Author Topic: Should I put a limit on time spent creating quality of life activitys  (Read 5595 times)

Kaplin261

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Should some one who is not FI limit there time on activitys that creat quality of life enhancements? Even if there is no material cost assosiated?

Example
I have almost mastered culinary arts, I create  5 star meals at no extra finacial cost. The family loves it! However, time spent in the kitchen creating these meals after cleanup consumes almost 2 hours of my time. A simpler meal with fruits and nuts would take no virtually no prep time.(I don't really cook 5 star meals, but the family loves them and there pretty darn good)

stlbrah

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nope, culinary arts is a great skill

Chranstronaut

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This is like asking, "Should I stop doing things that makes me happy because I think I'm supposed to?" 

Activities are only a waste of time if there's something else you'd rather be doing.  And if activities (over the median) aren't enjoyable, how can they be adding quality of life?  Cook your fancy meals if you like them, but if you would rather re-heat leftovers and play charades with your family for 1.5 hours, then that's great, too.  And you can do both, every day can be different.

Personally, I try to avoid "supposed to"s and make sure my --MONEY--^--HAPPINESS-- seesaw is as well balanced in the present as it hopefully will be after FI.

What else would you rather be doing?  If your answer is nothing, congratulations!

Kaplin261

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This is like asking, "Should I stop doing things that makes me happy because I think I'm supposed to?" 

Activities are only a waste of time if there's something else you'd rather be doing.  And if activities (over the median) aren't enjoyable, how can they be adding quality of life?  Cook your fancy meals if you like them, but if you would rather re-heat leftovers and play charades with your family for 1.5 hours, then that's great, too.  And you can do both, every day can be different.

Personally, I try to avoid "supposed to"s and make sure my --MONEY--^--HAPPINESS-- seesaw is as well balanced in the present as it hopefully will be after FI.

What else would you rather be doing?  If your answer is nothing, congratulations!

If ones quest is to become FI, money and time are two important factors.

neo von retorch

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*their

*they're

Spend some time on quality of life. Spend time on learning "there/their/they're" :)

But seriously, is someone complaining that you spend too much time cooking delicious foods?

Rezdent

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Sounds like you are comparing 2 quality of life questions: time spent cooking and time spent with family.
this doesn't have to be either/or.
you could rephrase this question to: how can I cook AND spend time with family?

Like Chranstache notes you could alternate. 

Or your family can join you in the kitchen, like my family does.  The kitchen is the center of our home.  Me or DH cooks, the other either jumps in or hovers nearby talking about our day.  When we had kids at home, homework was done in the kitchen during this time and we all got closer.  If no homework, then the kids hung out anyway, sometimes helping, sometimes just talking.

And if this question is coming up because someone else is telling you that you spend too much time cooking...
I did have a roommate that accused me of this.  She thought we should spend more time together - watching TV. She didn't understand how important good food is to our family - it saves on budget, provides better nutrition, and gives our family time together.

GuitarStv

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Optimize your life.

Do the cooking in large batches on the weekend, freeze, and reheat them later rather than kill multiple hours of a busy weeknight.  Cleanup is often reduced if you cook a couple meals back to back rather than a different one on a different day.

Kaplin261

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*their

*they're

Spend some time on quality of life. Spend time on learning "there/their/they're" :)

But seriously, is someone complaining that you spend too much time cooking delicious foods?

That is my 10th grade education.

Optimize your life.

Do the cooking in large batches on the weekend, freeze, and reheat them later rather than kill multiple hours of a busy weeknight.  Cleanup is often reduced if you cook a couple meals back to back rather than a different one on a different day.

I have did the large batch cooking, worked out really well for a while. I would devote 6 hours to grocery shopping, come home upack grocerys and use the ingredients right away to cook big meals for the week.

I used cooking just for a example, could be anything. The question is really about time management.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 12:17:54 PM by Kaplin261 »

Ricky

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Just depends on what other things you feel you could be doing. For instance, if you're too busy starting a company then you're probably not going to be fixing 5 star meals every night. It's going to be either ramen, Lean Cuisine, or sammiches.

