As a whole, humans are incredibly inefficient creatures. I’m including myself, you, and most people in this assessment to make it fair. Did you know that heavy drinking costs employers $220 billion a year in lost productivity while its cousin, hangovers, cost a similar $160 billion in workplace productivity? In fact, I’d even go as far as to say that we’re built to be inefficient – we’re built to find the laziest solution that adequately solves a problem and not necessarily the most optimal one.

And let’s be honest, the go-getters of the world – I mean the types that wake up at six o’clock sharp, take a cold shower in the morning, and then go for a nice jog – probably aren’t spending much time casually browsing the Internet. So the first step for all of us before we even get into this list is to acknowledge that we have an inefficiency problem that is capable of being addressed.

 

With that being said, some of you might be wondering how this relates to cutting costs while still living large. Well, by cutting costs I mean cutting inefficient aspects of how we use our lives and by living large I mean achieving a better standard of living for yourself. While this interpretation of the title might sound misleading, deep down we all know that those articles that promise you tips and tricks to cut and save without sacrificing something in return aren’t really all that realistic.

Workout

A word of caution, everything in this list will be counterintuitive to your expectations. You’d think that the image of working out consistently for months for the goal of being able to look nice or fitting in that wedding dress you really like doesn’t really represent a situation where you’re cutting any costs. But being in shape means that you have less of a chance of suffering from common causes of death like obesity, heart disease, and attacks, and it gives you a sharper mental edge. At the end of the day, a hospital bill from the ER or having to deal with a chronic health condition costs a lot more than you’d think and it means you won’t be able to live that large at all.

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Cut Yourself Off From All Social Media for a Few Months

We’ve already highlighted in the beginning of this article that employers lose over $300 billion combined due to the impact of drinking and hangovers on workplace productivity – but have you ever wondered how much of a cost in lost productivity that messing around on the Internet creates for both employers and yourself?

 

In an article published by the NYTimes, it’s noted that Basex, a firm investigating this particular issue found that “… the $650 billion figure [due to procrastination in the workplace] is an estimate of the ‘cost of unnecessary interruptions’ in terms of lost productivity and innovation.” So deactivate your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and whatever popular social media accounts you have for a few months and see if you can start living larger without the cost of distractions.

Meditate

Meditation might be the ultimate example of cutting costs and still living large. Let’s say you just finished a big assignment and you want to take a break for an hour or so and just do nothing. You could spend that hour unconstructively on the Internet, or you could try focusing on yourself and doing some introspection. Meditation is unique because it allows you to cut the costs of distracting activities while achieving a certain amount of relaxation and mental clarity which ultimately allows you to better find and visualize yourself – I’d call that living large.

Read

I mean I suppose you’re already doing a good job by doing some casual reading online as your peruse this article. But there are different tiers of reading based on engagement and this type is the most informal and provides you with the least benefits. Some more substantive articles might give you insight into new technological trends and changes affecting major sites like Google.

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Beyond that tier, you have online newspapers with historied reputations that might give you great insight into current events and real, physical books.

Pay Attention to Your Diet

Living large means being in a good mood frequently. You can’t do that if you don’t eat properly or provide your body with the right nutrition. It’s bizarre to think that the food can eat can have such a big impact on your mood, but it’s a phenomenon that has a lot of medical support. An article posted in the Harvard Health Blog summarizes some of the results of this research with a pithy metaphor: “Like an expensive car, your brain functions best when it gets only premium fuel. Eating high-quality foods that contain lots of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants nourish the brain and protect it from oxidative stress — the ‘waste’ (free radicals) produced when the body uses oxygen, which can damage cells.” More is less sometimes – the more you invest into your health, the less you’ll have to pay later on.

Budget and Invest

How can you cut costs if you don’t know what your costs even are or where your spending habits lie? That’s the rationale of budgeting and investing – you want to monitor where your money flows out and control how the money that you have is used to give you further returns. Keeping up with resources like Lexington Law will allow you to have a better grasp of the most current and significant trends when it comes to credit reporting. Taking the initiative here with your credit along with using an online budgeting program like You Need a Budget to keep track of your payments will help you cut costs – your investments will help you live largely.

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