Site Moved!

•February 14, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I have started a new blog called Squaring Circles, where I publish any new creative content I, well, create.  During the creation of said blog I noticed something I had forgotten about.  Originally, Torture Training was going to be hosted at the same place, so I have moved all posts there that actually pertained to the goal of this blog (left the money ones here, since I don’t feel they really belong, but I feel bad deleting things).

The new place you can find Torture Training is here.  I’m still not ready (as of posting this announcement here) to actually bring it back, but I feel this is a good first step.

Hope to see you there!

-sp0rus aka Thryah


After A Long Break, Time For The Resurrection

•July 7, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It’s been a long while since I’ve done anything with this blog (not that much was done in the first place!), but it’s also been a long time since I’ve blogged anything at all anywhere.  Lately I’ve been mulling over in my head what to do, and decided I’d like to bring this one back and give it another shot.  Seeing a post on Crackberry about the new Blackberry WordPress Appication cemented for me that I wanted to start blogging again, especially since I can now blog on the go as well, which will make it much easier for me.

This blog started off strong in my mind, I was consistently receiving a few hits, spiking when I got mentioned on bigger blogs, and I had a vision for what I wanted it to be like.  At the time I was also working out constantly, staying fit, getting stronger, and eating right.  Since then, I, like the blog, have started drifting away.  The blog was removed from WordPress for a time, because I had posted some affiliate links, and while the site was dead also happened to be when I didn’t work out for a few months straight.

I’ve gained weight, I’ve lost strength, and I don’t feel near as healthy.  This blog for the foreseen future will be chronicling my journey back to health, and hopefully I can help out some other people along the way.

Hard Work and today’s Workout

•December 6, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I spent the past two weeks without strength training due to quite a few factors, some of which I’ll cover in later posts.  This made me force myself to come home and put myself through a workout after work on Tuesday.  It was hard to talk myself into it, it was hard to do, and it probably wasn’t the smartest workout I’ve ever done, but the point is this:

I did it.

You have to work hard to get what you want, this applies to almost all areas of life, training, financial matters, your career, etc. There’s some amount of work required for  success in each one.  The amount of work varies at times, but the best things come from hard work in my experience.

So, without further adieu, here’s the lowdown on today’s workout:

A1: Decline Dumbbell Bench Press 1×15 (40 lb dumbbells)/1×12 (45 lb)/1×20 (35 lb)

A2: Dumbbell Row 1×15 (40lb)/1×12 (45 lb)/1×20 (35lb)

B1: Dumbbell lateral raise 3×15 (15 lb dumbbells)

B2: Lat Pulldown 3×15 (not really sure how much weight we used, and also, in my experience, the weight on different machines seems to be a different amount of resistance)

C1: Preacher Curl 2×15 (45 lb first set, 35 lb second set felt like so much more though)

C2: Overhead Unilateral Dumbbell Extension 2×15 (15 lb dumbbells)

A buddy of mine from work wanted to train with me today, as he hasn’t trained since the beginning of the summer.  He plans on training with me more often, and we both plan on doing the training without the other if our shifts don’t allow a joint workout, as we’ll be pushing each other to improve each time.


•November 28, 2007 • Leave a Comment

So, today (by my clock, apparently not WordPress’s) the 28th of November, was my birthday.  I tried to keep this on the down-low because birthday’s aren’t really my thing.  In my opinion, they’re great when you’re younger, but there isn’t really a new feeling nowadays that comes with them, so why make everyone treat you different than they normally would.

I recieved about $185 in monetary gifts, including gift cards.  By far the biggest and best gifts though were a life membership to the National Rifle Association, and my parents paying for my high school class ring.  The ring isn’t anything special, because it’s just high school, but it looks cool nonetheless.  The life membership to the NRA is something I’ve wanted for a while though, as I’m an avid target shooter.

I was trying to decide what would be best to do with the money, as it’s just going to be in my checking account right now.  My thoughts are to just go ahead and put them in savings, as if this were another month I wouldn’t have gotten this money in the first place, so why not put it somewhere so I’m not going to be tempted to spend it.

This provides the perfect opportunity for me to give myself a present, in opening a high-yield online savings account, to get better interest than what I currently get in my brick-and-mortar bank.  I’ve done a lot of reading on this lately, and I think for now I’m going to go with ING Direct, as I can get a $25 bonus, and I’ve heard almost exclusively good reviews of them.  Later I might consider putting the money in a higher interest account, but for now, getting this much more interest than what I am getting now would be a huge difference.

Financial Goals for 2008

•November 27, 2007 • 2 Comments

What My Goal Is

As of today, my savings account is at just under $600. My goal is to add $1500 to the total amount in savings.

I’ll include interest earned in the totals, as my goal is to get the balance to go up by that amount, not necessarily deposit that amount over the course of the year.

Why It Will Be Difficult

Already there are a lot of expenses I can see for the next year. First on the list is a big one that is just getting bigger, gas. Other things not so common will be coming up though, things like my mission trip to Ecuador, my road trip to Alabama with my neighbor, camping trips, etc. I spent a lot more than I thought I would this year, but next year the possibility is there for expenses to be even higher.

