In the category of things that I do way more often than people around me think I do, there are only a few items.
- Grocery shop.
- Play Minesweeper.
- Listen to audio books.
Boom. Done. Everything else is either something I do an expected amount, or something I do an a larger than average amount but everyone totally knows (things that fall into that category - gossip when drinking, cook).
Grocery shopping - wev. Minesweeper? Awesome - I play it while I walk the dogs, while I'm in class (sometimes), occasionally while watching television - really any time that I need a little distraction.
Audio books, though? People, are you audio book people?
There are different ways to listen to audio books. My mom, for example, sits down and listens, while doing nothing else.
That's the wrong way.
The right way is to listen to audio books while you're doing other things. My personal favorites? Driving, walking, and working out.
Thing that sounds like a segueway but isn't: yesterday, the hot water heater in my townhouse busted. The tank rusted through, and I had to go buy a new one and pay someone to install it. My reaction to that was... well, first it was to cry. My more measured reaction was to spend some time with Mint.com, assessing my expenditures and looking for places to cut a few corners.
Mint informed for that for the last 32 months, I have spent an average of $30 a month on audio books. (I use Audible.com). With average Audible pricing, which is much more affordable than buying books on CD, that works out to about 2.3 books per month. I rarely invest in a book that's shorter than 15 hours, because I blow through them so fast.
All this math means that I pay for (and listen to) about 35 hours of audio books per month. Not to mention that I inevitably re-listen to something I already bought at least once a month, when I'm out of credits at Audible and have to wait until the 4th of the next month, when my new one comes. That brings my monthly listening total to ~ 50 hours.
That's 1.6 hours a day.
I'm awake for about 16 hours a day.
I spend 10% of my time listening to books on tape.
Other than doing homework (and watching tv, which is what I do while watching homework), I cannot think of another thing that I spend 10% of my time doing.
When I saw the dollar signs on Mint, my thought was to cut back on my audio books - but here's the thing. My books make driving to and from school tolerable. They make waiting for Cloey to fully explore the scents of some recently peed on bush interesting. They give me something to listen to at the gym other than the guy grunting on the pull up machine.
Music, of course, would do all this - but books are stories.
I'm officially setting aside $30 a month to support my habit. The cutbacks will have to come from elsewhere.
I mean, who needs haircuts?