Tuesday, May 31, 2016

$7.99/lb Ground Beef

Ground beef is expensive, and it got super expensive with the drought that hit the south a few years ago. With less water for crops, there was less food for cattle. I recall some ranchers sending their entire herd to slaughter because they couldn't afford to feed them. This resulted in the "Supply and Demand" effect, supply went down, so demand went up.

I can't buy regular ground beef anymore. There aren't many options for buying ground beef in a grocery store, but I can't buy from the big stack of ground beef tubes. I know it's hard to tell from the packaging, but that ground beef comes from a big name supplier/meat company. I've worked in the meat industry, for a big-name company, and I refuse to buy big-name meat anymore.

The ground beef I buy now is local, and the cattle are never confined. I tried to be a pescatarian (not eating meat, but fish is OK) for a couple of months earlier this year. It was too hard, and I wasn't feeling well from it. I try not to eat pork, I'm reducing my consumption of chicken, and I'm OK with beef. Since the beef I buy isn't coming from a big-name company, it costs a lot more. The ground beef I buy is $7.99/pound. I'm OK with this.

There is a lot of shuffling that can be done with the grocery bill to allow me to pay twice as much for ground beef, so the money isn't an issue. For me, it's principle. I've still reduced my overall meat consumption over the past nine months, and this is probably better for the earth. I'm not giving up meat completely, but I feel good about not buying big-name meat.

Signed,

Mitch


Monday, May 30, 2016

May 2016 Robinhood App Dividend Income

I will preface this post by saying "I DO NOT LIKE POSTING MONTHLY SUMMARIES", but I'm going to anyways. A month is a HUGE span of time. I hate reducing and summarizing a month to a blog post. I hate how it makes you look forward to the next month and the next post, and when that time comes around, another month of your life IS GONE.

But the standard for dividend blog summaries seems to be on a month-by-month basis. I'm trying to enjoy every single day, and focusing on things in a monthly perspective is counter-productive to focusing on every day (in my eyes at least). I will say summarizing my dividends by month has allowed me some reflection and thoughts on how to move forward.

I realize May is not over yet, but I'm not going to receive another dividend until June 1st.

In May of 2016 I received $4.48 in dividends from 8 different stocks.

$12.67
12345
CountCompanySymbolJanFebMarAprMay
1.AppleAAPL$0.57
2.Archer Daniels MidlandADM$0.30
3.AT&T T$0.48$0.48
4.Bank of Nova ScotiaBNS$0.50$0.57
5.Black Hills EnergyBKH
6.CatepillarCAT$0.77
7.Coca ColaKO
8.DisneyDIS$0.71
9.FordF$0.40
10.General ElectricGE
11.HP Inc.HPQ$0.12$0.12
12.Intel CorporationINTC$0.26
13.International PaperIP$0.44
14.InvestcoIVZ
15.John DeereDE$0.60$0.60
16.Johnson & JohnsonJNJ
17.MicrosoftMSFT
18.Procter & GamblePG$0.66$0.67
19.Public Service EnergyPEG
20.QualcommQCOM
21.Royal Bank of CanadaRY$0.62
22.Realty Income DelawareO$0.19$0.20$0.20$0.20$0.20
23.Southern CoSO$0.54
24.TargetTGT
25.UnileverUL$0.33
26.Union Pacific RailroadUNP
27.US BancorpUSB$0.26$0.26
28.Verizon VZ$0.57$0.57
29.Waste ManagementWM
30.Whole Foods MarketWFM$0.14$0.14
$1.92$2.51$2.47$1.29$4.48

I hope the table above makes sense! Let me know if it doesn't. 

Signed,

Mitch


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Top Free Apps on Google Play Store

This post is going to be about the top 15 FREE apps on the Google Play Store. My video blog, see below, is related to this blog post.

