Since we’re halfway through 2022, it’s time for a blog update, don’t you think?
Building my Eiken Empire
It doesn’t really excite me much, but there’s a strong demand for Eiken (English test) material in Japan, so I’ve continued to add to the worksheets on my school’s website, and recently made more interview practice videos for YouTube. In my last post, I told you that I had reached 400 subscribers. Well, that number has gone up a few hundred during each of the last two Eiken test seasons and now I’ve broken the 1,000 subs mark! What this means is, I can get paid by YouTube! In my first full week since getting monetized, I earned about 267 yen, which is about $2.00. Hey, it’s a start!
Moving my old websites
Remember I told you that I earned a side income from Google Adsense? Well, I made the decision to pull the plug on the $200-a-month dedicated server I was hosting my websites on, and spent the first three months of the year shifting them over to a $10-a-month shared server on GreenGeeks. Remarkably, I was able to keep the sites alive in Google Search and didn’t see any significant drop in my earnings. I should have done that years ago!
Investments looking good?
Last summer I deposited a lump sum of money into global index funds and Bitcoin, because that seemed like the smart thing to do. At the beginning of this year, I also started paying monthly into the Japanese pension funds, NISA and iDeCo, as well as continuing to buy some monthly Bitcoin. Here’s where I’m at as of June 2022:
- Ordinary brokerage account: +8%
- Initial Bitcoin investment: -20% (it nosedived in late 2021)
- NISA: +6%
- iDeCo: +4%
- Monthly Bitcoin: +2%
I didn’t put that much money into Bitcoin so it’s not such a huge loss. The rest are showing steady gains despite all the drama in the world.
Always Think Muscles
I’ve been inspired by this Upright Health video to change my posture in the hope of getting over my lower back issues. Since first herniating a spinal disc about 10 years ago, and multiple times since, I trained myself to never bend over. Instead, I’d just squat down. But it never occurred to me that this meant my hamstrings would miss out on any kind of natural stretching, and could actually be the cause of my continued pain.
And so, I’m now training myself to carefully bend at the hips while leaning back somewhat to counter my upper body weight, and boy-oh-boy am I feeling the stretch in those hammies! It’s crazy. I’ve been doing some other exercises, too, and it feels like my hips and lower back are being defrosted, with ice breaking off as the bones move into positions they haven’t seen in years.
Back Into Gaming
Finally, my brother got himself a gaming PC, and it’s been really fun to play together online these last few weeks. We’ve had some trouble with the geographical distance making some games unplayable, and the time-difference can be tricky, too, but we’ve settled on “Project CARS” and “Golf with Your Friends” as our go-to games.
And that wraps up another blog post. Thanks for reading!If you like, you can find me on Twitter at @nick_ramsay. I'd love to hear from you!