Goals

No Goals for 2017

Well, that isn’t entirely true. I did set myself some goals but I haven’t written them down anywhere. Usually I would’ve made a note on Evernote by now, but I’ve just decided against it this year.

I won’t lie, it’s nice going back to my old goals I’ve set and then start ticking them off one by one. The problem is I don’t look at my goals enough to keep reminding me what I’m supposed do. I lose touch of my goals and become uninterested in them.

This year I’ve decided, mentally, that I want to lose 25 kilograms (55 lbs) this year because I was at 115 kilograms (224 lbs) at the start of the year and for my length, I should weigh 90 kilograms to get my BMI to healthy. So far I’ve lost 6 kilograms. That’s 24% of my goal reached by end of January already.

Only thing I’ve changed was drinking lots of water, cutting down on the snacks and waking up at 6 AM to skip before I go to work. I usually do 500 skips in 4 sessions (2x 100 & 2x 150). Once I notice that my weight loss rate is slowing down, I’ll start adding more. The thing is, I think I only skipped 5 times the entire month. Also, when I get on the scale, one day it’s 115 kilograms, the next day its 110 kilograms. So I’m not sure how true my body mass is actually. Maybe it’s time to invest in a proper scale.

That’s the only goal I’ve set for myself really. Nothing about finances, nothing about school (obviously I want to pass everything, that goes without saying), about my career and nothing about blogging or family or anything like that. The main focus is just to get healthier and fitter. If I get to the end of this year and I still feel fat and unhappy with my body, 2017 would be a big, big failure.

I just hate the feeling of going to the store, trying on some clothes and nothing fits. I want to walk out immediately. I don’t even care that I have stretch marks all over. I don’t really care how my man boobs hang when I sit down shirtless at home. Only thing I care about is going to the store, trying on a pair of jeans and walking out of that store happy. That’s it. That’s all I want for now.

Of course it will change once I start hitting goals, feeling healthier, wake up with more energy and happier. I’ll want more. Much more. I’ll want to lose the man boobs and the flab of fat around my waist. I’d like to have a six-pack for once in my life (ironically my wife isn’t that into rock hard abs and muscly guys – not sure if she’s just saying that to make me feel better). I want to be able to run a marathon one day (a short one).

I hope I do it. I hope I do it early as well so I can go and reach greater heights.

That’s it for now. Thank you for reading. Cheers.

Advertisements

I’m Back and I’m an Idiot

It’s that time of the year again where everyone reflects on their lives and try to make an improvement. This year will be no different for me. I’m going to give this blogging thing another go just to realize later this year that I actually don’t have time to blog and fail miserably.

I’ve set a lot of goals last year and the main ones that I’m very happy about achieving was that I’ve kept track of all my income and expenditure. I make a budget every month though. When I received a bonus in August, I had so much money that I didn’t feel the need to keep checking my budget to make sure I’m still on track.

I’ve also managed to pass all my subjects in 2016. If all goes well I will graduate at the end of this year. Semester 4 has to go down as one of the toughest semesters. I just never had enough time to get everything done, but I still managed. I was ready to quit school twice. I got angry and upset with the school, especially with my Distributed Systems Programming lecturer (more on that on a later blog post).

Last year saw me change positions for the third year running. 2014 I was promoted from clerk to supervisor, 2015 I was promoted from supervisor to manager and in 2016 I switch from finance to IT and now I’m a computer analyst (or business and data analyst to be more specific). I got news about the switch to the new position in June but it only took effect in December. It was a very frustrating period in my career, but I’m happy to finally be in the field of IT.

No big no-no’s last year. Being married to my wife was smooth sailing most of the time. We hardly ever had any arguments. Our relationship is growing stronger and stronger with each passing day. We understand each other better. I’m mostly the guilty party when it comes to arguments because I show my anger a lot.

