Time to Set a Budget: 2020-12

By LoonyLiberal | Dollars and Nonsense | 27 Nov 2020

It is the end of November 2020, and there is time for Klax.


Let me try again.

It is the end of November 2020, and I still suck at making and sticking to a budget. Phooey.

I'm improving, though; I'm borrowing less, and I'm relying less on heavily-processed foods. As a matter of fact, I'm having broccoli for lunch! For those of you making faces in disgust, consider drizzling some lemon vinaigrette on the broccoli. And stop making that face, or it will freeze that way.

Jokes aside, I'm learning that emphasizing groceries over eating out is both cheaper and healthier. I'm no fan of Walmart, but I can fill up a cart with a week's worth of groceries for under $80. And I've noticed that my pants are getting baggy, even when I wear a belt. Maybe I should look into this new-fangled "exercise" thing... naah, that's crazy talk.

I haven't had many funds available for investment and improvement, and this is something that I plan to seriously address by the beginning of 2021. I love my new laptop (thanks, Three Gen Media!), but I'd like to make some enhancements to it. Specifically, I'd like to add RAM, upgrade programs like CCleaner and Coolcut, get a USB microphone, and find a way to deal with that damned Spectral Miner on Splinterlands. 2 Magic Damage, 6 Speed, and Dodge? That's straight from the BULLSHIT splinter!

Even without a pandemic, the time between Thanksgiving and Noel Vermillion's birthday (she nii-sanned for your sins, my fellow blazblueberries) is a slow period for Las Vegas. If I can put aside enough funds, I might be able to get some low-priced casino stocks. And I hear that Bitcoin is approaching $20K... or zero. Either way, I should bolster my crypto investments as well. $2.63/day in crypto earnings is a good start, but I won't be paying the bills with that, so more mining and interest, please!

With that in mind, here are my financial plans for December 2020:


    Even without the coronavirus looming over my head, I have a variety of reasons to not go outside without a pressing need or a goal: annoying people, time and/or cost involved with reaching destinations beyond walking distance, and my sense of direction occasionally reaching Roronoa Zoro-levels of incompetence. If I have plenty of food, beverages, and supplies, I can stay in my apartment for a while longer. Yes, I occasionally emerge to stretch my legs, but right now, being a hermit is a pretty good strategy, so I'll stock up on the necessities once a week and focus on my writing.

    One of my three friends from whom I borrowed insisted on writing off the remainder of the debt I owed her. I tried to protest, but she won out in the end. I did get her to concede to letting me buy her lunch/dinner and a drink every time we get together, so there's that.

    Invest in crypto? Buy cheap stocks? Buy grilled chicken fries? Or stick $10 in Sam Town's Blackjack machine? I don't know; I'll have to re-evaluate once the major expenses are addressed.


  • 25% - EXCEL MINING
    Bitcoin's rising value makes passive Bitcoin generation one of my high priorities. Excel Mining is far from perfect, but being able to reinvest with only 1,000 satoshis is a great feature. And the fees are pretty low as well.
  • 25% - BTCFOX
    My account at BTCFOX is gaining momentum, and it's currently my highest performer in terms of cryptocurrency. If I can add more fuel to the fire and continue to reinvest, BTCFOX alone might become a major source of passive income.
  • 20% - HASHSHINY
    Hashshiny's beginning to piss me off, truth be told. After my last purchase, the fees outweighed the additional income, and I ended up earning less BTC after my purchase! If this happens one more time, I'll cut external deposits completely, turn off reinvestments, and withdraw everything after my current contracts expire.
  • 10% - CHICKHEN
    I'm roughly 40% towards the minimum withdrawal threshold. And 2 million satoshis would go a long way. It might be worth throwing a few bucks into my account to speed up the profit process.
  • 10% - COIN BIRDS
    I'm about 12% towards the minimum withdrawal threshold. Last I checked, the minimum withdrawal would yield about $75 in BTC, which I could put to good use. So an external deposit might be a good idea.
    I've head a figurative dead-end in this game. I can't progress beyond Silver III in the ranks because my power -- which is generated by earning or buying new cards -- is too low. I'm getting shellacked in tournaments; whereas sloppy play is a factor, sound strategies can be overcome by gamebreaker cards. And I might end up left in the dust if I don't buy some land. I have to decide whether to invest or retreat. And if I decide to invest, I need to decide whether to try and get some land or strengthen my summoners.

