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Ikar

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  1. @GrainSiloEnthusiast I think this is why any worthwhile advice about financial literacy begins with just writing down expenses and incomes. Only then you can begin to evaluate the numbers and try to move them up or down. The alternative for many people is only to work harder on their career and/or to do more of something they don't like so that they can afford a lifestyle they don't care about. I guess in your situation, you don't even have this alternative, if you are on SSI, so you have to make do with a fixed income and you can only plan expenses. Situations like these are why I want to write the blog about money. I hope my blog will be useful to people, even if it won't be in English 😄 You have a good goal to attain. It's selfless and noble, so I hope it goes well! Good food can also be cheap. I've been buying various nuts (great for any/all nutrients, granted you're not allergic!) in bulk for the past three or four years. They are normally 30-40% cheaper than in the supermarket. The prices of nuts have actually gone down nominally over the time period in my country. More people in the world are nowadays obese than hungry. Meaning there are more people who are spending money on being unhealthy from eating too much food than people who can barely afford food at all. I wish more people would think about their food expenses as you did. Good luck with budgeting! 🙂
  2. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    25th June - 29th June: I did some cleaning, read about finance, worked on my blog and went to the swimming pool with my girlfriend on Sunday. I did laundry, had a few lessons and went for sushi with my brother on Monday. I've been reading almost every day too. --- Still kind of on and off with porn, which is slightly annoying, though I've been working on it. I'm gonna use the below to help me, adapted from one article by Mark Manson:
  3. Sounds good! If you keep on asking life for a date, it will eventually give you one 😄
  4. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    18th June - 24th June: I've been busy improving and researching my business. I attended two meetings during the week - one for networking and one for marketing. I need to get used to networking meetings a little. The marketing meeting was a good reminder of what I already somewhat know. I also did evaluation for my language school students. I can see many things I could do to improve the evaluation process, because the language schools don't really have an effective system to gauge progress. I fixed logos on my website, so they look cleaner now. I introduced short-form telephone calls as another service I offer, got one student onboard already. One language school gave me a 14% raise, the other one 10%. It's not very much considering the double-digit inflation around here, but it's just one more reason to keep working on my business, so I can do what I want. Submitted my air ticket claim (again) and the waiting period via this public institution is around 1,5 years. I guess now I know why the period eligible for the compensation is 6 years 😄 Otherwise normal stuff: reading, meeting, girlfriend and English lessons.
  5. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    Since I quit gaming four years ago, I got curious a few times and logged into Twitchtracker to see which of the people I used to follow/watch still stream and which don't. Most smaller/medium streamers don't. The bigger streamers that streamed for a living continue to stream. I don't have any nostalgia about the time. I'm just wondering: Would I be better off if I had "made it" as a streamer? I think not. I'd still be a sorry-ass baby, giving way to my bad character, fueled by the money people would send me. In some way, if I wanted to become a streamer, I'd have better chances now than back then. Quitting gaming made me a better person.
  6. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    I'm using the template I used the last time. 13/05/23 - 17/06/23 "L" will stand for the (last) plan/notes for this term. "T" will stand for done this term. I added "Future goals/direction" to better reflect on the things I am trying to do and to add specificity. I will copy it and stick it somewhere where I can see it to remind myself whenever I feel aimless. I will also use different colors: blue for newly added goals/habits, green for completed/successful, orange for ongoing/some progress and red for ones I haven't worked on in that period. First off, I've been looking forward to writing this and having the time to do so. I like this habit of mine 🙂 --- Books/Reading articles: L: Currently reading Idiot by Dostoevsky, although not very regularly. No, I'm just not interested in that book, will need to pick up something else. I read a few newsletters. T: I got into "Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress" by Steven Pinker and I've been enjoying it. I got through my newsletters and now I am dealing with them as they come, rather than to wait for a huge backlog to accumulate. Possible direction/goals: Continue getting through the newsletters. (Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report. Family: L: Oops. I'm still somehow puzzled how it's week 19 and I'm 6 weeks behind the plan below. Anyhow, my father advised me to not go alone, as there'll be a lot of furniture to pack and I will need his trailer. I'm gonna set it up tomorrow, so the furniture is at my grandma's place by the end of May. T: I visited a concert with my grandma. The furniture was supposed to be at her place already, however the last week my car battery died and I'm currently working on replacing it. Meeting my family as usual. NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family. Possible direction/goals: Work on getting the new kitchen for my grandma. Continue work on maintaining the relationships with my family. University: L: I have one more exam to go and then it's just the thesis and finals. As planned. T: The exam was successful, so now I have to get working on the thesis and after that the finals. NOT: I don't want to drop out of the university. Possible direction/goals: Do the main part of my diploma in summer/autumn 2023 