Let me take you back to November 2016. Charlie and I were living in Enfield, commuting to Central London using an average (at best) train service. We lived in a flat that we owned, drove a Ford Focus at the weekends to do our weekly shop, Charlie would drive out to Hertfordshire for netball, for me it was rugby.

And then I made the best decision of my life and asked Charlie to marry me. The conversation then changed to what we were going to do for the rest of our lives and we realised that something had to change!

A life-changing move

That week I contacted some estate agents in Nine Elms a new development near Vauxhall and Stockwell in south London.

I would love to describe the time I took to carefully research and investigate finding the perfect flat, but we actually moved into the first flat that we saw in NineElms.

We had found the flat where we would change our lives and start to take advantage of living in central London.

The rent was crazy high, but I will explain how we did it soon! We had a view of the City, Battersea Power Station and Docklands. Fantastic.

How we essentialised

After the fun process of moving into the flat and going through a process of essentialising a lot of our stuff (Read Greg McKeown’s book Essentialism to find out more), we could go for a walk along the Thames any night we wanted, go for ad hoc after work shows, museums, drinks, catchups etc. with no guilt or thought of how long the commute home would add to our day. We could finally do London properly!

We were spending a lot of money on commuting, petrol, car tax, car payments and car maintenance. By getting rid of the car, renting the flat out and essentially getting rid of our commuting costs we could now afford a much bigger rent.

1000 hours back in our life!

Living in London we simply didn’t need a car anymore – its great!

More importantly for us, though we were able to buy back almost 25 hours a week of commuting between us. Charlie still commutes 30mins each way to work but essentially we have now an extra 1000 hours a year! To put that another way we have an extra 6 weeks a year back in our lives!

What changes could you make to your life in 2018 to buy back time? Could you cut out things that popular opinion thinks that you should have but are actually soaking up your life rather than letting you live it to its fullest?


James O'Donnell
James O'Donnell

James is on a mission to put the Social back into Social Media!