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  1. Conquius Balances the Books I flipped through the Citadel's ledger with a sense of dread. All of the necessities had been accounted for. We had ample supplies to make it through the winter, but as I scanned the ledger line by line, I was reminded of the frivolities upon which I spent my hard-earned coin. Many of them, naturally, were things for Jormungandr and Cerberus, but I can't say that all of them were strictly necessary. Some of them were for me: a new set of gambeson, drinks down at the tavern, a new tunic to wear to court, et cetera. They each brought me their own small joys, and some of them - like clothing purchases or riding equipment - have been extremely useful, but I can never quite shake the voice of my grandfather, a man who lived through the Great Depression, telling me to hold onto my money. In the past, I've tried to do like the monks and go the ascetic route, but I ended up winding myself up so tight that I bought a bunch of things in a fit of whimsical backlash. Thus, I've decided that what I need is a proper budget. A means of portioning out part of my coin to whimsical fancy, while maintaining a strong sense of financial responsibility. In time, I hope to build an adventuring fund - a pool of time and money that I can use to go on extended adventures. This Challenge is all about financial planning and responsibility. I've put some details of my personal life, including the impetuses for this challenge, in the spoiler text. Quest One: Balance The Books. Balance The Books will be comprised of a set of basic financial goals I intend to meet in 5 weeks. For my resources, I'm using The Financial Diet, and r/PersonalFinance. ✅ Set Up A Budget - Using a Budget Spreadsheet and the 50/30/20 Budgeting Template, I'm going to assess my current spending habits, and build a monthly budget. I will do this without guilt or judgement for my past self. Previous purchases are previous purchases, that money is gone. This will be the bulk of the quest, and I'm giving myself the first two weeks to do it. ✅ Build A Small Emergency Fund - Now that I know my monthly spending, I will set up a small emergency fund to cover my 1-month essentials. I will build into my budget a portion of my paycheck to go towards this fund. In time, I intend to build up to a 6-Month Emergency Fund, but that's a longer-term goal that is out of the scope of this 5-Week Challenge. Automated Budgeting - I plan on looking into various budgeting apps recommended by TFD. I'm leaning towards Mint. I want to do this manually via spreadsheets first to give me an understanding of how I'm currently spending my money, but around Week Three I want to start looking at automating my budget to reduce overhead time. New Credit Card. I've been using my debit card to pay for absolutely everything. This doesn't help my credit, and it also means I'm missing out on potential rewards. I want to spend some time researching Credit Cards, find out which one aligns best with my ethics and goals, and then make the switch. I plan on tackling this on Weeks Four and Five. New Bank (stretch goal). My current bank has had some major scandals due to some dubious practices. I want to change banks. This will take some research, but if I have time near the end of the challenge, I want to at least start the search. Quest Two: Rise With the Dawn. If you followed my last Challenge, Conquius Rises With the Dawn, you'll find that I started picking up some better habits for improved sleep. I made some great strides, and I want to keep it going. I'm primarily concerned with the following habits, which I'll be reporting on daily: Dishes Chores After Dinner. Starting my evening chores after dinner lets me enjoy the remainder of my evenings, and go to bed stress-free. This goes beyond dishes. It could be laundry, packing my bike, setting out my gym clothes, etc. If it's my night to cook dinner, I start when I get home from work. It means sometimes that dinner is early, but no one in my apartment minds. Get Up, Get Out. I found a great app, Alarmy, that helps me get out of bed every morning. I've used it with very low rates of bed-recidivism. I'm going to keep it going, and I'm going to use that time in the morning to do some Hard Winter Training. Quest Three: Hard Winter Training tl;dr - 2/week lifting doesn't mesh well with my schedule, a shorter 4/week lifting schedule in the morning might. To make it work I have to: Master the Art of the Short Workout. My old weightlifting gym has a solid Fundamentals program. It comes in two flavors: 2/week and 4/week. Adopt the 4/week paradigm, and complete your workout in 45 minutes or less. That's a few sets of a compound lift, some accessory circuits, and 5m of stretching. I'll track workout time on my Garmin watch. Go to Bed On Time. My math says that I'll need to be up at 6 to make this work. My partner is also planning on getting up at 6, so that makes this a good bit easier. For this to be sustainable, I need to be getting 7+ hours of sleep nightly. I'll track it on my Garmin watch. I'll also be reporting on these daily. Wednesdays will be 30m of indoor cycling at an easy pace, or, weather permitting, my normal bike commute. If this doesn't work, that's okay, I'll switch to a Monday/Thursday 2/week paradigm, and just make Fridays my cook nights for the foreseeable future. Gotta experiment to find what works, gotta be willing to fail.
