Author Topic: Enhancing Personal Efficiency  (Read 3405 times)

Solomon960

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Enhancing Personal Efficiency
« on: January 15, 2020, 12:09:21 PM »
While not extreme like some in the Mustachian Universe, I do practice a few habits which others simply could not. Nevertheless, this thread is intended to discuss and offer proposals to others on how to maximize one’s personal efficiency. To begin, I will open with four topics and encourage fellow Mustachians to share their experiences and/or suggest “improvements” to our contributing peers.

Home: I house share with two other adults in a three-bedroom/two-bathroom house. I occupy the master suite (with private bathroom) and share everything else (including the garage). I own no furniture or appliances and can fit all my possessions into my hatchback sedan (I bought used!). I pay one flat rental payment for room & board (including utilities) each month. Having been transferred to a different worksite in 2018, I do have a daily 30-mi one-way commute I hate, but obtaining identical accommodations on the other side of town costs $400/mo more than what I currently am paying to rent (for an entire apartment) while requiring me to sign a lease, which I’ve never done and refuse to do. I’m a single person and don’t need more space.

Food: I spend less than $20/wk on food, including no dairy or meat. My main protein source is peanuts, with other nutrition derived from granola bars, whole wheat cereal & bread, bananas, tap water, and a daily multi-vitamin. Outside of bananas, my food purchases are made in bulk – if it’s on sale/closeout, I’ll buy every unit thanks to the long shelf-life of pre-packaged foods. I do scan food labels to avoid known carcinogen and popular heart-disease ingredients. My daily meal regimen is very disciplined, allowing me to spend virtually no time in the kitchen for prep (and minimal clean-up). Perhaps the one improvement I can make is dumpster diving though living in a high homeless-populated city, this may not be a fruitful endeavor.

Hygiene: I personally shave my head every three weeks using an electric razor. I wash my body and hair daily using the cheapest shampoo or body wash I can find at time of purchase. I use a netting exfoliator (aka shower puff) that I replace monthly, but at $0.50/ea, I will be replacing them with a Dollar Tree kitchen sponge later this year that I perceive will accomplish the same job for less ($0.17/ea). (Sponges may also be put in a microwave to kill bacteria.) For handwashing, I purchase refill bottles from Dollar Tree to refill my hand soap containers. I would love to find a single soap I can use for all body parts – scalp, body, and hands – but I may be hard-pressed to top the $0.06/oz I currently pay while currently utilizing multiple soap products.

Purchases: I pay all but my rent using one of three credit cards, which offer a minimum of 2.5% cashback with no limit. Gas (2.5%-5% back) and Groceries (3% back) are my primary expenses, averaging less than $170/mo. My annual rewards balances are unsurprisingly “small,” but I did earn ~$240 in bill credit statements in 2019.

Please post your experiences/thoughts. Thank you!

EliteZags

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Re: Enhancing Personal Efficiency
« Reply #1 on: January 15, 2020, 06:33:40 PM »
sounds pretty extreme to me, can't come close to most of those but I'll share my CC lineup:

Chase Freedom: use certain quarters with the rotating 5% categories

Amex BlueCash Preferred: my only card with annual fee $95; 6% back on groceries, I max out the $6K annual purchase by buying gift cards at grocery stores that will cover all my gas (Arco) and many purchases (Amazon/Ebay/Southwest etc)

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa: 5% back on Amazon- for items I want extended warranty/price protection

Uber Visa: 4% at restaurants/bars, 3% airfare -soon to be phased to new useless benefits, I plan to replace with below

Bank of America Cash rewards: 3% on chosen category
just applied for 2 of these same cards one of which I'll set to 3% online purchases and the other to 3% restaurants/bars

Citi Double Cash: for everything else 2%


estimate I can average close to 4% back on total spending, half are setup for tradelines which I'll season the BOA ones for also

 
« Last Edit: January 15, 2020, 06:38:24 PM by EliteZags »

Malkynn

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Re: Enhancing Personal Efficiency
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2020, 06:26:23 AM »
You are way more "extreme" than the vast majority here.

Also, are you not eating vegetables?
« Last Edit: January 16, 2020, 06:28:18 AM by Malkynn »

APowers

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Re: Enhancing Personal Efficiency
« Reply #3 on: January 16, 2020, 09:03:07 AM »
$80/mo for a single person food budget is....not really that impressive, imo. Especially given how non-diverse your food is.

Also, I don't know what your rent payment is, or what your real estate market is like, but you might consider a full house-hacking situation where you own the house and rent out rooms to end up with a net-zero housing cost.

Louisville

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Re: Enhancing Personal Efficiency
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2020, 09:10:44 AM »
I'm a bit worried about your nutrition, brother.
But, rock on with your personal efficiency! I'm impressed.