At the time of writing this, here are the top 15 FREE apps and whether I have them installed or not -


  1. Facebook Messenger - NO - installed it on my BRAND NEW GALAXY S7 EDGE and it slowed it down. 
  2. Snapchat - YES - I have friends who communicate by snapchat more reliably than texting.
  3. Facebook - YES - Regrettably.... I like the live stream feature.
  4. GO SPEED (Clean & AppLock) - NO - I see no need for it.
  5. Pandora - NO - I've never been a fan.
  6. Instagram - NO - But I will have it on my new phone soon.
  7. Color Switch - NO - I play Clash of Clans, and that is a big enough distraction of a game.
  8. iFunny - NO 
  9. Spotify - NO - Used to use Spotify, but now I pay for Google Play Music.
  10. YouTube Music - NO - Not sure how this is different than Google Play Music.
  11. Netflix - YES- I have Netflix and the app, just haven't used it much on my phone in the past few months.
  12. Google Photos - YES - I encourage you to look at this app if you don't have it. 
  13. WhatsApp Messenger - YES - I wish more people used it!!!!
  14. Clean Master - NO - See #4
  15. musical.ly - NO
So out of the top 15 free apps on the Google Play Store, I have 5 installed. How many do you have installed? How often do you use them?

Signed,

Mitch


Saturday, May 28, 2016

Concussions Suck

I don't really have many updates for today. I've been sitting around all day trying to take it easy since I have a concussion. I'm trying not to dwell on what happened, because I can't change the past. I wasn't even doing anything reckless, just playing basketball.

Things like this make me kick myself for not enjoying "normal days". Every single day that you have good health is a GREAT day. I need to take advantage of these more. A day where I wake up a little tired, still needs to be a good day.

Sitting around all day has me thinking. I honestly see no reason in being mean to people anymore. Bad things happen to people all the time, and people's lives can turn from great to crappy super quick. I used to think I'd be a strict/stern boss. I wouldn't take crap from anyone and I wouldn't let people walk all over me. I think differently now... there are so many mean people in this world that people need someone who is nice to them.

I am super grateful I currently have a boss who is understanding about my injury. My old boss probably would have told me to "walk it off". I hope to be better soon.

I know this doesn't really fit into a MITCH category, but it's what I've got for today. Be nice to people (but don't let them take advantage of you), because you don't know what they're going through.

Signed,

Mitch


Friday, May 27, 2016

Investing Update 5/27/2016

My stocks went up a lot this week! My portfolio value reached over $1,600 this week. So I've tried to be pretty detailed and meticulous when keeping track of my dividends. The numbers in the table below are purely from my Robinhood account. On my Investing Missions below, the dividends include Robinhood and my old brokerage. I'll try to visually make this clearer in future posts, but I just realized this could be confusing to readers.

Year-To-Date Update

1/1/20165/27/2016Change since Jan 1st
Robinhood Portfolio Value$607.87$1,604.04$996.17
Money from my pocket$550.00$1,475.00$925.00
Dividends$9.79$22.46$12.67
Gains/Realized & Unrealized$48.08$106.58$58.50

Robinhood Portfolio Value = (Money from my pocket) + (Dividends) + (Gains/Realized & Unrealized)

Dividends

I received one dividend payment this week, and it was unexpected. I purchased this stock and then sold it after the stock went ex-dividend. I forgot that I was going to received a dividend from this stock.

20165/25/2016Royal Bank of CanadaRY$0.62

Stock Purchase

No new stocks this week.

Waiting to Buy: Casey's (CASY), 3M (MMM), Pepsi (PEP), and Starbucks (SBUX).


2016 Investing Missions

2016 MissionAmount I haveAmount Needed% Complete
Received $75.00 in Dividends$19.57$75.0026.09%
Purchase 25 Dividend Stocks2725108.00%
2016 Calendar Year14836640.44%

As you can see from the table above, I am currently not on pace to complete my 2016 Mission of receiving $75.00 in dividends.

You can click on the investing tab or here to see what stocks I currently have in my Robinhood portfolio.

Signed,

Mitch


Thursday, May 26, 2016

Issues with a Simple Errand

A blogger/YouTuber that I follow, Thomas Frank (www.collegeinfogeek.com) recently put out a video about putting an end to being late - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=746GyOhrX5g. In the video Thomas talks about the planning fallacy. I ran into this problem tonight as I was trying to drop a package off at the UPS store.

