Financial Blunders and gift giving – 2017 edition!

I detailed in my post last year here about my financial blunders in 2015 and 2016 … now its time for this years blunders!!

-Sold Bitcoin too early in early May (@ $1600 instead of waiting a few weeks when it went up to $2800) – this decision cost me about tens of thousands in lost potential funds.
-Booked too many flights from Seattle to San Francisco because I stupidly expected my TN visa application to be swift – it was not. I was rejected twice for my visa application, had to wait an extra week for parents/company to ship me extra documents and missed those flights. Total cost of missed flights was about $650.
-Coming back from Seoul to San Francisco in July. For some reason Expedia did not put me in the Asiana airlines system. So after much calling and waiting, I had to cancel this ticket as well and book another one. This was a $650 ticket as well + missed work days.
-Messed up currency exchange rates while I was trying to convert CAD back to USD – this blunder cost me $1k USD because I stupidly kept trying to convert back and worth to try and make it work with paypal and eventually gave up – $1k in fees later.
-can’t sell my Traynor Amp.. so had to throw that out which was $400 gone
-Someone stole my Denon headphones at work. That’s $400 gone..

Generosity
I have to admit, I’m a pretty generous guy. I often give away stuff to my family and friends for free. This year when I go back to Canada in a few months, will be no different. I’m giving my Amazon echo show ($200), Logitech Mouse, Asus gaming laptop ($500), Toshiba Portege Z30 ultrabook ($300) to my brother, Amazon Echo Show ($200) to my parents, Soundblaster Roar 2 ($200), Amazon Echo Dot ($50), and HP Elitebook 820 ($300) to my relatives for easy video conferencing to my parents. That’s a lot of stuff!

Over the past few years this is what I’ve given away for free:
2011 – gave my mom a Kindle Fire ($200) – it was the first generation and wasn’t available in Canada at that time
2012 – gave my dad my Nexus 7 tablet ($200)
2013 – gave my friend my Canon wireless microphones ($200)
2013 – gave my relatives all Kindle Fires and Chromecasts ($130 each)
2013 – gave my mom a Kindle Fire HD 8 ($200)
2013 – gave my brother a Contour Roam action cam ($200) and Shure SE250 earphones ($200)
2014 – gave my friend my Audio Technica noise cancelling headphones ($200)
2014 – gave my dad a Lenovo smartphone ($200)
2014 – gave my brother a Soundblaster AX200 speaker ($200)
2014 – gave my mom a Lenovo Thinkpad Twist laptop ($300)
2014 – gave my mom my old iPhone 4S ($400)
2014 – gave my friend a portable hard drive ($80)
2014 – gave my parents old Canon camcorder ($200) + Canon digital camera ($100)
2015 – gave my friend a bunch of my PS3 games ($1000+ originally)
2015 – gave ebayer my OLED TV for free ($500)
2015 – gave my dad my Polk Audio Hampden speakers ($200)
2015 – gave my mom my Audyssey Wireless speakers ($200)
2015 – created a doll based on my cat and gave it to my parents ($200)
2016 – gave my mom a Huawei Honor 5X ($200)
2016 – gave my friend my GoPro Hero 3 ($200)
2016 – gave ebayer my Thinkpad Yoga 14 laptop for free ($500) + Kindle Fire HD ($80)
2017 – gave my friend my Dell USBC Dock ($80)
2017 – gave my friend my Samsung Soundbar ($200)
2017 – gave my mom Amazon Echo Show ($200)
2017 – gave my friend a portable hard drive ($80)
2017 – gave my relatives Soundblaster Roar 2 ($200)
2017 – gave my friend my HP Elitebook 820 ($300)
2017 – gave my brother Amazon Echo Show ($200) + Toshiba Portege Z30 ultrabook ($300) + Logitech Mouse + Asus gaming laptop ($500)

2016: Year in Review

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays everyone. Gosh, is it the end of the year already, I’m already almost 30 in Korean age! 2016 came and went pretty fast.. I think the major story here is that I found much more success with women this year than I did last year, which is great, but the night schedule of working in Korea and having ill health finally wore me out. This year I got both incredibly homesick for Canada/California when I was in Korea, and also got incredibly homesick for Korea once I got back. I always have some form of depression or loneliness wherever I go – whether it be in Korea or USA. Both countries have advantages and disadvantages. In USA, I have access to everything I want, people speak my language, the weather is good in California and I can go see a doctor whenever I want. In Korea, I have easy access to beautiful girls and nightlife wherever I go.
So, the ups and downs always haunt me – I could never be fully comfortable living in Korea and at the same time living in California was also boring and lonely.

Highlights
-Trip to Japan and Taiwan, finally completing my East Asia tour
-Dated at least 5 Korean girls this year, overall a much more successful year in relationships than last year, and I learned alot from each one.
-Got Lasik surgery done, which improved my self-confidence a lot.
-Got my San Francisco apartment back! My health should also start improving since I am in the regular sleep cycle again.

Lowlights
-Lost a combined $8000 in bets from both the Cleveland Cavs winning and Donald Trump winning – both underdogs btw. I’ll never underestimate underdogs again.
-Didn’t find any Korean girl who could come back to USA with me. This is obviously one of the biggest failures of my life, and makes me wonder what I ultimately accomplished during my 2 years in Korea. Of course, I don’t regret it, and I learned a lot, but still. This was a big disappointment for me. Now I am prompted to move somewhere else again just because San Francisco has so few Korean girls.