I didn’t get my driver’s permit last year, but I am starting to drive. I’m driving almost every day now. It’s just a matter of time before I do get my driver’s permit. Then I can share the driving load with my wife. She is a very impatient driver and gets stressed out a lot by traffic. If I can lighten that load on her end, she’ll be an even happier wife at home.

Last thing I’d like to mention before ending this post. I am the world’s biggest idiot. Last month I bought myself a new smart phone. I was very excited about this. I saw a video online of the same model phone as mine being submerged in water for a minute with no consequences at all, but there is no mention that the phone is waterproof or water-resistant by the phone manufacturer.

This past weekend my wife and I, together with her parents went camping. We went for a swim, I took my phone with me. I took a couple of selfies in the pool. I so badly wanted to take an underwater photo. My wife told me not to. I didn’t listen. As I came out the water, my phone was black. I put the phone in rice. When I turned it back on, the phone wasn’t reacting to any touches on the screen. Now I have to take the phone in for repair and hope it doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg to fix it. I am so upset with myself. WHY DID I NOT LISTEN TO MY WIFE? I think that’s not the last time I’ll be uttering those words this year.

Happy new year and thanks for reading.

Throw Back Thursday – Debt Repayment

image

(Edit: Due to some technical difficulties, Throw Back Thursday is late. My apologies)

It’s that time of the week again, Throw Back Thursday. One of the best ideas I’ve had yet, even though it’s not totally original. Each Thursday for the month of January I post something regarding goal setting from my past and this is supposed to help me set my goals for 2016.

My first post was about my life time goals where I discussed what I achieve in the long-term (by 2029, when I turn 40). The second was about my reward list. I have to admit, after that post I have identified a few other goodies I could add to that list. Finally last week I posted about habits I want to either gain or get rid of, mostly to do with health, finances and organisation.

This week’s throw back is about debt repayment. I found a sheet of paper in one of my files. I think I must have come up with this plan right after my place was broken into and they took about everything material I value like my Xbox 360, TV, laptop, iPod and some clothes.

I needed to come up with a plan to get some clothes to just go to work but I had no money. I reviewed credit card and consumer debt situation and came up with a plan to pay off most of it.

It was a pretty simple plan. I was going to commit $2,000 NAD (about $120 USD) per month for the next six months to the repayment of my debts. There was a total of $12,800 NAD ($780.80 USD) outstanding.

Well I managed to close the one account and buy the engagement and wedding ring for my fiancé without making more debt but I couldn’t pay off my credit card and I didn’t have enough money to buy my own wedding ring, so I had to open another consumer debt account for that.

I didn’t make my goal but I think I came pretty damn close. Now I’ve created a new debt repayment plan for 2016 and hopefully I stick to this plan and pay off all my debt and go into 2017 debt free. Below you can see my new debt repayment plan.

image

Please note that one NAD is equivalent to $0.061 USD. (Most of my readers are from USA).
The toughest thing about repaying debt is not creating any new debt and actually sticking to the repayments amounts set out. I really hope I get to stick to this.

It’s been a pleasure writing these series of blog posts. Maybe I will start a new Throw Back series soon, but I don’t have much in my archives. Next week I will post my final 2016 goals.

Until next time. Thanks for reading.

Throw Back Thursdays – Lifetime goals

As promised in my previous post, I am going to start a series of posts called Throw Back Thursdays (very original, I know) whereby I go through all my old goals I’ve set for myself in the past. With the help of these goals, I will try and set my goals for 2016. 

I decided to start with the big one. I set these goals round about the time I dropped out of college and was living at my parents place. I had no job, I was single and I wasn’t really sure where to go. I took an aptitude test to determine what I am actually good at and really sat down and thought, what do I really want to do. What will truly bring me joy? And this is what I came up with:

Lifetime Goals – By the time I reach 40 (2029)

Work from home – consultant in finances and information technology
A PhD in Information Technology
Always be on top of the technological developments
Master all relevant web and software development languages
Set-up my own place with the latest tech gadgets
Own a sports coupé
Have a passive income that covers all my day-to-day expenses

It’s 2016, I still have 13 years left to get there. I am currently in my second year of studies. I am slowly but surely getting to my goal of getting a PhD in Information Technology. I’ve learned four languages in the past year, namely Java, C#, CSS and HTML. I wouldn’t call myself a master in those but I feel comfortable enough with those languages. I got a new smartphone last year and a new laptop. I have no car and I am no where close to having a passive income to cover my day-to-day expenses.