Here are the issues I ran into tonight -

  1. Printer was printing funny, so I had problems printing off the UPS label. 
  2. I didn't have packaging tape to seal up the box. 
  3. Drove to the store to get tape, ran into road construction. 
  4. Took 2 minutes to navigate since the road construction was at my turn to the store. 
  5. Lady in front of me at the check out was taking extra time to check out. She didn't have her rewards card so they looked her up by phone number.
  6. Another lady was walking real slow out of the store (It was at this moment that I took a breather and realized I needed to be thankful I could walk).
  7. Driving from the store to UPS, I was tailgated by some jerk. 
  8. Tailgating Jerk tried to pass me as the road shifted from 2 lanes to 1. 
  9. Tailgating Jerk continues to tailgate me.
Once I actually got to the UPS store, it was a super easy process, and the worker was SUPER nice. (Good job UPS, I'll have to take a look at your stock). 

I realize driving anywhere takes a lot of time, even if it's a "quick run" to the store. Even with knowing this, all of these things I ran into seemed to be over-amplified burdens because I was trying to get to the store before it closed. 

I think this post ultimately comes down to minimalism. The fewer things we have, the fewer extra trips we'll need to make and the fewer issues we'll have to deal with. Even in the evening as I was running this errand, the streets were super busy. Maybe people are getting ready for the holiday weekend? I don't know. I would much rather be at home than driving around, wasting gas, wasting patience, and wasting money on stuff. 

I need to keep working on my planning skills, and continue to think purchases through. 

Signed,

Mitch


Wednesday, May 25, 2016

+10,000 Steps Today

Day after day I see Tim, www.steppersstory.com, tweet that he completes 10,000 steps a day. It has been motivating for me, and also demotivating. It is motivating to see his consistency and dedication. It is demotivating because I know how little I've been doing for exercise. Well today was different!

After I got off work, I intentionally walked ~1300 steps to get to 5,000 steps. I almost took a nap after that, but a friend wanted to hang out, so we want any shot some hoops. After I got done running around, I had over 11,000 steps! It's quite the accomplishment for me, and I felt the need to brag...I mean...tell Tim about it.

I think if I break down my steps throughout the day, I could turn this into a regular thing. If I get 2,500 by lunch, and then 5,000 immediately after work, along with 5,000 more in the evening, I could probably do 10,000/day.

I feel pretty good about the steps, and I'm also happy that the days are currently so beautiful outside and I get to enjoy the fresh air.

Signed,

Mitch


Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Getting Blood Pressure Checked

I got my blood pressure checked today at a doctor's appointment, and my blood pressure was good. It was a little below 120/80, and I was a little surprised. I've gained weight since my last appointment, and my doctor says that when weight goes up, blood pressure goes up. Negative heart health runs in my family, so I suppose I should start working harder to make up for this.

Three summers ago I ran all summer, and I lost a bunch of weight. I remember getting my health checked at work for insurance reasons. My pulse was so low that the nurse was very surprised. I was in really good health that summer and I need to get back to that again. I've been thinking about the difference between summer of 2013 and summers 2014, 2015, and the start of this summer.

Back in the summer of 2013, I was just getting out of a 4 year relationship, and needed to distract myself. I distracted myself by running. It was a really motivating reason to run, and I haven't found that motivation since then.

If you think you should get your blood pressure checked, schedule a doctor's appointment!

Signed,

Mitch


Monday, May 23, 2016

Video Blogging

I am going to video blog (VLOG) every day for a year. I've been recently inspired by Casey Neistat - https://www.youtube.com/user/caseyneistat. Casey posts a vlog every single day. I look forward to watching his videos and it's really fun to watch.

I'm also inspired by Marques Brownlee (MKBHD) and Thomas Frank, founder of College Info Geek.  They both have very successful and informative blogs/YouTube channels. My biggest thing is that "they can make videos, and so can I". My videos won't have the fancy cameras and lighting and professionalism, but they'll be real and HUMAN. I'm not saying their videos aren't, I'm just saying mine won't be super polished.

I'm sure the topics I talk about in the video will overlap with what I type about, so don't feel the need to both read and watch. If you read my blog, I want to say "Thank you". I have maybe a dozen of real life friends that read my blog, because I have chosen NOT to share my blog on Facebook or anything. So for the most part, it's people I don't know in real life reading my blog.

If you want to watch my videos, you can go here -


Signed,

Mitch

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Trying to Recycle Old Keys

I went out to two different hardware stores, big named hardware stores, on Saturday to try and recycle my old keys. The workers acted like they had no idea what I was talking about. I really don't want to throw my old keys into the garbage can. I'm 99% sure the metal on the keys can be recycled.