  2. (Story Time) Leaving the Forest Valley Academy for Druids, to enter my own next quest... I started to notice the relief of no longer having a grade. However, noticing the viciousness in my last trials That instead of just a grade, my name of Bouncer could be harmed. Sharp blows I could barely handle with criticims in a place full of magic. The old ways back in the darkness, especially with the Golden-Eyed Curse of cravings is not the correct way to go. Where placing good habits was difficult on top of quieting down the old ones. I was out of the darkness, but the strong feeling I should do more but tired. Professor Jade came forward, reminding me of my celebrations. Not just a man being my professor, but also a mentor who keeps an eye on me with check ins. He saw my puzzlement through a conversation, where I finally asked him for guidance. "If you are willing Bouncer, it is time for you to go to the Regal Woodland. Just being able to enter can be a challenge, no less find your way back out. I believe that will help get you to where you need to go". I felt the magic coursing through me with confidence. I believed that it would be easy to get into the Regal Woodland, however surviving it would be something else. --- So a story to hopefully make the challenge a little easier. Little about me: Self-reflect I finally feel like I can do more, but man I'm my worst enemy. What has helped me say goodbye to depression, my classes and chronic stress pains? Mindfulness... yup sounds stupid to me also. So before I can hit my goals of weightloss, no less finding a job I can live off of (and actually enjoy). I need to lean into the "magic". Have to write this out to remind myself when I hate this tomorrow. So challenge GOALS: Meditation Journaling Budgeting Gut Health I find all of these to be stupid a bit difficult but needed, and there is a "good feel" along with "crazy amount of anxiety" with these. Upside all of these are to help curb the anxiety if I do it long enough! And whatever Meditation and Journaling -- I see someone weekly that helps give me guidance. Been told for years to practice, now leaning in. Budgeting -- Using YNAB, I have anxiety to work through feeling "but I want to SPEND!!!" Plus I tend to eat healthier when I'm intentional about my budget. Gut Health- I'm seeing a Naturopath and am SUPER behind on the next step for gut health. Plus helps with my side effect of my hormones and birth control stuff. To add some fun, I'm adding a daily pic. I always love seeing people's posts, helps make people. Love to share with my favorite community.
  3. New challenge to be found on a later post.... For Bouncer's Golden-Eye Dragon Curse Challenge. More info on old challenge below: Bouncer has a Spreadsheet challenge put aside.
  4. I'm continuing my efforts from my last challenge to become more myself again, also known as becoming purple. In order to reach that end I need to feel more in control of my world. I will seize control again! And hopefully rediscover some of my darkness along the way. Maybe I'll set up a goth metal workout playlist. I'm going forth with a refreshed attitude, ready to put in the effort and have fun too. Using my handy challenge journal, planner, and financial journal, I will TRACK ALL THE THINGS! Pretty basic stuff actually. Fitness: I will stretch consistently after exercise. I will do GMB mobility work 3 days. Strength training is a given at this point, as are walks. If I can't do my running I will use darebee for HIIT money: I've never had an official budget. That ends now. I'll start by tracking all the money in and out while I do some reading about budgeting. Food: I plan to set up an iron-focused thread on here so I can easily revisit recipes that work for me. Still, reducing alcohol, junk snacks, and meat. Keeping the momentum on veg proteins, water, and planning. My daily planner now has a daily to do list including; daily dare, DuoLingo, 20 min minimum cleaning, $ tracking, kitchen nightly clean, fitness, stretching. Finally I will very soon be setting up a battle log for over-arching yearly goals. Very soon.
  5. Forgot to post this earlier! The following Home, Health, and Financial sections will be the foundation for all my goals and challenges for 2019. Below is just the same text from the first challenge that will pretty much follow me throughout the whole year. If you are new, you can start with the spoiler. Also forgot February is a short month...some Feb. goals may bleed into March. FEBRUARY GOALS HOME: MK Cloth: Make room/spot for all items in one room, go through each category below and separate into items that spark joy, items that need to be discarded, and items to be donated. Once separated, either put away, discard (get it out of the house) or donate. Once that is done, move onto the next category. Bags Shoes Accessories HEALTH: Workouts: So Washington State's winter came to visit and decided it wanted to stick around longer than it normally does. It's overstayed it's welcome. This also means I need to come up with a HIIT workout I can do at home. 4 HIIT Workouts: 0/4 Jan Soda Goal: 42/31 FINANCIAL: On-time Payments Budget Pay Bills - Online and In-person 2-3 days prior to the due date MARCH GOALS HOME: MK Paper: I have a lot of paper. Papers currently in use Papers needed for a limited period of time Papers you need indefinitely HEALTH: Veggies for lunch! Honestly, I've been reluctant to have veggies lately. Mostly because I'm lazy and veggies require effort. FINANCIAL: Start Emergency Fund 1. Save at least $50 2. Create a yearly extra's spending list. This amount will be the yearly amount I need to always have on hand or at least available to pull from for my extra spending.
  6. The second half of 2018 was all kind of crazy for me, good crazy though. I tried to keep up with simple challenges but that didn’t work. Between frustrations at work, making the decision to look for another job, interviewing, getting a new job, learning the new job, getting promoted and learning another new job, I was emotionally exhausted. I barely kept myself functioning. While I still have an incredibly hard upcoming 2019, I think I might be at a point where I can focus on myself outside of work. Also as a note, I did a pretty fantastic job keeping my weight down and not eating my emotions back to where I started in 2018. The following Home, Health, and Financial sections will be the foundation for all my goals and challenges for 2019. I’ll break that down after the last section. HOME One of the biggest areas in my life that cause me to relapse into old habits is the chaos that is called my home. I jokingly say that my house looks like I’m losing a game of Jumanji. Each year I make an effort to get on a cleaning schedule or organize the disaster I live in. Every year it starts out well then things start to snowball and accumulate, bringing me crashing down and curling up on the sofa to watch Netflix. I'm looking at you, Michael Scott! I decided to read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondo. For years I’ve wanted to read this book but had anxiety just thinking about it. Well, I had lots of quiet data entering time at work so I downloaded the audiobook and that helped me start and finish the book. Just thinking about how she describes the process still makes me uneasy but I think I need that. I just have too much stuff I never touch and the clutter is driving me insane. Marie Kondo says it can take 6 months to a year to fully tidy up and I think I’ve broken down her categories pretty good so I can hit my goal of December 31, 2019. Bonus, Marie Kondo's Netflix show starts on January 1st. I'll try to incorporate that into my goal somehow. HEALTH I can’t ignore health so of course, it has its own section. My health section covers exercise and nutrition. 2018 was a year of slacking when it came to exercise. I don’t remember the last time I went to the gym or did a routine workout. I could check but I honestly don't care...I don’t have a specific end goal for workouts in mind but one big goal is doing the Christmas Rush 5k in December. I have no excuse for not doing it since it’s in my town and only a 5k. Nutrition was not horrible but it can always be better. I want to get back in the habit of not drinking my calories, I want to make sure I’m making my lunches for work and it’s always good to get more veggies! FINANCIAL Who doesn’t want financial freedom? With my new job and new salary, I have a real chance to pay off my debt and start working on my retirement. I took some time and did a rough draft of my budget, plus snowball payments on each of my debts and did my budget out until I had no more debt. According to my math, I can pay off everything, including my townhouse, by my 40th birthday. With a pretty aggressive budget plan, it is doable. The budget does not include potential income increases and increased bills but it’s a great place to start. 2019 MONTHLY CHALLENGE BREAKDOWN I’ll follow the challenge dates but all my goals start on Day 1 of the month and end on either the 28th, 30th, or 31st of the challenge months. Some challenges will have 2 different sets of goals, I’m ok with that. I’ve found that not starting on the 1st can stress me out and I want to do as much to avoid that as possible. Plus it’s easier for me to keep track that way.