So far it’s looking good. I am on course to complete these goals. I haven’t deviated from the plan. I can’t come up with better goals at this moment in time. Those goals look pretty solid. 

From these goals, I can come up with the following goals for 2016 to bring me closer to my life goals:

Pass my second year of studies
Master Java by writing a Java app for desktop or mobile
Read new tech articles every day by subscribing to tech articles, blogs etc.
Save up money to build a home theater PC
Get my drivers permit (I was never in a position to buy a car)
Pay off all short- and medium-term debt
Start a savings account that will later turn into an investment account

These goals aren’t final yet. Still 3 more articles to go before I finalize my goals for 2016. Things are really looking up for me. I have a feeling this is going to be a fantastic year for me and my family. 

Until next time. Thanks for reading

2013/14 Year Review [Part 4 of 4]

Financial freedom

2014, It’s only getting started

Looking back at all my posts, the past 365 days and what’s to come for the rest of the year, I must say that I am very excited to say the least. A year ago I thought my world is coming to an end. And now, it just getting better.
Now that I have a new job I will be earning more money. For the first time in my life I will experience the true meaning of income > expenses. I will be able to save some money. I am still trying to cut expenses and live a more frugal life. Just two more weeks and I would’ve kept a budget for 3 months and recorded every single transaction I made over those 3 months. Budgeting will only get easier and it will become a part of my every day ritual.
I have major plans for the next 365 days. When I write another mid-year review and I look back to this post and think that I have finally achieved something big. This would be bigger than me getting am accounting degree. Much bigger. It will be a step in the right direction. No more taking a back seat on my financial future. I will become the driver and take control. No more blaming other people for where I was a year back. I am in control of my journey and only I can change it.
So here are my goals for the rest of 2014:
  1. I will buy an engagement ring and propose to my girlfriend.
  2. I will have less debt than I started with this year.
  3. I will have my driver’s permit.
  4. I will have all the necessities required to live a comfortable live at home.
  5. I will learn all the programming languages to enable me to create a website and a mobile app from scratch.
  6. I will finish my website.
  7. I will finish my own mobile app.
  8. I will reach 500 views on my blog.
  9. I will have a budget that I following strictly every month.
  10. And I will be a more productive and healthy human being.

 

2013/14 Year Review [Part 3 of 4]

The Year of Resignations

The Year of Resignations

I was standing in the kitchen making a cup of tea and then it hit what this post should be called, “The Year of Resignations”. It was just going to be called “2014 So Far” but I thought it would be hard to find a picture for my post with a title like that.
The rest of the post has been typed up before I came up with the title but the title needs some explanation cause the rest of the post doesn’t offer up any. At my previous job people were dropping out like flies. I even had a list of every colleagues name pasted on my cubical wall and marked an X next to their name when they resigned. In the 7 months that I’ve worked there, I had about 10 crosses. Also both my dad and my girlfriend’s dad is resigning this year. My best friend is also resigning at the end of the year to become an entrepreneur full-time. And lastly a friend of my girlfriend quit this year as well. Feels like a lot of people in my life just had enough.

The post before the title change…

 

The year did not start off like I intended it to. I wanted to move into my new place because I didn’t like living at my aunt’s place. It just didn’t work out for me. They kept telling me that the place is taking longer than expected but I was running out of patience. I didn’t want to look for another place because the rent was good for a place in that area, I would get free uncapped Wi-Fi and it comes furnished.