They're the keys to my old house, so part of me wants to be rid of them ASAP, to clear my head of my old house. The other part of me says "No, you need to recycle the keys and not waste materials". So I'm going to keep looking for a key recycling place.

Side note - Hardware stores are very busy on Saturdays in May (No duh, Mitch!). I regret that I forgot how busy the stores can be in May.

Signed,

Mitch

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Investing Update 5/21/2016

My stocks went down again this week. I almost bought another share of Target, because the stock price has dropped quite a bit since I first bought it. My 1 share of Target cost $82.15 and the stock closed Friday at $68.66.

Year-To-Date Update

1/1/20165/20/2016Change since Jan 1st
Robinhood Portfolio Value$607.87$1,564.42$956.55
Money from my pocket$550.00$1,475.00$925.00
Dividends$9.79$21.84$12.05
Gains/Realized & Unrealized$48.08$67.58$19.50

Robinhood Portfolio Value = (Money from my pocket) + (Dividends) + (Gains/Realized & Unrealized)

Dividends

I received three dividend payments this week, yay!!!!

5/16/2016Proctor GamblePG$0.67
5/16/2016Realty IncomeO$0.20
5/20/2016CatepillarCAT$0.77


Stock Purchase

No new stocks this week.

Waiting to Buy: Casey's (CASY), 3M (MMM), Pepsi (PEP), and Starbucks (SBUX).


2016 Investing Missions

  • Purchase and hold 25 different stocks that pay dividends: 27/25 - 100% Completed!!!!!!
  • Receive $75 in dividends: $18.95/$75.00 - 25.27% Completed. The year is 38.80% completed, so currently, I am not at the pace needed to complete this yearly Mission.

You can click on the investing tab or here to see what stocks I currently have in my Robinhood portfolio.

Signed,

Mitch

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

May 18th, 2016

What did I do today to keep moving my 2016 Missions forward? To be honest, not a lot. I'm still transitioning to my new phone (which I've decided to keep). I guess that's one Mission complete, getting a new phone. Did I eat healthy today? Not really. Did I exercise? No. Did I help conserve resources? Not really.

February onwards has been full of changes. They say nothing in life is consistent, and to always expect the unexpected. There are a lot of things that can derail trying to do things consistently. You can approach a new week, a new Monday with a positive attitude, but your boss decides they want to be a jerk, and this can throw off your week. Do we let the attitude of our boss affect our attitude? We shouldn't....be it happens.

I need to try and stabilize things in a non-stable, dynamic world. If I go to get foods with friends, I should bring my water bottle so I don't drink pop. I need to set aside time, SCHEDULED TIME, in my day to filter through work e-mails. I need to go to bed at the same time every night.

Things will always come up that disrupt our schedules. I need to minimize these disruptions where/when I can.

Signed,

Mitch

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Learning to Sleep

In high school I consistently got less than 7 hours of sleep a night, and I functioned "OK". In college my sleep schedule was all over the place. I had a pretty good sleep schedule right out of school. At my last job, about 8 months into the job, I started having trouble sleeping at night. I was so stressed from work, that it was keeping me awake at night.

I am away from that horrible job now, but I'm still facing some residual fears from it. I had two nightmares last night about my old job. I've had some nightmares before, but I'm kind of sad that I had two, very vivid, nightmares last night.

It's just so interesting to me the changes I've had in sleep over the years. It's interesting that in college, I could lay down whenever I wanted and fall right to sleep, and when I was at the terrible job, I'd lay in bed for hours before falling asleep.

Sleep is so important to health. My sleep is a lot better than what it used to be, but it could still be better. I titled this post "Learning to Sleep" because I'm still learning (I guess re-learning) how to sleep. I'm working on taking worries and concerns and tabling them until the next day. I need to learn that worrying about stuff while trying to go to sleep won't fix anything at that moment.

Hopefully the bad dreams go away for awhile. I truly appreciate my new job and that I'm away from my old one.

Signed,

Mitch

Monday, May 16, 2016

May Credit Score Update

I open this post by saying I don't think I'm sharing anything too personal. I don't think there is any risk of identity theft or anything by posting my credit score. If you are an identify thief, you're scum and please stop reading my blog.