and do the defense and finals in January/February 2024. Work on the assignments in a timely manner. Job/English: L: Unfortunately, my mentor had some time troubles, so I've only met him twice so far, although we are meeting on Monday. I've been on the tasks and exercises he gave me at least. T: The mentoring program is over, however it provided great insight into my business, some connections and ideas for the future. I sent out a questionnaire to my students and the response was positive with no surprises, just a few minor clarifications, so I am happy that my feedback system works well. As it's the end of the school year, I wrote an email to one of the language schools and they promised me an increase in pay. I'm gonna write an email to the second one if they are going to give me something as well. - Classes are at a stable 25-30 hours a week, plus a few hours for admin work. Note: July and August and maybe September are going to be abnormal, as some courses don't run during summer. The drop in A is due to one of my students quitting and another cutting back on lessons. An example for 27 hours this week: Category A 48% (59); B 9% (9); C 13% (5); D 13% (12); E 17% (16). Brackets are % values from previous month. - I've done a bit of an analysis of my courses and categorized them based on what they provide me. I earmarked five types of courses: a) my own - well paid + generally more motivated students (as they pay the courses themselves) + more challenging b) premium - language school courses paid at a premium compared to my standard LS courses for various reasons (roughly matching the a) group) c) flexible - courses from LS that don't have a fixed schedule, meaning it's on me if I make time for them or not (though I mostly do, as can they plug the gaps or can start my day) d) challenging/fun/prospective - standard LS courses with an added quality e) neither - standard LS courses without any added quality - NOT: I don't want to have a job that I don't enjoy. I don't want to have a job that is not well paid. Possible direction/goals: With my job position and student demand secure, I'm more able and willing to reschedule or even cancel classes in case I want to do something, mainly in the evening and for holidays. I enjoy having this option thoroughly. Keep classes at a stable 25-30 hours a week. Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students. Write down specific areas and what I want to do in them: Networking events. Variable pricing. Look into strategies to become truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between. Get a system to mark down the progress of my students, together with their learning plan. Past projects: Work on the new mentoring project. Update my website to reflect the new ideas and inspiration from the web. Get a customized redesign and SEO for the website. Networking events. = Attended the networking event on 5th April. Exercise/Movement: L: Went for a bike trip with my girlfriend again. Bike and walks. T: Went for a bike trip to my family the last week. Went swimming a couple of times too. NOT: I don't want to become fat. Possible direction/goals: I enjoy the fact I do not have to be "actively" dealing with this area of my life, as it's technically a part of my job. I just have to be on lookout if that was to change. Keep in shape. Blogging: L: I got my financial blog up at the end of March and I posted a few introductory articles in May. Suffice to say, I think it's ready to be published, but I need to find a suitable UI template to go with it and set up some basic emailing for subscribers. I have some backlog of written articles that just need a few finishing touches. T: - Possible direction/goals: Find a suitable UI/web template. Set up emailing for subs. Post two articles a month. Women/Dating: L: My girlfriend moved to a location closer to me two months ago and we've been seeing more regularly. T: I'm happy and grateful for having such a loving girlfriend. Possible direction/goals: Set up at least two dates a month (with my girlfriend). ----- What to do if I am bored? Replacement activities for 1 hour: reading books, cleaning, washing the dishes, reading newsletters Replacement activities for 2 hours: going for a walk, work on my business, uni work, blogging ----- Additional thoughts/activities: My hobbies are: personal finance, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, working on my business, blogging/writing, geography. This month, I did these cool activities: business mentoring, spending time with friends and my girlfriend, kitchen planning for my grandma, moving to a new flat (!), cycling, going to a concert with my grandma. --- Goals/resolutions/aspirations for 2023: Pass all the exams at the uni, finish the thesis and finish all university duties successfully in January/February 2024. - WIP, progress = yes Improve my business, so that I don't need to teach for language schools anymore, by getting more private contacts, opportunities and students. - WIP, progress = yes Go to Georgia to visit my friend. - Unfortunately, the plan didn't work out. I plan to go there later this year, either in late summer or autumn. Stop watching porn (again). - I am not porn-free, it comes in waves. I'll try to be more aware when the urges come and what makes me more likely to have them. This month (March) I had a good run without porn and too much news 🙂 Start getting up when my alarm rings. - I got better, not 100%, but better. Continue: planning, walking/exercising, writing/journaling, reading, studying for uni, dating, work on good life/work balance. It's a short list, but if I manage all of it, I will be happy. --- Add-ons: I enjoy writing articles, however I am not enjoying the process of how to actually set up the blog, whether I should try and make some money off of it. I think I will, but I won't go on writing e-books, providing courses and whatnot. Just a few affiliate links for the services I like. This allows me to focus on writing and not fret over something I don't even know I want to do. I found out I quite like to give presentations, if I really believe and enjoy the topic. This goes for both my school and business presentations. Better keep that in mind.