Only in March I could move into my new place. The rent took a big chunk out of my salary. I couldn’t make it till the end of the month. I was spending a lot of money on lunch and beers with my friends. Plus I was taking my girlfriend out to dinners. My money just couldn’t make it to the end of the month. I had to start using my credit card. Not have to. More like, I didn’t want to beg my parents for money, say no to my friends when they hang out or brown bag instead of buy take out for lunch.
April month is when things reached an all time low with my finances. In less than two weeks my entire salary was done. Finished. And I had no idea where it went. One minute everything was fine, the next moment it was all gone. I couldn’t explain what happened. I had to get help from my parents. But then I decided that in May I would at least keep track of every single cent I spent. Even if I still run out of money in two weeks, I needed answers. Not knowing on what you’ve spent your money on is just the worst. Besides, this was a baby. I wasn’t going to change for life overnight.
May and June were the first two months that I recorded every transaction. I could see where the money was going. I knew what my bank balance was. The budget I set up gave me better sign where my money should go to next. I could see when I was getting to the budgeted amount. May was ten times better than April and June was even better than May. This has clearly helped me out.
Driving wise, I just didn’t have any money left to pay for driving school. I took two lessons while I was still staying at my aunt’s place because I could afford it. But since I moved into the new place, money has been very tight. I have to get my driver’s license this year or my learner’s permit will expire and then I need to redo the exam I took last year. Since I passed the learner’s exam first time, I want to pass my driver’s exam first time as well. I hope for the best.
As far as coding is concerned, I didn’t do anything about it this year. With me having to work and all, I have zero energy to do anything when I come home from work. I manage to complete the barefoot.com website as well as the doogeyfresch.com. No new business has come in and I haven’t developed my portfolio at all. I wanted to finish my own personal website but I kept making excuses about how I don’t have the money for domain name registration and web site hosting. I can hardly remember what I learned in coding because I wasn’t practicing at all.
The most important thing I can take away from the first half the year is how important it is to budget. If I don’t budget and keep track of all my transactions, I have no control over my money.

 

2013/14 Year Review [Part 2 of 4]

A new dawn

 

A new dawn

Unemployment and degree-less, I needed a new plan. I couldn’t feel sorry for myself any longer. I just started dating my girlfriend and she told me that she believed in me. She knew that this was just a minor speed bump in my life. Even when I had nothing, she still believed in me. If she could date me and believe in me, why couldn’t I?

I had to find a new job in the city so I could be close to my girlfriend because as much I knew she believed in me, I didn’t believe a long distance relationship would last. The job hunt began. All I had to go on was my one year’s working experience in audit and a high school diploma. These were my goals at the time:

  1. I will get my learner’s permit. 
  2. I will get my driver’s license. 
  3. I will get a good paying job. 
  4. I will get a place to stay in Windhoek. 
  5. I will know a number of programming languages and codes. 
  6. I will get a bike.
  7. I will get 4G wireless internet.
  8. I will clear my credit card debt.

Getting the learner’s permit was easy. I had all the time in the world to study and managed to score 91% on a multiple choice exam paper. I felt good. I felt even better when I got a call that I have an interview with an accounting firm in the city. I went down, did all the research and gave a kick ass interview. Couple of days later I got the offer. It took me just three months to find employment. I thought it would happen quicker but I was just grateful to have a job again and could be close to my girlfriend.

I didn’t have a place yet but I my family was willing to help out. I didn’t like staying there. I was in a very poor neighborhood and I didn’t have much privacy at their place. I had plans to move into a flat that a family was building on their property but it would only be available in the New Year.

I wasn’t so successful with the materialistic things like the internet and the bike. I also didn’t pay off my credit card debt. I did make one big payment to my credit card when I got my salary but ended up using the credit card again because Christmas came around and I didn’t have money.

The coding didn’t go so well. I didn’t learn all the languages I wanted to learn. I completed HTML and CSS as well as a video course on Dreamweaver. I did manage to complete my friend’s website for him called Barefoot. I also didn’t manage to complete my website because I didn’t have the money to pay for a domain and hosting.