Below is a picture of my rolling 12-month credit score.


My credit score has dropped due to my house being foreclosed on. October 1st was my last payment on my house, so you can see the effects from that on the chart above. If you're going through a house foreclosure, hopefully this timeline of my credit score can help you forecast/project what yours will be.

It took a few months for the credit score to take a dive. I'm in a pretty lucky spot that I won't have to take a loan out for anything for a long time. So essentially, I don't care about my credit score. Well, I kind of do since I'm posting about it, so I do and I don't care.

I'm going to take this bad situation and use it to help other people. My suggestions when buying a house:


  1. Make sure you want to live in the town for at least 3 years. 
  2. Put 20% down so you don't have to pay private mortgage insurance. 
  3. If you're a young adult who doesn't want to "throw your money away", find a nice duplex from a nice local landlord, and save up your 20% down payment.
  4. Find a non-sleezy realtor. My realtor didn't do jack-crap to sell my house. 
Signed,

Mitch

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Facebook Messenger

I think Facebook Messenger is a great app. In my mind, it's a great unifier for communication. You can use it on your computer, tablet, or smartphone. Everything works fast and there are a ton of great features. I felt naked without it on my new phone yesterday, so I installed it. After I installed it, I noticed my phone was a tad slower.

THIS WAS A BRAND NEW GALAXY S7 EDGE THAT WAS STARTING TO RUN SLOW.

I have a few friends that swear that Facebook Messenger slows their phone down, and I was a little hesitant. I now believe them after seeing it for myself. I'm a little mad, because FB Messenger is such a great app, but I'll have to live without it.

So here's where I am at. I don't have the FB app or FB messenger apps installed anymore on my main phone. So Mr. Zuckerberg, #SorryNotSorry.

Signed,

Mitch

Saturday, May 14, 2016

New Phone (for now)

Today I got a new phone! I got the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge. I really like it, BUT, there's one thing that I really don't like. The Edge. It's super reflective and super "glare-y". This is one thing that I was not expecting. I chose the Edge over the regular S7 due to the size and the larger battery. I'm half-tempted to return the phone because I think the glare is really going to bother me.

This is why I have a tough time with spending money. I feel like every purchase I make, I end up regretting. (Side note, it really makes me appreciate my Chromebook, because this is one device I've never regretting buying).

I'll see how I'm feeling tomorrow about it. On a positive note, by making monthly payments on the phone, I got to keep unlimited data. The Verizon store said I use on average 37 gigabytes/month, which is hilarious to me. I don't think I use that much, and I've always questioned Verizon's method for pulling data about data usage. I don't know if that look at 12 month average or what.

So I was super excited to get this phone, and when I got to my car to leave the store, I noticed the glare. So....we'll see what happens.

Signed,

Mitch

Friday, May 13, 2016

Investing Update 5/13/2016

My stocks, as a whole, went down this week. There are a few stocks that I hope to buy this summer, and Casey's (CASY) is one of them. After traveling this week, I made sure to stop at a Casey's when I could. I enjoy their convenience stores, and it's a stock I would hold long term.

Year-To-Date Update

1/1/20165/13/2016Change since Jan 1st
Robinhood Portfolio Value$607.87$1,572.99$965.12
Money from my pocket$550.00$1,475.00$925.00
Dividends$9.79$20.20$10.41
Gains/Realized & Unrealized$48.08$77.79$29.71

Robinhood Portfolio Value = (Money from my pocket) + (Dividends) + (Gains/Realized & Unrealized)

Dividends

I received one dividend payment this week, and it was from Apple.

5/12/2016AppleAAPL$0.57


Stock Purchase

No new stocks this week. Casey's (CASY), 3M (MMM), Pepsi (PEP), and Starbucks (SBUX) are stocks I'm interested in buying this summer.

2016 Investing Missions

  • Purchase and hold 25 different stocks that pay dividends: 27/25 - 100% Completed!!!!!!
  • Receive $75 in dividends: $16.74/$75.00 - 23.08% Completed. The year is 36.61% completed, so currently, I am not at the pace needed to complete this yearly Mission.

You can click on the investing tab or here to see what stocks I currently have in my Robinhood portfolio.

Signed,

Mitch