  7. The stereotypical "bro" advice would be to say she isn't supposed to "catch" anything, but that you are supposed to catch her by the hand and kiss her. Jokes aside, there is some merit to it 🙂 100% on this not being a "relationship failure". @Faroe Islander If your meetings stop, then it was a relationship that was not meant to be. You don't have a relationship until both you and she know each other's true expectations and until you balance them to a roughly similar level. As for setting up the environment, it's best to be alone with her, ideally somewhere where you can move freely and get close (e.g. park/bench). Don't speculate what she knows or "doesn't catch" or anything else. She might have her reasons for not dating you. Don't try to control the outcome either. It's her life too after all. I hope this was useful. Good luck! 🙂
  8. I have a story to share regarding forcing positive thoughts/toxic positivity: Almost three years ago, I met a guy who was on his way to becoming a financial advisor. He got me to join his gig with him and I was a part of his team for a while. I eventually quit, because the job required me to do too many things I didn't like or cared about. I believe a part of me quitting was his toxic positivity. This guy was just always happy to start a new project, excited to do phone calls, attend another team-building etc. During one of the longer travels we had together, I told him he's like the Terminator. I don't think he asked me to elaborate or maybe he even took it as a compliment. The reason why I said that was because he never had a problem. He never complained. Because of that, I never really believed him. He just seemed too perfect to be real and that's why I never connected with him as a person. I spent quite some time with him, but I never got to know him because of his facade. I believe he is successful now and quite well off. He's also a very potent meme in my closest circle of friends, because they know him too, as he makes effort to make himself visible in the region. My decision to stop working with him also saved me thousands or even millions down the road that'd have gone into his pockets or banks offering inefficient financial services. The awareness of cheap and effective investment vehicles is miserable in Czechia, even though they are available. I wish we had an IRA or 401(k) like you do in the US, although thankfully at least some domestic competition to big banks has sprung up recently. That's why I am working on setting up my financial blog, although I'm struggling with allocating time to this project 😞 100% on having more responsibility as we get older. It's crucial to be able to say "yes" to yourself and "no" to others, and to mean it, if need be.
  9. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    It is. Quitting heavy gaming, brushing your teeth, sometimes going out with friends or cleaning your room (as you mentioned in your diary) is a practical equivalent to taking care of yourself.
  10. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    11th June - 15th June: I did some minor financial optimization, worked on a computer upgrade, went to the swimming pool with my girlfriend and met another friend on Sunday. During the week, I had classes as usual. On top of that, I went outside, read (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress by Steven Pinker - been enjoying it so far) and started solving the issue of my car battery. I used the inter-dental toothbrush for the first time after a long time yesterday, so that's also something 😄
  11. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    3rd June - 10th June: It's been a good week. I changed my address online, as it can influence my business. I went swimming with my girlfriend and created a plan of actions for my business. My girlfriend and I had a small misunderstanding during the week. We later clarified the situation and our expectations. I'm proud of us and I'm happy to have such a great girlfriend 🙂 I also finished my questionnaire for students last weekend, sent it out to students and I've already got about half of the people to respond and get the other to respond the next week. Some of them expressed interest in a few auxiliary services related to English lessons, so I might get a few extra € right there. Today was a bit weird. I was supposed to get furniture for my grandma with my brother, however the battery in my car died. We'll have to do it some other day. Regardless, I made a good use of my time. I visited my family on my bike and therefore had a good workout. In the evening, I wrote an email for a pay-raise to one of the language schools, yet again. It's worth a try! 😄
  12. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    26th May - 2nd June: I actually did have time to watch the rest of the hockey championship and the results were quite surprising! Regardless, many hours of this week were spent preparing for and moving to my new room/flat. I'm happy to say that even though there are still a few things lying about on the floor, most of the work has been already done. I've been meeting my girlfriend and two best friends frequently, if not every day. I also spent some time with other people as well and I can say I've been enjoying it. I met my father today for lunch too. The last thing to mention is the last round of my business mentoring. I got a lot of ideas for my English business. My plan for the weekend is to handle the invoices and finish work on my questionnaire for students.
  13. What a great post. Congratulations!
  14. Hi, I am happy my post encouraged you! I'm sure you can improve your life in the same passion as I did 🙂
  15. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    18th May - 25th May: I've been watching the hockey championship for the past two weeks. You might know that there are just a few matches remaining in the play-off. I've been watching it fairly actively and it's really the only time when I care about watching sports. I realized it's just too much passive entertainment for me, really the same as with watching a film every day, binging series or something similar. Anyhow, I'm not gonna have the time to watch the final matches at the weekend 🙂 Besides the kitchen for my grandma, I got working on getting the air tickets claim from February. The rest of the things have been going as usual, so I'm happy 🙂
  16. Ikar