I realize that I didn't allocate funds for casino stocks. This might change in January depending on how my interactions with HashShiny and Splinterlands go.


  • 48% - RENT
    Half of my SSDI goes towards rent and internet access, which stings. However, until I can repair my single-digit credit score, I can't hope to get into a traditional residence. And I will never live with a roommate again. For now, I have to grin and bear it until I can improve my financial standing.
  • 24% - PAYDAY LOANS
    I'm making slow, but steady, progress on weaning myself off of this predatory crutch. The sooner that I can completely eliminate this expense, the more realistic that financial stability will be.
  • 8% - GROCERIES
    I admit that "groceries" is a catch-all term here. My weekly 3GM payments are often more than enough for weekly essentials, but I'd like to do more than just tread water. I could use a vacuum cleaner and some trash cans. And if I don't mind waiting a few days or weeks, I can make some online purchases through Lolli to get Bitcoin rebates a few months down the line. Therefore, I'll spruce up myself and my apartment.
  • 6% - CLOTHES
    I've been putting this off for too long, as the holes and stains in my current wardrobe prove. I've already started, but I'd like to claw my way back to business-casual. Also, as handy as my steel-toed shoes have been, I'll be better off with comfortable sneakers for days involving significant amounts of walking.
  • 5% - ???
    This is what I expect to have remaining after I take care of my bills and obligations. I'll have to re-evaluate when that happens. Crypto investments? Casino stock? More clothes? A splurge day? I don't know yet.
    I'm one of the many people who uses a smartphone for almost everything except phone calls. (This is partially because over half of the calls that I receive are wrong numbers.) I text, I tweet, and I experiment with apps that claim to generate money. And my smartphone can act as a mobile hotspot in case my main internet connection causes problems.
  • 3% - BUS PASS
    I can buy a monthly pass via an app on my smartphone. Currently, I'm not getting my money's worth, but I believe that it's better to have it and not need it than vice-versa. Also, if I can improve my financial, physical, and mental health, I may be tempted to take more outings, which means more bus-hopping.
    I hope my friends are keeping track of how much I owe them. Honestly, I'm not; I'd rather overpay them than stiff them. Also... without betraying any confidences, I can say that they have problems at least as draining as mine, so I'd love to be able to help them as they've helped me.

I've mentioned in other blog posts that my current plan is to coast through the end of 2020 and formulate plans and outlines instead of resolutions for 2021. No, I don't expect anything magical or miraculous to occur at 2021-01-01 00:00:01, but since I'm still struggling with non-medicated bipolar disorder and a respiratory illness that just won't leave, I think I can be forgiven for taking some time to gather my bearings. Also, I'm scheduled to get Medicare in May 2021, which might allow me to address my medical debt and not have to rely solely on emergency rooms to tend to my health.

I'm nowhere near where I need to be from a financial standpoint, but I am making measurable progress, and that's encouraging. I doubt I'll reach the ranks of the Bitcoin billionaires, but if I can combine my writing and my crypto into a living wage, I'll consider that a victory.

In 2021, I'll need to invest more heavily into my creative and technical pursuits. I mentioned wanting to augment my laptop; one of the reasons for this is so I can resume (or begin, in some cases) my video series ideas. I'd like to post videos to YouTube, LBRY/Odyssey, and BitDegree (even if they do think that me being a Quality Assurance Analyst is obscene) to bring in some additional income and increase my internet presence. And I keep saying that I want to hire beta readers and artists for my personal projects such as #TweetYouSinners and The Stewards and the Sinners, but I'll have more luck if I actually have money to pay said beta readers and artists. And I have two potential books figuratively gathering dust because I haven't put the final touches on them.

Good luck to all of you with your December budgets. Remember not to overdo it during the holidays, or you may have to resort to eating Noel's cooking. Ragna help you if that happens.

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I have 15 years of experience as a software tester. I've been writing off-and-on for 28 years. I adapt quickly to new technologies and new methodologies. And I believe that humor is the most important social skill.

Dollars and Nonsense
Dollars and Nonsense

Are you familiar with the phrase "funny money?" Finances are no laughing matter unless we make jokes about them. The purpose of this blog is to put a comedic slant on anything related to finances. Cryptocurrency, dollars, stocks, golden parachutes... if it goes ka-ching, I'll make it guffaw.

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