  7. I’ve been hit or miss with challenges lately. Mostly it’s getting online to update and just being too lazy to turn on my computer or feeling overwhelmed with updates. I need to get over that. This challenge I’m going a little more complicated but nowhere as complicated as I have in the past. I want to work on a lot of stuff and since I’ll be starting another new job halfway through the challenge I figured I’d really stress myself out. I need to find a good way to deal with stress anyways so I’m going to force myself to get it together. No Duh! routines (Points per each subcategory = 5 for all, 3 for some, 0 for none) MORNING : 5 mins stretching, brush teeth, hair, makeup, get dressed AFTERNOON: NF check-in, cleaning, workout, Bujo EVENING: clean face, brush teeth, get an outfit ready What’s your Damage? (Points per each subcategory = 5 for all, 3 for some, 0 for none) DAILY: Straighten Bed, Put away dishes, clean off counters/tables WEEKLY: Vacuum, Trash, Bathroom, Laundry, Sheets (bi-weekly) MONTHLY: Clean out Fridge, Microwave, Wipe baseboards, Scrub tub and toilets Grindage! WEEKDAYS: Paleo M-THUR except for special occasions, 2 coffees WEEKENDS: Try for Paleo except for special occasions Toooh-tally bitchin’ budget (5 points for the initial budget, 5 for sticking to the budget for the whole week, 3 for sticking to some, 0 for none) Create a budget and stick to it. Pay down debts. Bodacious bod exercise plan (5 points per exercise) 8 days of exercise for at least 20 mins
  8. So I know how to eat healthy. My issue is how do I eat healthy on a budget. I am currently trying to spend only 240 on food a month but I secretly don't think that is enough. How much do you guys normally spend on food? What is a reasonable amount? I am really stressing myself out trying not to spend over 240.
  9. Yes I stole my title from the name of my favourite game currently, Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (I have 400+ hours in it and I still suck). BUT WHAT IS LIFE, IF NOT A BATTLE? Ahem. Okay. Enough of the dramatics. Settle in because this will be a large post. I sat down yesterday/earlier today and wrote out what I wanted to be doing in 2018 and onward. Here's the list: Finish Cert IV in Programming Follow Barefoot Investor plans Follow No Shopping plans Be outside more Read more Write regularly Lift regularly Do yoga/stretching Provide constructive reviews Move more Be more present Find my Tribe Work on Epic Quest Items Move forward with my career From this list I've decided to work on the following goals for this challenge: Finish Cert IV in Programming Follow Barefoot Investor plans Follow No Shopping plans Lift regularly Let's discuss, shall we? FINISH CERT IV IN PROGRAMMING Well, I'm not going to be able to complete this during the challenge. It's a long course that I'm finding isn't engaging me AT ALL. But I paid nearly $4k for it (I'm still paying that off) and I need to start working on it again. So the step in relation to this goal is: 1. Spend 5 minutes every day working on my Cert IV in Programming Why just five minutes, I hear you ask? Well, it was something Bean Sidhe mentioned that really struck a chord with me. You see, my mind freaks out at the thought of having to find a large amount of time to do something. But five minutes? Five minutes is easy. To ensure I complete it, I've stuck a sticky note on my monitor to remind me. FOLLOW BAREFOOT INVESTOR PLANS My sister lent me her copy of The Barefoot Investor and I've had a read through and think it will work really well for me. I've had to adjust the percentages that he recommends but my weekly budget should look like: Daily Expenses - 70% Smile (money for long-term pleasure buying) - 7.5% Splurge (money for short-term pleasure buying) - 7.5% Fire Extinguisher (use this towards debts) - 15% You're also meant to set aside $2,000 for your Mojo account (which is what you use in emergency situations like job loss, unforeseen medical expenses). I still need to find the money for this. My steps for this goal is: 2. Change my bank account details with work to my new accounts 3. Stick to the percentages 4. Save Fire Extinguisher in my Smile account for the five weeks then make an additional payment towards my student debt 5. Organise all items I'm putting up for sale - picture/catalogue as required (the money from this will go to my Mojo account FOLLOW NO SHOPPING PLANS This idea comes from Cait Flanders' blog where she spent two years without shopping (except for necessities and items on a pre-approved list). As someone who hoards things as badly as a dragon which just causes her stress and anxiety, this is something I'd like to do. However there are a few differences between Cait and myself. Namely, I'm a homeowner and she isn't. So now that I've told you I'm not buying things, here is everything I'll be buying in 2018+ The Essentials Groceries Gardening Supplies Toiletries Cleaning products Gifts Business expenses Education endeavours Travel/adventures Items on my pre-approved shopping list Pre-Approved Shopping List (it's a long one) Dog door Installation Computer chair Aircon installation Standing desk Garden remodel Dishwasher installation Outdoor table & chairs Shelf system to cover bathroom window New Samsung dvd remote Car service/parts replacement Door makeover items - incl. handle Bicycle & helmet What I WONT Be Buying Clothes (unless I lose weight and have nothing to wear) Shoes & accessories Books and magazines Household items Electronics & appliances Takeout food Desserts (I can however buy ingredients to make a dessert, just can't bring home pre-made ones) Alcohol (unless in a social gathering) DVDs & games The exception is that if anything I own breaks, I can buy a replacement for it. The step for this goal is pretty much: 6. Follow the No Shopping Plans LIFT REGULARLY Figured as this is a fitness forum I should probably have one active goal. I miss lifting. But it's getting me to lift that is the sticking point. So, much like the study step: 7. Spend 5 minutes lifting every day Okay, I'm gonna go have a lie down now.