    Zoe's Journal

    All the best in your new venture! I hope it goes well for you, as it has gone for me 😄
  17. I feel you. It's a bore to read a book that is not interesting. I haven't read seriously for about two months, just because the book I borrowed isn't all that entertaining. I need to pick up a new one from the library.
  18. Ikar

    Zoe's Journal

    There is some mechanism that keeps the text in the cache of your browser if you go to another page or close the window, but it's not always 100% reliable.
  19. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    Thanks! I wish the same to you 🙂
  20. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    14th May - 17th May: I visited my family on Sunday and went to a concert with my grandma, which was actually surprisingly good. Also watched hockey in the evening. Had my last exam on Monday, spent some time with my girlfriend, researched some stuff about kitchen design for my grandma, had mentoring and a few lessons as well. I'm happy that business mentoring is back on track, as I have many new useful insights and I'm going to work on them at the weekend. Baked a chicken on Tuesday, had more classes too, met with some friends in the evening. Today I put in the hours as well, although I had a nap in the afternoon, as I have been feeling tired during the day. I'm wondering what to do now, I'll likely watch a movie to zone out and relax, as I haven't been feeling the best.
  21. Ikar

    Zoe's Journal

    Oh, I wouldn't dare to call myself a "veteran", as I wasn't on any tour outside. I was at the army university for a year, half a year as a radio operator and half a year in transition/training. I quit because I was pissed off that I saw no way of getting past the army bureaucracy to relocate somewhere to do something useful with my English, although I was surely more of an idiot five years ago 😄 Agreed on the structure, I have to have good organization skills in my line of work dealing with 20+ students weekly. I got a gun license three years back. I'm planning to go to the shooting range again soon with some friends, one of whom is a former Royal Marine I believe. I'm still using a bunch of my army clothing for leisure/around the house activities, as it's comfortable and because I like to reuse things 😄
  22. Ikar

