A New Outlook?

There is no denying that I’ve been on a bit of an emotional roller-coaster since starting this blog, which was intended to be about my plan to build a tiny house. It derailed from that plan rather quickly and became a place where I vent all my emotional fears and frustrations, as well as any other randomness that happens to cross my fevered mind.

I’ve been pretty silent the past few weeks, not posting much beyond my updates on Lasik and return to World of Warcraft, and I think that is in part to some changes in my outlook.

I railed in many blogs against the idea that I may just enjoy watching tv and playing on the computer, and maybe don’t want to write or draw or sculpt as much as I wish I did. I didn’t want to accept that, because I didn’t want to feel like I was wasting my life, and I kind of still don’t. I fear being on my death bed and wishing I had never done anything with my life.

The problem with that fear though, is my perception of what makes a life worth living and what I feel that I would be regretful for. Will I regret it if on my death bed I’d never written a novel? Never been out of the country? Never felt I grew as an artist? Would I regret my life if I spent the entire thing basically in front of a screen? Should I regret those things?

It got me thinking about my perception of myself and others, my obsession with the idea and concept of a person’s persona or personality or things that make them who they are, and with myself and what I really want deep down. Not what I want to want, but what I really want.

So here is what I think I really want.

I want to do what I want to do with my free time. If that’s read, write or draw then great, if that’s play WoW or watch endless youtube videos that is also great. If I want to get a kayak and go out kayaking, also great, and none of these things is better than the other in terms of my own personal enjoyment of them. I met get more personal satisfaction and pride from writing, and I may get more physical activity and healthy benefits from kayaking, but my emotional enjoyment of these activities may not reflect that—and that’s okay.

The two things I want more than anything else in the world though is to live on my own, and to be a healthy weight, and there are 2 very simple things I need to do to achieve both of those things. Stop spending money like a fiendish shopaholic trophy wife, and stop going over my calories. That’s literally it. (Well…and don’t get fired from my cushy good paying job).

The rest I just need to let go. I need to stop worry about how I appear or am perceived and just start being myself, and working towards the two goals that are important enough for me to sacrifice for (food for losing weight and buying cool things for saving money to move out).

I want to do some of my favorite number crunching for a bit, because getting Lasik surgery certainly set me back in my desire to build a house.

$568 – weekly paycheck
Roughly $2,272 a month

$400 – Student Loan
$350 – To parents
$67.90 – Car Insurance
$165 – Phone
$15 – WoW
$12 – Hulu
$9 – Office 365

Total Bills: $1,019
After Bills: $1,200 (rounded down, I like to do that to give myself wiggle room).

I’ll need to do some special number crunching when I go grocery shopping tomorrow. I’ve been kind of doing it willy nilly, just throwing stuff in the cart and not caring. I need to be more careful. I need to calculate exactly what I need each week and find out exactly what I need to spend every week on groceries.

I know the lunches I get are like $2.50 and I get 1 for each day, so that’s $12.50. I also get 2 bags of frozen pasta with veggies, I think those are about the same price so that’s another $5. I also get breakfast bars which I believe are less than $2 if I get the store brand. If I stop getting stuff like halo top ice cream then my weekly groceries could be less than $25 a week, that means $100 a month. That is quick rough math since I am not 100% sure on prices. It also doesn’t take into account the monthly stuff I buy. A box of hot cocoa and a box of 100 calorie bags of popcorn. I was getting pizzas that were less than 800 calories for the whole pizza, but I always go over on days I eat those so I’m going to stop getting them. I might look at smaller ones that are half those calories.

The next unknown is gas. The price fluxuates, but I rarely pay more than $25 and I gas up around once a week (I think it’s technically like once ever 8-10 days depending on how much driving I do.). So that’s again roughly $100 a month on gas, but that is assuming gas doesn’t go over $25 to fill my tank.

That leaves me $1000 extra a month to divide between my credit card, and my lasik surgery.

The credit card is $5,527.10, the Lasik is we’ll say $3,900, rounding it up.
Starting with the Lasik, if I pay $500 a month on that I will pay it off in 8 months.
If I am also paying $500 to the credit card each month, that will be down around $2000 in that time. I’ll be done paying off the lasik (which has zero % interest) and can put the whole $1000 to my credit card for the final 2 months to pay it off. All told I should have both paid off in 10 months. So by April 2018.

It is imperative I pay off the lasik because if I take more than a year to pay it off they will charge interest on the whole thing, not just the remaining balance. So if something comes up I will pay less to the credit card if I have to, but pay the $500 to the lasik.

Then will come my next decision. I can then begin putting that $1000 into my savings account each month. By December 2018 I’ll have $8,000. That might be enough to start looking for some land.  I’ve seen some 1.5 acre lots for around that price not far away. I actually found a 20 acre lot for 10 grand not far from where I work, though I assume that is some kind of typo or trick, I had to email the realtor about it because if it’s legit and there isn’t something wrong with that land… sheesh.

So I think even though Lasik sets me back, that is still the plan. By December of 2018 I will begin looking around for land, seeing what’s out there. I won’t be picky and I’ll keep saving until I find the perfect place. I don’t have to be in a rush, and the more money I have saved the bigger potential plot I can get.

I would really like a horse some day, and they say a horse needs 2 acres of grazing pasture, plus 1 additional acre per horse after the first. Ideally I’d want something like 6 acres, so I have enough for my tiny house, a good sized pasture, a little barn, and maybe some woody areas for some trail riding.  5+ acres seem to be around $20,000-$30,000 depending on location though, so either I’d need to save up for 3-4 years before buying land, or I’d need to maybe luck into a foreclosure or something. I’ll start considering that when the time comes. It’s about a year and a half away so I’ve got time.

After that I can begin building, with a budget of $1000 a month to build it’ll take a while, but this will be the best part. So I only need to wait a year and a half for the best part! And hopefully by then I will be a better weight too.

So, that is the plan.

Pay off credit card and Lasik by next April, then start saving for land.
In the meantime, stop spending money frivolously.  I didn’t account above for the $75 I get from work for my cell phone allowance, mostly for a buffer. I also gave myself an additional $50 buffer when I rounded down the money I’ll have after bills. And it also doesn’t account for the 1-2 months a year when a month has 5 pay check weeks instead of 4. That should give me a little wiggle room for some things like books or movies, so long as I don’t go overboard.

Don’t spend money on stuff I don’t need.
Don’t go over my calorie goal.

That’s it.  Shouldn’t be too hard. I got this.

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