  10. This challenge I want to focus on my eating. The last few months I’ve been pretty bad about home cooking, coffee and sugar. Because I’ve been so lazy about food, I go the easy route which is pre made foods or snacks which tend to be sugary treats. I know that diet it essential to getting healthy and losing weight and it’s something I always struggle with. It’s time for my yearly Whole30! Whole30 400 pts at Completion Start 8/13 - End 9/11 Complete 30 days of no Dairy, Sugar, Grains, Legume and Alcohol. Try 4 new vegetables. Accountability : At least 15 Pictures of the foods I eat Review recipes I try and share them here At least 1 sentence update a day for how I’m feeling Continue with previous August habits Health = Cleaning 10 Mins a day Floors/Counters/Mail/Trash/Laundry Mana = Water or Tea 6 cups + Strength = Exercise 3 workouts a week 4 yoga sessions 4 gym sessions Stamina = Sleep In bed by 11pm & Up by 6:30am Wisdom = Finances Pay bills on time Create weekly budgets Constitution = Food Home cooked meals Whole30 Reduce Snacking (3x a day)
  11. Still pondering my exact goals for this! I realized in early June-ish (or maybe late may?) that I wasn't quite happy with how things were going. I had "needed a break" on my hectic schedule because of my overbooking for the last few years, but then realized I'd cut TOO MUCH out of my schedule, especially exercise and training and I wasn't really happy about it. 1) Exercise makes me really damn happy and I love doing it. 2) My fat loss stalled out because I had stopped exercising but kept eating about the same (luckily no fat gains, just the slow overtime weight loss stalled out on me.) I also have come to realize that I have become SO MUCH better at adulting and managing money but I could be doing SO MUCH BETTER. This might be partially inspired by the fact that I am finally getting quotes on all the home maintenance and repairs we need to do and having an actual budget would be so helpful in the long run for me -- as well as making myself put money in savings both for house expenses, for my own emergency expenses, and for fun times savings. Developing a budget and figuring out how to track it will be a thing! I already track expenses manually though an app but I haven't been applying that exactly towards an overall budget/ I more do that to make me have to think more about where I am spending my money and know how much I have at any given time, but now is time to make GOALS to do with spending teh money and not just tracking it! I am looking into possibly switching my tracking app to something that has a budgeting feature in it (this one tells me how much I've spent in my different categories if I look at it but it isn't the main feature.) If I go with another app I want it to be something I manually have to enter numbers into and not something I have to link to my bank account that will then calculate out everything for me. I am much more conscious of my spending if I have to do the data entry myself! Soooo with these general goals in mind: 1. Running - run 2x per week (can sub a walk or hike in for a run if I want to or need to.) 2. Aerial & Aerial conditioning - Continue with aerial 1x per week and add one aerial conditioning workout per week. This can be included into my required strength training for the days for the week (make sure I add pull up work and core work into whatever workout I am doing.) 3. Strength - strength training at minimum 2x per week. I will opt to NOT include aerial in this so I am doing 2 extra strength days = 3 days overall of strength stuff because of aerial. I do want to get back into lifting but I realized last challenge that the workout I will actually do is better than specifically wanting to go lift, so if at home bodyweight work is what I will actually do then I will take it!!! 4. UPDATE! Adding in macro goal starting week 2: track macros every day, especially on weekends when I decide beer is kind of like water. Life goals: BUDGETING - Phase 1- develop budget. By the end of this challenge I want to have selected which app I plan to use for tracking (or if I plan to use something else figure that out??), and determine my areas I want to track and how much cash goes into each category. ADULTING - Continue with decluttering and cleaning missions. Clean at least 30 min per week. Also - continue progress on house repair plans which is harder to quantify but, by the end of this challenge I want to have figured out our final budget we need for all the repairs and apply for the home equity loan, and then begin scheduling out jobs if I know a firm date when the $ will be available
  12. JK it’s me Jonesy! Netflix finally added Moana to their streaming and I think I’ve watched this movie 3 times in the last week, It’s like I’m 5. Since the songs have been stuck in my head, I decided to use it for my challenge theme. I’m also going to incorporate my game into this challenge. The points for activities at least. Overall Passing Points Goal = 584 Stronger than you think I like improving on my dead hangs so I want to keep that going. For other workouts, I need to do at least 2 a week. I failed pretty hard at having regular workouts last challenge. Dead Hangs (PR 10s) Bodyweight Workouts Cardio Workouts Wayfinding for the soul I love the idea of a routine but I struggle following them. I want to change this. Part of me wants the structure but the other part wants to do what I feel like I want to do...not necessarily what I NEED to do. Again, I want to change this. So for both zero weeks I’m going to work on creating some routines and then seeing how well I follow them for the challenge. create a workout routine to follow create a morning routine to follow create a nightly routine to follow create a household routine to follow Week 1-4 TBD Points awarded for routines Don’t be tricked by shiny things With the increased Regional transit authority (RTA) tax for my car this year ($250 more than last year) I really need to save up for my Sept/October bill. I also realized that I spent WAAAAY too much money on take out. Like embarrassingly too much. Zero week I’ll spend some time, not money, creating a monthly budget and possible the weekly ones. Create a Monthly and Weekly budget Bills identified and paid Set spending for week and stay equal or under Unplanned spending on food will result in negative points