    Zoe's Journal

    @BooksandTrees put it eloquently. Better than I would. I believe he's speaking from his own experience. You don't want to replace an addiction by another addiction. Well said. Where did you serve? How was it? I'm curious, because I also served, although in Czechia 😄
  23. I think it's good that you decided to try something else. Myself, I can't really imagine being a normal employee at this point. But maybe I will be one again 🙂 For sure, the EU system of universities is very interconnected and if you decide to pursue a second master's or PhD, all the power to you! 🙂 I think for me the idea of playing games comes to my mind about less than once a month, but it's always at the time when I'm in the middle of doing something else, so I don't even have time to think about it. I only postpone things if I start to believe they are overwhelming, as @BooksandTrees pointed out via the video above. Only two things I am maybe not completely happy with my progress, and feel somewhat overwhelmed, are my grandma's kitchen and writing a claim to airlines about compensation for a canceled flight. Neither of those are crucial though. If my schedule is really tight, I don't have time to think about replacement activities in the first place! 😄 I get bored sometimes, but it's normally for an hour or two at maximum. My replacement activity at this point isn't gaming, but things like catching up with mails, chats, washing the dishes, cleaning, showering, catching up with some YT channels, bookmarks... At this point, I get back on track automatically without much delay.
  24. As a side note to my previous point, my bachelor studies were special in the way that our class only met once a week. All of the people were basically 30+ who overall had better motivation to study than 19+ students. They already had jobs, kids and better time management. Even though we met once a week, we got together a few times outside of class and stayed in touch. That experience only underlines the fact that uni is not solely about grades. I understand your parents' perspective. You'll be "their kid" as long as you are around them daily and/or they provide you with a substantial amount of funds. And as long as you're "their kid", they will never fully respect your decisions and they will think they know better than you. I believe one of the best things I've ever done was to move out of my parents' house. I'd say that if you find something interesting and enjoyable, you can go for it in your free time. I'm extending my uni studies by half a year too, so my idea is that you could perhaps do the same to alleviate some of the stress, granted you trust yourself that you are able to finish the degree at a later date? Thanks for the praise! 🙂
  25. Ikar