If you don't feel like there's any better productive use for your time (which by the way, I think eating and cooking are great uses of time) then why worry about it? That said, I've also weighed the time/benefit of cooking with myself. I don't feel bad eating out or sometimes buying mostly prepped meals since I often don't want to think about cooking or really eating. Sometimes I get so engrossed in what I'm doing that I'll forego eating the entire day and the last thing I want to do is cook at that point.

tldr; all "quality of life" activities aren't created equal. There will certainly be times that your work (which is a quality of life activity in itself) will overtake priority from more leisurely activities.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2015, 08:36:32 PM by Ricky »

Erica/NWEdible

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...I mean, unless you are Thomas Keller. If you're Thomas Keller, then you can say you have almost mastered culinary arts. But Thomas Keller would never make such an audacious claim because he lives for the pursuit of improvement in his cooking. So...uh...yeah. But I'm sure you're a really great home cook and all. And if you and your family like that use of your time, that's great! Keep on with your bad self. Just recognize the tradeoffs in how you are allocating that time and be okay with them.

lhamo

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Re: Should I put a limit on time spent creating quality of life activitys
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2015, 09:11:29 PM »
I like to use Amy D's old "Wow factor" equation from the Tightwad Gazette when making choices like this.

You can invest 2 hours of prep/cleanup time and $20 of ingredients to get a fabulous meal that you eat at a table set with fancy linens/heirloom china/crystal glasses.  "Wow" factor is maybe a 9 or 9.5 but you have also invested a fair amount of time and money.

Or you can invest 15 minutes of prep/cleanup time and $8 of ingredients on some nice cheese, bread, fruit and wine (TJ's two buck chuck ain't bad!) and take that out for a lovely picnic on the beach.  "Wow" factor is probably a 7 or 8 (depending on the view and quality of the sunset), and you have saved both money and time.

Personally  I wouldn't choose to do either option all the time.  Variety is the spice of life.  I generally enjoy cooking, but don't want to make a complex meal every single day.  I will typically do something fancier/more time intensive once or twice on the weekends, and the rest of our meals are more standard daily fare. 

That being said, one of my plans for my semi-FIREd life back in Seattle is to work my way through the library cookbook section -- plan to tackle at least one major international cuisine a month and develop several go-to recipes out of that experimentation.  Some will be the fancy/complex options and some will be simple.

Oh, you also can sometimes get more "wow' points just based on careful shopping/knowledge of ingredients.  That picnic dinner can easily be a 9 or 10 if you find a great cheese shop, get to know the wine buyer at your local market, and find good sources for locally grown fresh fruit.




4alpacas

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Re: Should I put a time limit on quality of life activities
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2015, 10:42:20 PM »
*their

*they're

Spend some time on quality of life. Spend time on learning "there/their/they're" :)

But seriously, is someone complaining that you spend too much time cooking delicious foods?

That is my 10th grade education.

Optimize your life.

Do the cooking in large batches on the weekend, freeze, and reheat them later rather than kill multiple hours of a busy weeknight.  Cleanup is often reduced if you cook a couple meals back to back rather than a different one on a different day.

I have did the large batch cooking, worked out really well for a while. I would devote 6 hours to grocery shopping, come home upack grocerys and use the ingredients right away to cook big meals for the week.

I used cooking just for a example, could be anything. The question is really about time management.
How do you spend 6 hours grocery shopping?! 

Kiwi Mustache

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Re: Should I put a limit on time spent creating quality of life activitys
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2015, 03:22:24 AM »
I did an exercise several years ago one weekend and it put things in perspective.

I asked myself a question... "If money was no limiter, what would I do?"

The answer was along the lines of do more cycling, spend time in the gym, cook better food, develop a circle of friends.

So then I thought, well what can I do right now whilst still working to improve these things too? Would I turn down a $9 lunch if it gave me the chance to spend an hour with friends company I really enjoy by going there? The trade off for $9 in that case was worth it. Another scenario, I needed a new bike for commuting to work and fitness. Would I get a real cheap, crappy one or would I spend a few hundred dollars more for a comfortable, reliable one that would last me years? I figured cycling is a huge part of my life and I get enjoyment out of it so I didn't mind spending more on it.

However, if money is an issue on things I get no enjoyment out of (e.g. buying fancy clothes) I ruthlessly cut out spending, because I get no happiness from buying $200 Nike shoes.

GuitarStv

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Re: Should I put a limit on time spent creating quality of life activitys
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2015, 05:48:26 AM »
Since no one knows how much time they have in life I think it's always best to do the things you love now rather than put them off even if it means delaying FI/RE if that's your goal. Finding a way to do your activities and hobbies so that they are free or low cost (as you are already doing)  means you can have the best of both worlds - doing fun stuff now and still being on track for FI. So enjoy and don't worry too much about it. If it makes you happy, doesn't cost a bunch and isn't taking too much time away from other things you love in your life (like family) the go for it. Incorporate the family and friends in the activity if you want for more "together" time.