  13. Jarric: As Yet Untitled So for those of you who may not have seen this, there's a show on British TV called Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled (Wikipedia link) in which Alan Davies sits at a round table with 4 guests (mostly comedians) and shares stories and talks nonsense for an hour, with no agenda, no plan, just having a chat. At the end of the hour they pick a title for the show based on what they've talked about. I've only just discovered the show and love it, so in the interest of sharing stories and talking lots of nonsense for this challenge I want to do the same - at the end of the challenge we'll pick a name for the challenge based on what's happened this month. Format! Last challenge (which I will go back and wrap up soon, promise!) fizzled out a bit at the end, so I'm jumping straight back in and making this one a 5 week challenge. Building on my 2017 road map and my last challenge the goals will be similar to last month, with a few minor tweaks... Goals! Move! - 15XP What? Exercise every single day. Why? Working towards my OCRs this year, and I find I work better working every day than trying to have rest days. How? Follow Juggernaut lifting plan MWF and Runkeeper sub-55 minute 10k plan TTSS. I'm rolling the 4 days of lifting over three days (until I become ruler of the world and make standard weeks 8 days long), so if one week is Monday Bench, Wednesday Squat, Friday OHP, then the next week will be Monday Deadlift, Wednesday Bench, Friday Squat. Make sense? The running program is a faster version of the 10k plan I ran last year (and briefly injured my hips on), and I rather enjoyed it so I'm trying it again. Snooze! - 10XP What? Don't hit snooze! Why? Because I set that time for a reason, and I need to remember that! And I don't like rushing (more than usual) in the morning. How? On weekdays, when my alarm goes off at 05:30, get up without hitting snooze. Track! - 10XP What? Track calories every day Why? Because I've lost sight of quite how much I should be eating, and I want to find that again. And it wouldn't hurt to lose the barrel I'm carrying around my waist at the moment either! How? Track calories using Fitbit (and best guesses where necessary) every day. No target amount until I work out how generous Fitbit is being with the calorie burn. Budget! - 15XP What? Stick to my weekly budget Why? Because getting out of debt and saving is one of my main goals for the year, and ultimately because I want to own my own house before I reach retirement age! How? Every week I have a weekly budget of £80 for random sundry expenses (this feels like far too much, but whatever). This doesn't include groceries, work travel or exercise expenses, or bills/rent which come directly out of my account. Basically it's food and drink out and random stuff. And to get us going on the random chat, and icebreaker (I may do a few of these): Icebreaker: Have you ever won a trophy or medal? So for me, I won a couple of trophies when I was about 14 in a pool competition. Run by a caravan park in Wales. I think as a way to shift off-season tickets. But it was the start of something and I've had a string of pool and snooker trophies since, so I have fond memories of it .
  14. I know there are a lot of members of the rebellion also trying to save money, but we don't always need a individual threads for support. I thought a simple idea to support each other would be to start a running thread of "things we didn't buy today". Items you wanted to buy, but didn't for the sake of saving money or simply being frugal. I would have put this in the other forum but it wouldn't get seen there as much. We all have individual reasons (paying off debt, saving up an emergency fund, saving for retirement or a vacation, etc) but what we all have in common is being a little more economical with our money. I'll start. While sick with a cold I got in the habit of buying my daily coffee instead of drinking the free coffee at work (it doesn't taste as good). So today I made myself make a pot of coffee in the office instead. $$$$ Usually it is something bigger I'm talking myself out of, but this is a common one.
  15. Volki

    Volki One Punch

    Hey everyone I am back for round 2 of Juggernaut. Last challenge went really well and I hope to keep that momentum going (lol Juggernaut pun). This time I am going to use the anime One Punch Man as my inspiration. For those who haven't seen it, it is about an average guy who just happens to be the strongest person in the known universe so inevitably he destroys every monster and villain he comes across with one enormously powerful punch. The show is hilariously ridiculous but I like the way Saitama handles himself and is always one the lookout to find harder villains to fight. Goals: Strength - Juggernaut Saitama is the world's strongest man, in the show he states that he got that way from regular strength training that he stuck to for years without quitting. I am going to go into the next phase (phase 5) of the Juggernaut PL program. I have been following a 4 times a week routine with 2 major lifts for each day. Training - Linux + Saitama was so busy fighting only the toughest monsters that he never learned the basics of what it means to be a real hero. I have been so focused on just getting through the workday that I have neglected training my mind and skills to move up. I am studying for my Linux + certification. I am currently reading the Linux + study guide (1K pages). I am going to make it a goal of finishing at least 1 chapter a week of reading. Distance - Hiking Not only is Saitama incredibly strong but he can cover vast distances with ease. Last challenge I found myself wanted to hike more so I am going to stick with what I like. the goal is hiking at least 2 times a week. Funds - Budget Heroes receive funding from the hero's association for the deeds they do. My goal is to put a little aside each week to start saving. The goal is $200 by the end of the challenge unless there is an emergency. I am going to try and stow away 50 a week but I might just pull 100 from each larger check. So that's it!