    Ikar's Diary

    I'm using the template I used the last time. 15/04/23 - 13/05/23 "L" will stand for the (last) plan/notes for this term. "T" will stand for done this term. I added "Future goals/direction" to better reflect on the things I am trying to do and to add specificity. I will copy it and stick it somewhere where I can see it to remind myself whenever I feel aimless. I will also use different colors: blue for newly added goals/habits, green for completed/successful, orange for ongoing/some progress and red for ones I haven't worked on in that period. First off, I've been looking forward to writing this and having the time to do so. I like this habit of mine 🙂 --- Books/Reading articles: L: Currently reading Idiot by Dostoevsky, although not very regularly. T: No, I'm just not interested in that book, will need to pick up something else. I read a few newsletters. Possible direction/goals: Continue getting through the newsletters. (Borrow) and read one book until the next monthly report. Family: L: I've been spending more time with my family than planned this month. I'm one step behind on the kitchen plan, however I will make some progress on it over the weekend and ask my father about some technical details of the purchase. T: Oops. I'm still somehow puzzled how it's week 19 and I'm 6 weeks behind the plan below. Anyhow, my father advised me to not go alone, as there'll be a lot of furniture to pack and I will need his trailer. I'm gonna set it up tomorrow, so the furniture is at my grandma's place by the end of May. NOT: I don't want to get alienated from my family. Possible direction/goals: Work on getting the new kitchen for my grandma. Continue working on bettering the relationships with my family. University: L: The university has been taking up around 13 hours a week in total as I predicted. The trip was nice and the projects are still ongoing. T: I have one more exam to go and then it's just the thesis and finals. As planned. NOT: I don't want to drop out of the university. Possible direction/goals: Do the main part of my diploma in summer/autumn 2023 and do the defense and finals in January/February 2024. Work on the assignments in a timely manner. Job/English: L: I went to the career festival. I didn't really get any deals done which was the primary point of my visit, however I think it was still a good idea to go, meet some friends and acquaint with others. I started a new mentoring program yesterday, so I am pretty excited. I hope to get some good ideas for my business and make new connections. T: Unfortunately, my mentor had some time troubles, so I've only met him twice so far, although we are meeting on Monday. I've been on the tasks and exercises he gave me at least. - Classes are at a stable 25-30 hours a week, plus a few hours for admin work. An example for 29 hours next week: Category A 59% (53); B 9% (9); C 5% (7); D 12% (10); E 16% (19). Brackets are % values from previous month. - I've done a bit of an analysis of my courses and categorized them based on what they provide me. I earmarked five types of courses: a) my own - well paid + generally more motivated students (as they pay the courses themselves) + more challenging b) premium - language school courses paid at a premium compared to my standard LS courses for various reasons (roughly matching the a) group) c) flexible - courses from LS that don't have a fixed schedule, meaning it's on me if I make time for them or not (though I mostly do, as can they plug the gaps or can start my day) d) challenging/fun/prospective - standard LS courses with an added quality e) neither - standard LS courses without any added quality - NOT: I don't want to have a job that I don't enjoy. I don't want to have a job that is not well paid. Possible direction/goals: With my job position and student demand secure, I'm more able and willing to reschedule or even cancel classes in case I want to do something, mainly in the evening and for holidays. I enjoy having this option thoroughly. Keep classes at a stable 25-30 hours a week. Keep asking for reviews or recommendations from students. Write down specific areas and what I want to do in them: Networking events. Work on the new mentoring project. Variable pricing. Look into strategies to become truly self-employed by skipping the agencies in between. Get a system to mark down the progress of my students, together with their learning plan. Past projects: Update my website to reflect the new ideas and inspiration from the web. Get a customized redesign and SEO for the website. Networking events. = Attended the networking event on 5th April. Work on Linked In - use the notes from seminar. Exercise/Movement: L: We've been going for walks with my girlfriend fairly often. Went for a bike trip with my girlfriend. T: Went for a bike trip with my girlfriend again. Bike and walks. NOT: I don't want to become fat. Possible direction/goals: I enjoy the fact I do not have to be "actively" dealing with this area of my life, as it's technically a part of my job. I just have to be on lookout if that was to change. Keep in shape. Women/Dating: L: T: My girlfriend moved to a location closer to me two months ago and we've been seeing more regularly. I'm happy and grateful for having such a loving girlfriend. Possible direction/goals: Set up at least two dates a month (with my girlfriend). ----- What to do if I am bored? Replacement activities for 1 hour: reading books, cleaning, washing the dishes, reading newsletters Replacement activities for 2 hours: going for a walk, work on my business, uni work, blogging ----- Additional thoughts/activities: My hobbies are: personal finance, gunnery, GIS/statistics, reading/videos about (modern) history, English, working on my business, blogging/writing, geography. This month, I did these cool activities: business mentoring, reading about finance, spending time with friends and my girlfriend, going to the theatre, kitchen planning for my grandma, watching a series about people in debt and their solutions, blogging (!), winning a table football tournament, going for a weekend with my girlfriend. --- Goals/resolutions/aspirations for 2023: Pass all the exams at the uni, finish the thesis and finish all university duties successfully in January/February 2024. - WIP, progress = yes Improve my business, so that I don't need to teach for language schools anymore, by getting more private contacts, opportunities and students. - WIP, progress = yes Go to Georgia to visit my friend. - Unfortunately, the plan didn't work out. I plan to go there later this year, either in late summer or autumn. Stop watching porn (again). - I am not porn-free, it comes in waves. I'll try to be more aware when the urges come and what makes me more likely to have them. This month (March) I had a good run without porn and too much news 🙂 Start getting up when my alarm rings. - I got better, not 100%, but better. Continue: planning, walking/exercising, writing/journaling, reading, studying for uni, dating, work on good life/work balance. It's a short list, but if I manage all of it, I will be happy. --- Add-ons: I enjoy writing articles, however I am not enjoying the process of how to actually set up the blog, whether I should try and make some money off of it. I think I will, but I won't go on writing e-books, providing courses and whatnot. Just a few affiliate links for the services I like. This allows me to focus on writing and not fret over something I don't even know I want to do. I found out I quite like to give presentations, if I really believe and enjoy the topic. This goes for both my school and business presentations. Better keep that in mind.
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