I recently heard the TEDx Talk below by NASA space engineer Nagin Cox, who, along with her teams and other teams, operated the rovers on Mars. Specifically, she focused on the logistics challenge of the Martian day that is 37 minutes longer than the Earth day, and what that meant. Because the rovers could not operate at night on Mars, to make the best use of its time there, NASA scientists and engineers had to work Martian night shifts, essentially, processing what the rovers sent back during Martian daylight while it rested during Martian nights, before giving the rovers new instructions for the next day. The challenges they faced, though, led me to want to try this as a challenge, and let others know about it in case they wanted to try themselves! I mean, seriously, how much closer are you ever going to get to living on Mars than this besides also moving to the polar ice caps for the same temperature simulation?
I haven’t spent a cent yet in this decade, though it’s only been six days. I expect to go at least 9 before I choose to pay for a sewing class at the latest date possible. When that cheque might be cashed may mean I can go longer without spending any money because I intend for that to be the first amount of money I spend this decade.
I’m currently on one of my “spendfast” periods, where I deliberately don’t spend any money. I don’t have a spending problem, but it just makes me slow down the natural tendency most of us have to spend a little money here or there on stuff that we didn’t need to, or wasn’t the greatest value for the money. To prolong the impact of this effect, though, in my customizable daily activities tracker that I shared for others to use a week ago, one thing I’m tracking is % of days when I spend money (outside rent and bills that have to be paid regularly). Spending money on a day rent or a bill is paid counts as a day I spent money, though. It’s only if I don’t spend that day, like the first of the month when I have rent automatically withdrawn, that I can get credit for it.
Meaningful measures are still of only limited impact if they don’t have a target. So what’s my target?
You might wonder how I came up with that target. Answer is both rational and emotional. Last year, when I didn’t have this goal, I ended up spending money on 73% of days, with it being a pretty average year for spending for me in the past decade. I have filled out finance logs like the one I have on this site for 2 decades to know.
First instinct is easy, beat 73% by going lower. However, I thought that was too easy so came the emotional aspect to aim for less than half the days. Really, I don’t have much I need in life aside from some life sustaining things like food, which I can bundle shop better, and the occasional luxury like said sewing class I am signing up for, with which I can maintain an enjoyable and meaningful life. So the gut reaction was then to have more days where I don’t spend money, than days when I do. Hence, the less than 50% target.
After some consideration, and review of my spending records last year and the year before, I concluded that was realistic with some effort, which is my goal, not to make this some walkover. However, to make it easier, I figure I’d set a ridiculously low average to start via one of my “spendfast” periods I did occasionally, rather than do the first one later, when I might be in trouble with the stats. For example, if I don’t spend anything for 10 days to start, if I then spent at a clip of roughly 75% close to what I did last year, I could do that for a month and still have my average at 50%.
Let’s hope I won’t have to end up there and do another fast out of “necessity” for this goal, rather than optionally on my own terms. I have a feeling with the daily tracker, though, because I’ll be seeing that rate updated everyday, if I start out low, it’s going to stay low out of pride… or at least bragging rights lol.
More seriously, I hope that on the days I do spend, I won’t be going big a lot that would negate the more frequent little spending I engaged in last year. Come back at the end of 2020 and see! 🙂
Would you consider taking up such a challenge with me? For yourself, not necessarily trying to beat me or anyone else? Use your own tracking system or customize the one I shared here.
There are many ways to reduce time on social media, from plans to the newly available time spent on your device (which maybe limited to only certain apps you can customize). I have come up with what I think is a rather simple, effective, and easily “measurable” method I know can work for me, while still be challenging since this is a challenge. Pending your “need” for social media, it may work for you as well, though you may need to do some “setting up” to help make it work.
Like most people on Facebook, I have more Facebook friends than are really “friends”, even in the loosest sense of the word to mean a passing acquaintance. Despite this lack of any real sense of a relationship with some people, they get pissed off if you unfriend them. The egonomy is alive and well despite what the economy might be doing!
Facebook has been rolling out options of actions, feelings and such with their status updates for a little while now. However, as anything with a choice, there are limitations. That said, there are a fair number of choices with the feelings from which you can choose, but they are still pretty generic. Fortunately, Facebook has allowed users to add their own feelings. That’s my challenge to you, should you want to accept it.