This is one of my favorite posts to write. You’ll read the inner workings of me. Full transparency is key and most people don’t take the effort to track data like this. As I age, I start to look at life as I’m less of a human and more of a robot. These numbers are who I am as a consumer first and human being second. The data drives the direction of future me. If you don’t live by data, you are probably being stupid. It also helps that I now have history so I can compare and improve which is the lynchpin of success. Note that this year was during a pandemic which could create anomalies. Last year’s post.
This post isn’t boastful or arrogant. It’s the truth. You shouldn’t compare yourself to me because I’m not you. Money isn’t happiness, quality of life, or a meaningful indicator of life success. This post is only numbers.
I track how much money I spend on breakfast, lunch, dinner, alcohol, things, and then my gambling. I also have a running log.
Breakfast 2019 – $1,653 | 2020 – $1,508
I don’t make my own breakfast mainly for time sakes. This pandemic has me waking up early and since work was busier, I made it a point to get in earlier to read the paper and have an hour to myself. Could I save money making it? Who cares. The time is more important to me than the money.
Lunch 2019 – $2,575 | 2020 – $2,100
I’m a bit unsure how this one is off by $475. Sam and I get lunch most days and I was in the office quite a bit. It’s possible this is a data quality error. No big deal either way.
Dinner 2019 – $2,619 | 2020 – $1,047
Funny to see how a pandemic can save me $1,500 on not going out to eat. I would think this number would be higher but it’s certainly not a point of much contention in my life.
Alcohol 2019 – $8,975 | 2020 – $4,280
A $4,700 savings not going to bars. That’s substantial. Would I say I had $4,700 of less fun this year? That’s true. To me, life is not about money. It’s about experiences. I would trade $4,700 for fun 100 times out of 100. This year didn’t make that possible. I miss going to a bar and watching sports while interacting with strangers. To me that’s life. That was taken away from me this year. I don’t care about the $4,700 dollar savings. 2020 was a total bust in this department.
Drinks 2019 – 1,680 | 2020 – 1,090
Saving money not going to bars means less time drinking. Consuming nearly 500 less drinks means many less hangovers. From that sense, the pandemic was beneficial to me. My health should have been better and I’d hope I was more productive. I can’t argue that drinking less was a negative. This is the balancing act from the paragraph above.
Things 2019 – $22,403 | 2020 – $34,095
Having less to do, it’s not surprising I spent more on meaningless objects. This total includes a double count of my country club membership because I paid for 2021 in 2020. I bought a new car, new golf clubs, a new mattress, and fresh golf clothes. I also played more than 50 rounds of golf this year which would add to this expenditure. Money well spent? Who knows.
DFS 2019 $ -1,650 | 2020 – $ -1,444
A minor victory. In 2021, I wrote a post saying how I would never play DFS again after the cheating scandal and obviously that was a lie. It doesn’t seem to matter how many subscription services I have, I can’t beat DFS. My last resort is learning how to multi enter lineups into tournaments using an optimizer with Fantasy Labs. The main question of did I generate $1,400 of fun from this? It was close, but probably not enough.
Betting 2019 $ -681 | 2020 – $ -1,258
I’ll have another entire post dedicated to this subject matter. It wasn’t a great year by any means as I paid more money for picks, but I learned a bit from the process.
Subscriptions 2019 $39,970 | 2020 $42,105
This is the biggest category and includes line items like my mortgage, car, Roth IRA, and all monthly bills / subscriptions. I’m sure there is some money to save in this category, but it’s nice to see it not balloon.
Miles 2019 896 | 2020 – 863.5
In line with last year. I put in 100+ miles in March and April and then was hurt for a fair share of the summer which scaled back my number a bit. With the gym closed, I also don’t exercise as often during the winter. It’s good to see the consistency though.
Being Results Oriented
How to come across with a post like this is challenging. Adam wrote a guest blog a week ago and said to me on the tee box how he was considering writing another but didn’t want to come off a certain way. I told him that you have to get past how people will perceive you in order to maintain a public blog. That’s why when I write a post like this, I’m keenly aware that there are people out there who are struggling, and I’m here writing about a double year charge for my country club. Yet it’s all relative to the situation. If I funded this situation with 50k of debt, you would look at it different. If I made 1 million dollars in the stock market, would it make a difference? My goal is to uniquely identify myself the same way that you will have your own characteristics. The point of the post is that I’m capable of doing this because of the data.
Takes of the Post
I have a line item of 1,090 alcoholic drinks. Would a psychologist look at this and say there is a problem even though this was 600 less than last year? It’s an incredible improvement. My liver is ecstatic. Yet, I’d argue that my life was significantly less lively than last year and I was only slightly healthier and far more bored. I also hardly traveled which is what I make money for. 2020 was shitty in this regard.
What other problem areas does this post identify? Is losing $1,500 playing DFS too much? The answer depends on how much money I make and I how much enjoyment I get out of it. I can justify losing this money in my current situation. I lost $2,800 in DFS in 2018 which shows I identified it as a leak, and plugged it. If I lost 5k this year, than I wouldn’t be using data correctly.
This brings me to being a human being. I’m a calculated person which has its good and bad qualities. I’m where I am because I look at life as a long game and we all have different arcs. My arc is a subset of all of the choices I make in my spreadsheet. I’ve decided that this is the best way that I’ll achieve my life goal. I differ from most because most people don’t look at life as an 80 year journey. They’re excited to get married, start a family, and live out their days raising them. I look at life as a big world and in order to see that whole world, I need to spend my time now conquering what it takes to be “financially successful”. If the right woman comes along that I want to raise a family with, I’m open minded, but I haven’t let my arc derail yet with major life decisions. I’m careful, and perhaps too judgmental, but that’s who I am. Given what I perceive as my opportunity after evaluating all the variables (career, health, talent…), I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be. I am of the personal opinion that you are always exactly where you’re supposed to be based on your choices.
I’m also well aware I’m a dot. There are billions of dots out there and everyone has their own viewpoints, strengths, and weaknesses. I’m not relevant to the grand scheme of life. It’s hard to accept that but it’s the truth. With that point in mind, my goal is shaped by achieving what I perceive as happiness. I learn and adapt every day. This year it was nice to wake up most days not feeling hungover. I enjoy being able to write posts like this and feeling well. With 2020 behind, I look forward to having another strong year. 2020 wasn’t destructive to me. I frankly had a fine 2020. I’ll consider myself fortunate because not all years will be as such. Despite my feelings on a global pandemic, government mismanagement, and social justice, I’m not here to be a crusader. I’m here to buy a mansion on the Mediterranean, rave at night, and golf everyday. If I’m in a position to help people along the way, I’d be happy to do so. Cheers to 2021.
Thanks to all the readers out there. I know they aren’t huge numbers but it’s always appreciated. I also want to invite any guest writers who want to post any subject matter. It only improves the website. Email [email protected]