  16. Superdad Returns - the sequel to Becoming Superdad As we learned in last month's challenge, A Superdad is Big and Strong: Goal 1: Perform one strict handstand push-up Last time, my strength goal was focused on sandbag overhead press. I came close to my goal, but realized that the sandbag OHP is not an ideal exercise to reach my real goal, which is performing handstand push-ups. I figure if I want to be able to do HSPUs, I would need to be able to do a 1x bodyweight OHP and a 150-160 lb sandbag is just a bear to deal with, especially holding it over your head. So instead, I'll focus on the goal itself. I'll be progressing through Pike Push-ups, Feet elevated Pike Push-ups, HSPU negatives, and then hopefully a full HSPU by the end of the challenge! A Superdad looks good in his super-suit: Goal 2: Lose 1 inch from my belly Every time I try to increase my calories to bulk up, I end up adding to my belly first. I've had challenge goals in the past about trimming my midsection, and had some success, but this summer I'd really like to get down to a lean waist and stay there. Various sources agree that the "ideal" waist measurement is about 45% of your height. I'm 6'-1" (73"), so that works out to about 32.5" for my waist. I was at 35.5" when I measured at the end of May, so I hope to lose an inch a month, which equates to about 4-5 lbs of fat based on previous measurements. I'm going to shoot for this goal by following Intermittent Fasting and I'm also going to try out Carb Backloading. Other steps to achieve my goal: Track my eating at least 5 days a week I'll be shooting for about 1800 calories a day (I'm pretty sedentary aside from my 4 workouts a week). 1 gram of protein per lb of bodyweight Maintain balance in my macros (30% PRO, 35% CHO, 35% FAT) Goal 3: Strengthen those muscles under the belly fat I know that ab exercises can't spot reduce fat, but I definitely need to increase my core strength and it certainly can't hurt to tighten up my core muscles. 10 Stomach vacuums throughout the day "PLP" style reverse crunches. I started these at the beginning of June with 5 and I keep adding one each night. A Superdad plans ahead Level Up Your Life Goal: Prepare a family budget for after the baby arrives My wife wants to take 8 weeks off from work after the baby comes and she's our primary breadwinner, so it might be a good idea to plan ahead for those 2 months of reduced income... I have plenty of experience creating budgets, but I am pretty bad at sticking to them. So, I'll go back to basics for this one. Goal is to have a July-to-December budget by 7/1. https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/finance/how-to-build-a-budget/ http://www.cozi.com/blog/6-steps-creating-budget/ https://www.payoff.com/life/money/5-simple-steps-to-create-a-successful-budget/ A Superdad appreciates his kids Level Up Your #dadlife Goal: Appreciate fatherhood everyday It has been pointed out to me that I have a tendency to treat fatherhood as a chore or a job rather than something to enjoy. With a third kid on the way, it will be that much more important to make sure I'm enjoying my little blessings. So, I'll keep a daily log of things that I appreciate about my of my kids or about being a father. Goal is to write down at least one thing a day. There you have it. Let's get to work!
  17. fearless is ready and willing to kick it up a notch during this challenge. she has a month of consistent cross fit training under her belt, has lost weight during the last 4 weeks and was feeling quite well mentally. now she will fight the bankruptcy dragon and concentrate on the diet as well. she loved stacy s article about prepping food and as soon as she gets paid, will get started on freezing food for the week. because she is almost 50 and not very fit she is in constant doms pain, which makes her feel pretty badass sometimes. but she sees the need to prepare her body for the high impact workouts and will work on her mobility as well. she hopes to get to know some fellow rangers by not only concentrating on her own success but actually being more social around here.... GOAL A1 ( FOOD): shop primal food for under 25 euro/week. GOAL A2 (FOOD): do food prep every weekend for the following week. freeze food. GOAL A3 (FOOD): eat primal for lunch and dinner every day during this challenge GOAL B1 (EXERCISE): go to cross fit and do wod 3 times a week - plus clean the box on thursdays. ( i do that because i can't pay for the membership) GOAL C1 ( MOBILITY): stretch before or after each wod. use foam roll and do mobility exercises. GOAL D1 ( CONCISTENCY): write daily on this site to keep yourself accountable. GOAL D2 (BE SOCIAL): read at least 3 other threads daily. comment and support. Adding one more goal before i start tomorrow with the beginning of april: i wrote a memoir/ self-help book last november during NANOWRIMO. And i feel like getting productive with writing again. when i saw that there is a working camp during april i signed in and will start writing tomorrow as well. GOAL E1 ( NANOWRIMO) write one hour everyday and start revising the first draft of my book. this is pretty challenging for me. i would be so proud and happy if i got all this done! " don't try, do!"
