you - ditched my landline and kept my smart phone. Need the BB for my work but I use Skype to Skype for everything else.

Tricia said...

Melissa - When I wasn't working from home and on the go all the time I did the same thing! Life changed in a big way so it took me a while to catch up and go the opposite direction...and yet the same idea. :)

Brandi said...

Tricia, this is fantastic. And I know precisely what it means for me. There's something I need to find inside of me, something that's been missing. Thank you for the reminder.

k said...

I think the savings that you are gaining make it worth it for sure.