Xtreme Budgeting

So funny thing about that hackathon…. I didn’t need to worry about Android appcompat afterall, because the hardware my team decided to work with ended up having NO ANDRIOD API.  WHAT?!  So we decided we were all there to learn anyway, so lets just see if we can bust out some iOS app… Holy shit was that scary/stressful/fun. Especially because…Objective C… what the fuck!?  Anyway I had a buddy on that part of the project (who also had no Objective C or iOS app experience), and we worked together and somehow got it working! It was fun in the masochistic way that programming is usually fun. And the web guys were awesome and got their part working, and then we all got it working together in time for demo. And then we got 2nd place overall and are going to Vegas to pitch at the final round! INSANITY.

And now, for our main post today on Xtreme Budgeting and Lifestyle Hacks!

One thing I really like is the idea of “lifestyle hacks.”  It is easy to get caught up in buying/wanting more of…well…everything.  But if you step back for a moment, and do your best to analyze situations from an outsider’s perspective, you can drastically reduce the amount of money you spend and things you amass, while still living a relatively ‘normal’ modern American life.  It is pretty phenomenal once you realize this, and it becomes an addicting game.

For example, I have a smartphone.  Most of my friends have smartphones too, but most of them also pay a shit ton of money every month for this privilege.  I paid $100 for my phone, and I pay $20/month for unlimited everything, no contract.  (I am on Republic Wireless, if you are wondering).  These kinds of deals are everywhere, you just have to be willing to put in some research, wait for the opportune moment, and make a few sacrifices.

As you discover these “hacks,” your mind will be blown because they are EVERYWHERE.  Once you unplug from the matrix, you will be constantly shocked at how much people spend, simply because they assume there is no other way!  I know that I spend too much on everything still, but I am definitely making progress and learning more to spend less every day.

My most recent hack is attending a professional conference.  As I weasel my way into Android App development, I have found myself wishing there was a better to learn than just banging my head against a wall, scouring Stack Overflow, and attending once a month meetups, begging people to look at my code with me. It would be cool if I could take like a 1 or 2 week extreme class or something, to kind of give me a boost.  Then I found out about this awesome conference which is basically a week of intense classes and networking. SWEET.  The main problem is that it was a million billion dollars just to walk in the door, not including airfare, hotel, etc.

So I told the conference organizers that my company wasn’t sponsoring me, that I am new to the industry, and could they maybe give me scholarship for the conference tuition, if I volunteered for them throughout the conference.  The worst that could happen was, they say no.  And then, they said YES!!!!!!  I am so grateful! Because there is no way I could have afforded this trip without that aid.

I am really excited to see how much I can save while I am in San Francisco.  It won’t be easy, since its such an expensive city, but I think I can do it.  My boss made a comment that it doesn’t really matter too much how much I saved on tuition, because the trip will end up costing me $3,000 anyway just for everything else.  Not sure where he got that number!  But I quickly told him that so far I’ve dropped about $400, which covers everything except dinners and maybe some entertainment costs.  He was pretty shocked, hahaha!

I think it will be fun to do a budget run-down when I get back from the conference.  I am so excited!!