Admittedly, I’ve never read Tim Ferris’s 4 Hour Work Week. I probably should. Regardless, I’ve managed to achieve this lifestyle goal. It isn’t glamorous, but I can now afford to live in a wonderful place by the sea, and pay all my rent and utilities by technically working only four hours a week. I’m not really adding to my savings, but I’m surviving.
How did I achieve this?
1. I moved location.
This was the biggest change. I moved from Manhattan to the Mediterranean. Interestingly, many things like beef and other food items were actually far cheaper in New York City, but when you’re paying $800-900 minimum to sublet a box room, life isn’t cheap. Add another $120 for transport costs. In the Med, however, I pay half that and I’m splitting a seaside duplex with a roof terrace – and I’ve $0 transport costs because I’m right in the center of things where everywhere is within walking distance.
2. I’m a talented bastard.
Before I conquered New York City, my main job was singing/performing in bars, clubs, and hotels. I had an agent and made a respectable wage. In NYC there was more money to be made behind the bar than on stage, so I pursued that. When you’re averaging $150-$200 a night in tips, you know you’re on to a good thing (one time I even made $400 in two hours). However, in the Med, bar-tending is like slave labor. You make €5 an hour with hardly any tips. You’d literally need to work a full week to make what you would one night in NYC. I did it for two weeks, and I wanted to kill myself, so I switched back to singing and landed a weekly gig. Now a single two-hour gig pays me the same as working a 20 hours behind the bar! In other words, it covers all my rent and utilities.
3. This blog and my books pay for my day-to-day expenses.
Every time one of you handsome lads buys a copy of Naughty Nomad or A Bachelor’s Guide to NYC, Mark takes a trip to the butchers and the vegetable shop. And every time somebody throws $2.99 in the hat for Swagabond, it covers me for a pint. Between books, affiliates links, and the odd freelance graphic design job, I can just about get by. Sometimes my fridge is fuller than others, but I never go hungry.
As I said, my life is far from glamorous at the moment. I’m still not location independent. Sometimes cheese is a luxury, but things are only going to improve. I don’t want a 4 hour work week. I want to work my ass off and plan for my future. Recently, I’ve gotten a ton on clients for freelance work so I’ll be looking forward to getting up off my ass.
Anyway, here’s to the little victories in life.