I was happy with the learner’s permit but I didn’t get the drivers permit. I reckoned I still have time till the next year before my learner’s permit expired. My dad wasn’t a very patient teacher. So with the new job I could pay for a professional to teach me how to drive.

That’s the end of the second half of the year and it was pretty successful. I took a big step by getting employed and living in the city. I got closer to getting my driver’s permit and I learned some of the essential skills to develop websites. The following year things could only get better..

2013/14 Year Review [Part 1 of 4]

The College Dropout

 

The College Dropout

Sitting in my friend’s garden in Johannesburg, I realized that I just made the biggest fuck up of my life. I was about to fail my first semester into my last year of degree. The plan has always been to finish my degree in 2013 and make my parents proud. Instead I achieved the total opposite.

Before I set off for Johannesburg in February for my last year of full-time studies the goal was pretty simple: study your ass off and get the degree. In 2012 I was working and doing a high school subject because of some technicality about having a first language to get my degree and I hated every minute of work. I knew getting this degree would make things so much simpler.

I hardly got started and already life was throwing me curve balls. I could not find accommodation. My scholarship would cover for tuition and accommodation on campus, but I gave my application in too late which meant I had to look for another place off campus.

My family is not well off. They hardly made ends meet. While I was working, they didn’t have to give me money for anything. This was my last year though. They were willing to dig deep and help me out one last time. The money just wasn’t there though. Fortunately my friend let me sleep on his couch for a couple of months until I found a place.

Getting to campus was a mission since I did not have a car and I did not want to burden my friend any further because he was doing so much for me already. I missed classes and tutor lectures. The big snag came when I didn’t meet the required admission percentage for a certain class and they didn’t allow me to write my final exam after much begging and pleading. The rules were the rules. They aren’t changing it for anyone. And just like that, my world came to a crashing halt.

All I had to do was one thing. Get this degree no matter what. I blamed everything and everyone but myself. I could not believe how much I screwed this up. I hardly made it to the half way mark and already I had to call it quits. When I got back home I knew what was coming for me, but first I had to have one of the most difficult conversion of my life with my folks.

They were very understanding and supportive. It made things a lot easier on me. The next group I had to face was the company that gave me the scholarship and employed me the previous year. My accounting hopes were hanging on a thread.

I remember that day so clearly. I just woke up and did my routinely rounds on the internet. Check Twitter. Check Facebook. Check emails. And there it was, an email from the company saying that they won’t take me back. My employment and my scholarship contract have been terminated and they will contact me with regards to repaying my scholarship. That was the worst day of my life and the start of my new life.

June 2014 Goals

stock-investing-goals

I haven’t set up my budget yet, but I have a clear idea of what I need to be spending my money. I reviewed my expenses last month I spent a lot of my money on beer and entertainment. So I’m trying to lower that expense. I also spend a lot of money on take-out during lunch times with my girlfriend. Sometimes she pays, sometimes I pay.

I’ve planned to cut out the take outs and make something at home and bring it along but that hardly ever pans out like I planned. The easy stuff that I could prepare at home are usually the things I don’t really like to eat like cheese and salami (or ham) on bread. I want something cooked, like sausages. But cooking sausages in the morning is a no go. I already get up so early already.

Still trying to find a way to cut expenses but I have also been looking into increasing income. I am in the process of selling my Xbox. It’s just lying around at home and I could make some cash from it. I was going to buy myself a cellphone with the money but thought that I would rather just get a DSTV Walka and pay my credit card with the rest of my money.

Also thought of getting back to playing poker again. But I keep failing at keeping track of my results and going to all the way. It’s worth a try though. I need some extra money. I’ve even started betting on the World Cup games and made some good money. More than double than what I started with. I’m trying to not get carried away. Too much on my plate already.

Anyway, June is almost over. Half way through anyway. So I will just keep the budget I have from last month and work with that for the rest of the month. The way things are looking like, it’s going to be a hard winter. One thing I can be proud of though is that I am at least keeping track of all my transactions. I think it’s starting to become a habit.