Summary
I think the most important thing for me this year was that I gained a lot of relationship experience, and I got a lot of feedback about how to treat Korean girls and ideas about what they like and dislike a lot better than before. Last year, I was essentially still blind to what they liked. This year, I amped up the aggression and confidence a little bit, did lasik surgery, changed my hairstyle, and it seemed to make all the difference. That said – I have to keep it up. I have to keep working on my Korean and working on my next goal of getting to Vancouver – because ultimately San Francisco isn’t the same as it was even 2-3 years ago. I have few friends left in SF – most of them went back to Korea so I know just 3 good American friends here – all guys of course. There’s virtually no ways for me to meet Koreans here anymore, and very few go to meetup or online language exchange websites anymore. My ultimate failure to keep a relationship in Korea and bring a girl back is what causes my current situation and next challenge. I have to keep trying therefore, to achieve my goal of marrying a Korean girl – but it has to be done either in USA or Canada, which makes things all the more challenging. But I don’t really have a choice – unless I want to work in ‘Hell Joseon’ (what Koreans refer to Korean work culture as), I could never stay in Korea long term.. this is the only thing I can really do, and fight for, and I’m not getting any younger just sitting around.

Financial blunders – I never learn, do I?

I put up a post earlier this year showing how much money I wasted last year, and this year is no different! Since then! I have made just as many financial blunders…

So just to recap these were my biggest financial blunders last year (2015):
-BitTorrent stock options: $4200 – while not a terrible blunder, I still don’t think BitTorrent will ever amount to anything, so this money is basically wasted. I got a stock certificate that probably won’t be worth anything. So $4k down the drain
-Paid $300 for Kickstarter projects that never came to fruition.
-Paid $3000 for cleaning up bed bugs in my apartment.
-I missed or changed 4 different flights last year. One from San Francisco back to Korea because I forgot my apartment key and couldn’t wake my friend up to let me in. One from Vienna to Croatia because the Austrian Airlines’s convoluted process where they botched my seat up, forced me to waste 1.5hrs going back and forth to clear up my seating arrangement. This caused me to miss my flight. One from Istanbul back to San Francisco, where my iPad showed the wrong local time, being one hour late in Istanbul time for some reason (it was connected to Wifi, but this convinced me to ALWAYS use my iPhone, not my iPad). I was stuck an entire day in Istanbul airport because my iPad messed up. And lastly, when I changed my flight from Toronto back to Seoul to meet my then-girlfriend earlier, not knowing that it would indirectly lead to my break up with her (see my Jan post for detailed info there). The total cost of missing and changing all these flights is about $1500.
-I shipped a TV to an ebay customer where it arrived broken, and I refunded the guy $500 the full cost out of my own pocket, when really I should have gotten UPS to refund it instead, since it was damaged by shipping, not by me.
-paid $500 for impounded scooter that was leftover from 2014, and that one really wasn’t my fault, because I think that was legal parking, but anyways I tried to argue with the SFMTA for 5 months and couldn’t convince them to give my money back so I gave up.
-paid $500 extra for my Asus gaming laptop because I made some extra customizations by Xotic PC, and needed it to be built and shipped express to my place in San Francisco so I could pick it up on time. Now you can find the same model on eBay for 40% of what I paid for it.
-repeatedly buying and selling things on ebay and shipping them via UPS probably cost me thousands. I can’t even calculate how much.
-paid $150 to ship some speakers to my parents. the shipping price alone was the price I paid for the speakers..
-When I was in Budapest, got scammed $700

This year so far (2016):
-Lost $2500 on sports bets on Bovada. This is because I really expected the Golden State Warriors to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Finals, and didn’t hedge my bet. Of course, I ended up losing the bet, and lost a lot of money on it.
-Paid $150 extra to ship 2 video games (Dead or Alive Xtreme 3) to my friends place earlier from Japan so that I could get it on time to play it with him. Thats the extra money just for express shipping.
-Missed 1 flight from San Francisco to Tokyo because I thought the ticket time showed PM but was actually AM. This one was a doozy – I had to pay $1100 for a new flight since it was last minute – and this was a one way flight too! I sold my scooter for about $1300 so basically I sold my scooter to pay for my flight to Japan. Yup… that was dumb.
-Lost $5000 from betting on Hillary in the election. Honestly, I’m not that upset about this one, because every predictor on the internet thought Hillary would win. Just goes to show anything is possible I guess. Its a lot of money for sure, but I’m not the only one who lost a lot of money on this bet. Congrats to Trump supporters though, they must’ve made a lot.
-Paid $500 for a wireless phone bill because I was too lazy to get a new Korea sim card after my old phone broke, and I decided to use an international plan instead. Bad idea, for ONE month I was charged $500 for using up a lot of data and I immediately stopped the plan and got a Korea sim card instead. Lesson learned. NEVER use international phone/data plans, they are always way more costly than a local prepaid sim.
-I shipped a laptop to an ebay customer where it arrived broken, and I refunded the guy $400 the full cost out of my own pocket, yet again because I didn’t purchase insurance. Another case of bad luck selling items. I originally bought the laptop for $900 last year, so it was a $1000 loss in total because I also gave him the $100 Kindle Fire free of charge as well.
-Had to throw away the Creative T4W ($400) and Synology DS415play ($400) as they were not working anymore. Should have returned them with warranty.
-$300 on currency conversion fees because US dollar is so high. Not much I could do about this one though.

So yeah, I never learn.. I wasted at least $8500 last year, and this year $12000 in lost money. That is ALOT of money I wasted or lost… Even going back to 2013 and 2014, $3000 wasted on stock option bets, $2000 wasted on parking tickets and impound fees from my scooter, etc Sometimes even though I try really hard to make the right financial decisions, sometimes these things always end up happening to me.

Anyways, I hope Hillary wins next Tuesday, I might be able to make back some of my losses (albeit a small amount).

Edit: She didn’t win. of course.