MaybeBabyMustache

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Re: Enhancing Personal Efficiency
« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2020, 09:24:29 AM »
Your discipline is admirable. Like others, I don't think anyone would describe that as a balanced diet, and you may be setting yourself up for long term potential health risks, that far outweigh the cost of spending another $20/month on produce.

honeybbq

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Re: Enhancing Personal Efficiency
« Reply #6 on: January 16, 2020, 12:39:37 PM »
You are way more "extreme" than the vast majority here.

Also, are you not eating vegetables?

+1

Sounds horrible to me. Extremism is not good at the expense of your health.

thorto0803

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Re: Enhancing Personal Efficiency
« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2020, 10:20:25 AM »
You are way more "extreme" than the vast majority here.

Also, are you not eating vegetables?

+1

Sounds horrible to me. Extremism is not good at the expense of your health.

+2

Not having proper nutrition is simply deferring your current food saving into increased healthcare costs decades down the line (which will be a lot more expensive than getting proper nutrition). If you are eating enough fruit and veggies, kudos to you on such a slim food budget.

nirodha

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Re: Enhancing Personal Efficiency
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2020, 10:28:55 AM »
This has got to be satire, right?

$400 month savings on rent, is $20 per work day, assuming 20 work days per month. A 30mi one way commute is 60 miles round trip. If gas+wear per mile is anything over 33 cents, every trip is losing money. And that's before accounting for the commute time. For reference, the 2020 IRS mileage rate is 57.5 cents per mile.

nereo

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Re: Enhancing Personal Efficiency
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2020, 10:38:44 AM »
extreme is the word I'd use as well.

What concerns me as someone coming from the eco-toxicology world is using "the cheapest shampoo or body wash at the time of purchase.  Please, please, please don't do that.  The US does not regulate personal care products to any meaningful degree, and most items - **especially the cheap ones** - are rife with all sorts of really nasty stuff.  It's penny-wise/pound foolish.  If you want to go super-frugal there's a number of everyday pantry items which are far healthier for you and cost pennies per ounce.

Personally I love to cook and find time spent in the kitchen to be enjoyable.  I wouldn't want to curtail that by minimizing food prep and ingredient choice to the degree the OP has.

Finally - I'd urge the OP to take a much closer look at his/her commuting costs.  With a 30mi one-way commute it's very likely costing >> $400/mo.  Poster would almost certainly be better packing everything up in his/her hatchback, moving within biking distance of work and forking over the increased rent in exchange for even less commutting costs, lower environmental footprint, more time and better health.

extremism - in just about anything - typically defeats the underlying good.

fell-like-rain

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Re: Enhancing Personal Efficiency
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2020, 06:40:10 AM »
Yeah, I spend ~$100/month on food for myself, and I eat plenty of fresh veggies, chicken, fish, etc... Packaged food is fine for some things but probably shouldn’t be a majority of your diet.

Re: body wash and shampoo, have you considered just getting an all-purpose concentrated soap like dr bronners? I have friends who use it for all cleaning purposes (hair, body, washing hands, dishes) and one bottle seems to last for months and months.

TomTX

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Re: Enhancing Personal Efficiency
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2020, 08:03:31 AM »
You are way more "extreme" than the vast majority here.

Also, are you not eating vegetables?

+1

Sounds horrible to me. Extremism is not good at the expense of your health.

I can usually buy cabbage for $0.34/lb. Organic(!) carrots at $0.78/lb. Potatoes in a large sack are like $0.40/lb at most. At least buy yourself a cabbage each week.

MoolahLula

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Re: Enhancing Personal Efficiency
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2020, 05:53:12 AM »
I am nowhere near as efficient as you are.  But...how do you prevent scurvy or vitamin deficiencies?  Maybe throw in some lemons, apple, orange, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber? 

BikeFanatic

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Re: Enhancing Personal Efficiency
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2020, 07:06:36 AM »
I am not as badass  as OP but I do use inexpensive but environmentally sensitive 7th generation dish soap for almost all my cleaning and dilute it for hand soap and my wive uses it as shampoo.  No scents or preservatives make it very gentle on my sensitive skin. It is called free and clear I highly recommend it to the original poster.

cooking

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Re: Enhancing Personal Efficiency
« Reply #14 on: February 23, 2020, 11:54:21 PM »
Quote
I pay one flat rental payment for room & board (including utilities) each month.

When OP says "room and board", the board part means food (I assume this term comes from the old time boarding house arrangement where people took their meals with the families they lived with).  Since OP says he pays one flat rental payment for room and board, maybe the $20 wk. food is only a supplement to that.  As far as produce, he did mention bananas.