  18. Although technically this is my... fifth challenge. I guess I just wanted to throw a Doctor Who reference in there what with the Regeneration and all. Second verse same as the first! 1. DO PHYSICAL THERAPY 2. EAT GLUTEN FREE 3. WRITE GOOD THINGS
  19. Last challenge fizzled because of sick hubby, sick kiddos, and shark week. This challenge is an exercise in resilience and consistency. Most of these goals are resets from last challenge. Water As in, I don't drink enough of it. The Avatar cannot live on coffee alone (though it is delicious and wonderful and life-giving). Goal: Drink more water. I think I should be aiming for 100 ounces a day. (This is should work out to about 10 cups per day.) I tried working with my 24 oz water bottle last challenge, but I found I just didn't bring it to work often as I should have. So I am going to use a cup that I already have at my desk and switch to our drinking glasses at home. 26 days x 10 cups A = 260 cups B = 208 cups C = 156 cups F = below 156 CON +4 Earth Workouts towards the end of last challenge really fizzled, so this is going back to basics. 3 workouts x 4 weeks = 12 workouts A = 12 B = 10 C = 8 F = less than 8 STR +4 Fire Taking lunch to work rather than eating out 4/week x 4 weeks = 16 lunches A = 16 B = 13 C = 10 F = Anything less than 10 CON +3, WIS +1 Air Going to bed on time. Still trying to figure out the specific metrics for success. The main goal is to go to bed before 11. CON +3
  20. This seemed appropriate. If you haven't played Child of Light yet, you should. Fantastic game. I had intended to make this a slightly more robust challenge, keep things in line with the new rules and all that. But this weekend slapped me down pretty hard. Thus, we get something a bit more pragmatic. Also, perhaps something a bit more relevant to what I should be doing with my life. Four Goals. The Art. The Bar. The Coin. The Self. The Art: Attend 5 hours of aikido classes each week. I just need hours at this point. While I'd love to start rattling off techniques again, I'm less worried about those than I am some other fundamentals, like basic extension, hip movement, and not trying to make my shoulder touch my ear when I'm grabbed. And all of these just need time. So I'll aim for time. Odds are I'll make more than 5 classes a week. But some days I might need an extra push to get there. Alternatively, I may actually just decide that I need a day off. And that's okay, too. I need to learn a bit of moderation when it comes to the mat, I think. The Bar: Life once a week (approximately 3-4 times in the challenge). I miss playing with my barbell. A mostly-broken hand/fingers made me stop going to the gym, though being surrounded by several other persistent injuries also didn't help the matter. To get multiple lifting workouts each week would require morning workouts at this point, which I cannot afford. Sleep is too high a priority these days for my mental well being. So, Saturday or Sunday is the only open day. I tested my lifts yesterday to see where I'm starting now. Not too pleased, but it'll get better once my brain acclimates to them again. (I'll likely still log the workouts in my Battle Log, and just say I did them here.) The Coin: Use Mint and figure out a more accurate budget by the end of the month. I've been meaning to use Mint for a while, now. I have a pretty good grasp of my budget, but with life being a bit wobbly right now, plus maybe trying to afford some actual PT work or regular massages, I want to have things nailed down a bit better. My biggest expenditure are my student loans, so if I pull back I will have a nice margin, but I want to see how much I can pull back before I start cringing and potentially missing my two year, self-made deadline for paying off those loans. The Self: Self care, 30 minutes each day. Either Saturday or Sunday, complete Self care day. In bed and disconnected from the world no later than 10:15PM every work night. This is probably the most important part of this challenge. Self care everyday. No exceptions. The bed time is to emphasize how much I need sleep these days. And one day a weekend is going to be devoted to doing whatever I want, hopefully no/minimal chores, and recovering for the week to come. Might mean I'm looked at as anti-social by people. But I figure appearing antisocial is probably better than being being locked away in a mental institution. Really, I need to get back on track. Refocus on self care. On my budget. On my aikido basics. On heavy things. We are life's pilgrims. So best to make the most of it.
  21. Here's to hoping I don't get walking pneumonia this time around, heh. Getting back in the swing for a bright new year! Quest 1 - Food does a body good Ever since I got sick, I've been pretty lackadaisical about my diet. We're getting back to the basics with strict keto. I'm aiming for under 30 net carbs, and I've got a one week plan set up for repetition. Eventually, for variety, I'll work in more meal options, but this first four weeks will be strict sticking to a plan. Quest 2 - Get that blood moving again Three times a week do a full session of Nerd Fitness Yoga. On weekends where the windchill is above zero, take the dogs for a walk. Also, add in some grip strengthening work - hanging from my pull up bar every morning for increasing lengths of time, and increasing amounts of fingertip push ups. Quest 3a - Routine makes the mind and body happy Get out of bed when my alarm goes off! That means - weekdays at 6am. I'll need the time to make breakfast and take care of the cats before work. 9am on weekends - I let my schedule get too FUBAR'd on weekends, making Monday brutal. Quest 3b - Routine makes the mind and body happy Stick to the budget set out for my month. I let me Xmas spending get out of control per usual and need to get that back under wraps. Step one? Actually stick to a budget for 1 month. Also, to keep myself checking in here, I hereby promise to post at least one picture of at least one of my pets a day. Cats and kittens and doggies and fishes! <3 <3 <3
  22. **** Hi Rangers! New girl here. Just finished my first challenge over in the Recruit forum and thought I'd come over and play with you guys for this one. Hope that's alright. I finally got around to writing up an introduction last night, and for some reason it came out as a Q&A session. It felt natural and like a good format, so I'm going to stick to it for this post. Think of the person asking questions as my somewhat confused and mumbling super-ego, trying to make sense of what it is I am doing with our shared self. Now that I think of it, maybe he's the Groucho peeking out behind my Dylan Dog in the profile pic. Not sure when all the monsters inside will come out or what will happen then. We'll see! (you realize this sounds a bit crazy, right?) Uh, yeah. I'm actually pretty sane, though. Quiet type. The kind that likes to sit on the couch and read all evening. Since I also sit down in front of a computer all day, I really need to get regular exercise and eat well to stay healthy. (so the main focus is on staying healthy?) Well, getting healthier – preferably. And stronger. And a bit slimmer. I like being in my body better when it's in good shape and a few kilos lighter than it is now. There is really no end-goal here though, just an interesting process that I would like to continue. (and what does this process entail at this particular point?) For the past six weeks, I've followed a mostly paleo diet