Agreed.  Putting off things you love until FIRE is a bad idea . . . it leads to resentment and generally being bummed out about stuff.  You might not have all the time to devote on your hobby that you would like right now, but you should absolutely keep chipping away at it and finding a few minutes here and there to enjoy it.

kpd905

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Re: Should I put a time limit on quality of life activities
« Reply #14 on: June 24, 2015, 05:59:43 AM »

How do you spend 6 hours grocery shopping?!

+1, that doesn't even make sense to me.  How many different stores are you going to?

frompa

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Re: Should I put a limit on time spent creating quality of life activitys
« Reply #15 on: June 24, 2015, 07:39:36 AM »
Kaplin261 -- This question baffles me, because the premise seems to be that to get to FI, one must suffer.  Ahem.  Baloney on that.  In my experience, attaining FI and RE, while requiring discipline, has to also be all about enjoying the journey or one simply will not be able to sustain the necessary discipline.  As others have said, life is too uncertain to postpone all enjoyment until you've accomplished a certain goal; you could get run over by a bus tomorrow.   Also, it would probably be more accurate (not to mention productive) for you to think of engaging in these activities you enjoy -- cooking fine meals from scratch, for example -- as flexing your frugality muscles, rather than as taking away from you FIRE efforts.

Kaplin261

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Re: Should I put a limit on time spent creating quality of life activitys
« Reply #16 on: June 24, 2015, 07:46:03 AM »
I like to use Amy D's old "Wow factor" equation from the Tightwad Gazette when making choices like this.

You can invest 2 hours of prep/cleanup time and $20 of ingredients to get a fabulous meal that you eat at a table set with fancy linens/heirloom china/crystal glasses.  "Wow" factor is maybe a 9 or 9.5 but you have also invested a fair amount of time and money.

Or you can invest 15 minutes of prep/cleanup time and $8 of ingredients on some nice cheese, bread, fruit and wine (TJ's two buck chuck ain't bad!) and take that out for a lovely picnic on the beach.  "Wow" factor is probably a 7 or 8 (depending on the view and quality of the sunset), and you have saved both money and time.

Personally  I wouldn't choose to do either option all the time.  Variety is the spice of life.  I generally enjoy cooking, but don't want to make a complex meal every single day.  I will typically do something fancier/more time intensive once or twice on the weekends, and the rest of our meals are more standard daily fare. 

That being said, one of my plans for my semi-FIREd life back in Seattle is to work my way through the library cookbook section -- plan to tackle at least one major international cuisine a month and develop several go-to recipes out of that experimentation.  Some will be the fancy/complex options and some will be simple.

Oh, you also can sometimes get more "wow' points just based on careful shopping/knowledge of ingredients.  That picnic dinner can easily be a 9 or 10 if you find a great cheese shop, get to know the wine buyer at your local market, and find good sources for locally grown fresh fruit.

Great response!! I like the idea of a ratio
2 hours = 9
or
.5 hour=7
Time managment to create more value in your life

How do you spend 6 hours grocery shopping?!

+1, that doesn't even make sense to me.  How many different stores are you going to?

Sorry posting from my phone. I was tring to say 6 hours for grocery shoping AND cooking..

Kaplin261

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Re: Should I put a limit on time spent creating quality of life activitys
« Reply #17 on: June 24, 2015, 07:49:22 AM »
Kaplin261 -- This question baffles me, because the premise seems to be that to get to FI, one must suffer.  Ahem.  Baloney on that.  In my experience, attaining FI and RE, while requiring discipline, has to also be all about enjoying the journey or one simply will not be able to sustain the necessary discipline.  As others have said, life is too uncertain to postpone all enjoyment until you've accomplished a certain goal; you could get run over by a bus tomorrow.   Also, it would probably be more accurate (not to mention productive) for you to think of engaging in these activities you enjoy -- cooking fine meals from scratch, for example -- as flexing your frugality muscles, rather than as taking away from you FIRE efforts.

One should not suffer to get to FI, but to get there quicker should one manage ones time better?

bogart

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Re: Should I put a limit on time spent creating quality of life activitys
« Reply #18 on: June 24, 2015, 09:25:51 AM »
Whose quality of life are you improving -- yours, or your family's?  I ask because I've come to realize that there is basically nothing about food prep (or cleanup, or ...) that I enjoy, so I focus on minimizing it.  This probably diminishes my family's QoL (but not by lots, and there's another adult in my household with plenty of time to cook if he wants to, which he doesn't) while significantly improving mine. 

In short, I'd say if you enjoy the food prep (obviously including the excellent meal, but only the extra value of the excellent meal relative to an ordinary meal), etc., keep at it.  But if not, fruits and nuts it is.