Thursday, June 30, 2016

Objective shuffle 2016 part 1

You know, I've been very reluctant to share my 2016 resolution, but we passed the year's halfway point, so no harm, no foul. Just after the new year, I let tradition stress me into thinking I needed a yearly goal to commit to. I spent the whole month of January with that guilt at the back of my mind of not even being able to come up with something. Losing X number of pounds or saving X amount of bucks are nobles goals, and I very much believe in challenging yourself, but I wanted something that would be a bit more interesting to write about.

Then I started getting ideas, so in February, I set out to read as much as possible. I finished a 300-page novel that month, but I didn't actually break my record for pages read until May - 450 of a 700-page novel. The difference came from of course being super engaged in the book, but mostly reading for an hour or so before starting video games, as opposed to games first. Basic prioritization.

I told myself that March would be the month for most trophies or platinum trophies earned. For those of you who don't read the other 90% of this blog, you get a trophy when you do certain things in video games, and these save to your online gamer profile. There are people who obsess over this and don't start playing a title if its trophy list looks too hard, and then there are others who just play a game for its story, regardless of trophies. I fall closer to obsession and always try to get all there is to get in a game. The biggest issue with trophies are that developers put in multiplayer trophies, and lots of games simply lose their online community within about 3 months of release. Considering I usually buy used games to save cash, there have been a few titles that I passed because so many trophies were rooted in online matches. I ended up completing only 2 games that month, which is quite underwhelming. I've actually completed more games in June!

During April, the month after my move, I set out to save as much money as I could. I discovered a local market for Indian, Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian (which I call "the brown people store") groceries that happens to sell vegetables and fruit by weight, which saves a shitload of cash. I did especially well at generating cash because I sold my Tesla, McDonalds and Coke stocks for about $1000 profit. I'll write some thoughts on stock in another post.

May was a weird one. I started the month thinking I'd try and release as many blog posts as possible...and released two. This challenge definitely didn't work out, but I had some other successes that I wasn't necessarily aiming for: I biked to work 20 days in the month, and replaced my bike brakes over a 2-week ordeal.

June is almost over, and I started the month by downloading an app called LoseIt. This is a calorie counting app that lets you set a target weight, and will give you daily amount to stay under. You enter your meals at any time, with a live search, and the crowdsourced list is thorough. I found several Korean brands of instant ramen and even made my own entry for Indonesian satay-flavored ramen, called Indomie. I'd initially committed to simply counting calories and set weight-loss to July or so. However, I've been able to stay about 1500 calories under the weight loss recommendation, so that means I should have lost around 5 lbs. Since I don't have a scale, this is all numbers.

Damn, bruh, slow up! Instant ramen ain't fast enough...
Another side effect about counting calories and not the more detailed nutrition is that I've eaten a lot of instant ramen. I bought a case of each ramen I mentioned for $20, and have so far been able to keep other grocery spending to about $80 this month, $20 of which was high quality coffee grounds. I took May and June's savings this month, and it went to $800 of dental work, so the investing went into my pearly whites!

My goal for July is to eat my pantry and freezer. This is easy because I've only lived in the new apartment for 4 months, and don't have much of a backlog. This should also minimize the grocery budget, as I'll just be shopping for chicken, veggies and fruit at the brown people store. I'll report back later!

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