and gone to the gym to do bodyweight exercises three times a week. I feel like those things are slowly turning into habits, along with drinking a lot of water and doing a lot of walking. I don't like tracking food and I don't like failing myself for eating this or that, so I'm going to skip the nutrition quest this time. The walking happens naturally, so I'm not going to turn that into a quest either. I'll just try to keep that up on the side, and might mention it from time to time. (uh-uh. That's the non-quests, then. What are you going to track?) Glad you asked. This is what I'm going to do: Quest 1: Strength I'm going to continue going to the gym for bodyweight training three times a week. The goal is to eventually be able to do pull-ups. This will take a while. For now, I'll focus on keeping the exercises difficult enough that I can almost do what my plan says, and then add weights or some other element to push myself. I'll log every work-out in a progress bar: 18 work-outs total for the six weeks. Quest 2: Cardio/stamina The second quest will be to go for a run twice a week. Once we hit December 1st, I plan to join the Advent Running crowd and run every day until Christmas. I'll exclude gym days, though. I did this last year and loved the community and the build-up of it, so I'm really looking forward to it. Caveat: if running that much interfers with other quests, I'll tone it down or just go for a walk some days. To start with, I'll log two runs (doesn't matter how long, just going out for 20-30 minutes count) a week in another progress bar: 12 runs total for the six weeks. (you seem to like progress bars) Oh, I do! I like coming up with colour schemes for them even more than I do filling them in! (whatever works. Any other quests? Something not exercise-related, perhaps?) Quest 3: Sleep (or not, as it were) This will be a difficult one, but I have high hopes for it. I'm going to get up at 7 every morning of the challenge. Even on weekends. I usually get up at 7.30 on weekdays, so the extra half-hour there will give me time to pack my gym bag and fix lunch, or just do some extra reading. The main point is for the weekends, though. I don't want to sleep all my free time away, and actually really enjoy mornings – once I'm out of bed. If I manage this, I'll have more time to do the stuff I like and launch around for hours in my pj's. There will be no progress bar for this one, just a tally of early mornings accomplished. Quest 4: No spending My fourth and final quest is an attempt at turning a sad neccesity into a personal win. I've been really crappy at living within my means lately, and after paying my bills for November, realized I have absolutely no money left. In order to not take too much out of savings, and to get my behaviour in this area under some semblance of control, I'll try not to spend any money on non-essential stuff for the duration of the challenge. Essential stuff is food from the grocery store, basically. I'll keep another tally for this one and add every day I haven't spent any money to it. (so, four quests, two progress bars, two tallies. Got it. Anything else?) No, I think that's enough to be going on with. (Agreed. We seem to have a chronic problem with writing overly long posts.) Yes … I'm going to try to check in here as often as possible and look forward to reading about all the rangering going on. I've also joined the Gryffindarlings' accountabilibuddy group for added coolness. Their focus this time around is on strength, so I'm excited about that. Well, start as you mean to go on. It's Friday night, so for my part, I'm going to have a small glass of whisky from the cupboard and fix my progress bars. Happy start to the challenge, everyone! ****
  23. My husband and I are expecting our first baby on January 1st. It was a surprise honeymoon baby we weren't expecting, but we aren't complaining We are really excited to meet little Squishy soon and know if we are having a boy or a girl (we want to be surprised). Our issue is, we are on a really tight budget. And thankfully we've had some help from friends and family, baby stuff still needs to be purchased. For one things, clothes. My parents had promised to visit, and bring a load of baby clothes my sister is not using, along with toys, stroller, bed sheets, etc. They then changed their tune and said when they visited they would buy us a co-sleeper, and a pack 'n' play. But...they have changed their tune once again and it's looking like they won't visit at all. So they lied. My husband says it's sad, because I'm not upset by them breaking their promise. I'm honestly used to all of this. My other sisters come first, and I will come last. My parents bought my twin a lot of baby things for her kids, and they still support them since my brother-in-law and twin live with them. And my older sister (I'm the youngest) gets financial support even though she has a job, along with their attention. My parents are using their vacation to visit my older sis in Missouri. Although we are in Ohio, they planned other things and already said they most likely won't be coming. So since we are looking at getting most of the things needed, we need to know what the baby requires before he or she arrives. We have: A mattress (hypoallergenic, organic, infant and toddler in one) A crib set coming later 20 Gerber 6-ply, prefold, fabric diapers Toddler car seat 9-piece Crib set Changing pad Totoro pillow that lights up in different colors 2 Pacifiers 2 One piece sleep bags 201 Huggies size 1 diapers We are planning on cloth diapers, me breastfeeding long term, and a natural birth. How many clothes should we get before the baby arrives? Doubt the baby will fit in newborn clothes by the way, this kid will be a big baby And it will be winter by the time the baby arrives so what should we get so the baby is warm on the ride home?
  24. I got bored and decided to figure out the real price of chicken (dollars, not ethics). Feel free to check my math nerds!
  25. The biggest hurdle on my road to fitness is money. Not the numbers themselves, but the anxiety that comes with low income + student status. I'd like to turn that monster into a realistic plan. Even though this is true, I've been spending 70% of my small income on fast food. This is ridiculous and I know this. This is where I came from. It doesn't matter anymore. What matters is where I'm going. My goal is to use that money to buy groceries and start cooking my own meals. I know this will be cheaper than what I'm doing now. I also need about $120 a month to come back to my Muay Thai school. I can't for the life of me pick a cheaper school because the teacher and everyone there are so authentic, it's worth the extra cost for the community. So my question is, for the people out there eating paleo-style (not strict), how much are your groceries per week, for one person? I know different regions have different food prices. I live in the Los Angeles area to give you a clue on where I'm at. As a bonus to feed my curiosity, how much are you paying per month on training? This can be school/ gym fees, equipment, program subscriptions, whatever you spend with the goal of improving your fitness. I'm fairly new to budgeting money for groceries. I'm 25 and only started calling myself an adult maybe a couple months ago XD And if you have any tips on what to buy to keep costs reasonable, that would be great because I don't know a damn thing.
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