How I’ll Accomplish This

  • Put the money in a high-yield online savings account to take advantage of the higher interest rate than my current bank.
  • Make sure to deposit a certain amount each month, and put all excess money for the month in savings. This is similar to how some people are paying off their debt, which seems to be working. I’ll go about it in this way, except my reason is not paying off debt, but having a buffer to prevent it. If I’m to keep to my goal monthly, I’ll have to put $125 in savings each month to total the $1500 by the end of the year (not including interest earned, etc.).
  • Adding to my alternate sources of income. I have several places other than my job that I earn extra money. This year about 20% of my income has been from alternate sources. It is inflated because I helped a friend sell a truck and earned a whopping $500 from it. Even so, I hope to keep it at the same percentage.
  • Not increase my expenses with my income. I’ve been told to expect a raise at the end of January to reward my one-year anniversary of working there. Also, minimum wage is going up, which could possibly raise my income more, depending on how big the raise in January is. Keeping my expenses the same as they are now, or as close to as possible (i.e. following my budget) will cause my amount I can put in savings to skyrocket.
  • The simple fact of having this goal. A set goal and a time-frame to have it completed will be cause for more reason to put the money in savings, making it an easier move every month.

There is my main goal for the next year, now it’s time to share yours.

Update: this post was featured in the first Carnival of Personal Finance Goals, check it out here to read about other people’s great goals, and possibly get some ideas for your own.

Some Money Thoughts

•November 24, 2007 • Leave a Comment

I, like many other high schoolers and people in the United States, make minimum wage. It’s not a bad thing, I don’t find it degrading, and for what I do, it’s not a bad rate. Other people don’t seem to feel this way though, and some people just can’t seem to get minimum wage to work for them.

Honestly, I can say, I don’t have any debt yet. My goal is to never have a problem with debt. Ambitious? Yes. Impossible? No. So far, I’ve practiced good money management. At first, I just made sure I never spent more than I earned, and I made sure to put some of each check in savings. Now though, I’ve set up a budget. I keep track of my income and expenses on Quicken. I don’t know if there are better options out there, but this works for me, because it was free. It came with my laptop.

Some of my friends though, don’t do things the way I do. One friend of mine isn’t even paying anything related to his car yet (gas, insurance, etc.), but he recently complained to me about “having to pay 25 bucks for overdrafting” his checking account. For a few months, he made a lot more than I did, then he switched jobs and now makes the same as I do. It just doesn’t make sense to me how someone can be that careless with their money (no offense to anyone, sorry if I offend you). Seriously though, it’s hard at times not to buy new things, but he didn’t need the necklace, shoes, or anything else he bought then.

I guess one reason he spends his money this way is that he’s just like the regular high school student. He doesn’t look at the big picture and do things now about his future, he just expects it to happen the way he wants it to. The problem is made worse because he doesn’t even know what he wants his future to be.

I’m not 100% sure how I want my future to turn out, but is anyone really? The rough idea is there, and I know I need to start now to get there. Things won’t always go perfect, and some people like my friend can’t really be helped until it gets unbearably bad, but to anyone else my age who ends up reading this, start towards your future now.

Another reason to start as early as you can is the miracle of compound interest. The earlier you start the more it is on your side. Check out this post at GenXFinance and this post at AllFinancialMatters to see just how powerful it is (there are many more out there, these are just two that came to mind).

First Visit from a College Rep

•November 22, 2007 • Leave a Comment

First of all, to all fellow Americans who read this, HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Tuesday we had our first visit from a college representative to my class.  He didn’t really say much that we (or at least most of us) didn’t already know, but it was interesting anyways.  He gave tips on writing essays when applying for scholarships, and tips on ways to find those scholarships.  He also talked about costs of colleges, plugged his college (Murray State University), and (as you always hear about) told us about the possible greater income over the course of a lifetime for a college grad vs. a high school grad.

This being my junior year, and my parents being who they are, I’ve been thinking a lot about college lately.  I don’t know anything about any colleges except for Ole Miss (THE University of Mississippi as my dad likes to say), as that’s the only one I’ve ever been to and most of my family went there.  Planning on visiting a few more this next year, probably over the summer, and I’ve also signed up for some mailing lists.

Another things I’ve done is talk to current college students, and grads (mostly recent) of different colleges.  This is helping me to actually learn what it really is like at these colleges, instead of just what a brochure says.  Information gleaned this way seems to be invaluable.

The costs of four years of college floored me though.  I had no idea it would be so much when I thought about it in the past, but I didn’t think it would be this much.  The plan is to take the ACT as many times as I can to get the best score possible before I go, so the money isn’t as hard to come by.  In the past I’ve proven myself good at tests, it’s just a skill I have, don’t have to know it, I just do well.  Hopefully it pays off for this too.

Any tips on choosing colleges and paying for it?  I’d like to hear about it.