A Hot Drink, Squats, Tim Ferriss and Acorns – My 2017 Q1 Value Added Round Up

Well, it’s April already. That time flew by, and the year has been a crazy one so far. In just the first three months I’ve been on holiday, a very close relative has passed away, I’ve turned a year older, and gotten back into blogging and vlogging much more consistently, and I love it!

In keeping with my goal to live a more meaningful life, I’ve been trying to take the time to assess what has brought value to me so far this year, what I would keep using, and so on. Hopefully, you will find some value in it too!

So here we go:

Hot Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar before bed

Apple cider vinegar and honey
Apple cider vinegar and honey

Wifey actually found this in Tim Ferriss’ evening routine video on YouTube, and since I was having some trouble sleeping at the time, I decided to give it a try. In his video, Tim mixes it with tea, but I’m not big on tea of any kind so thought I’d give it a go without. It’s quite simple, one tablespoon of honey, two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar, and a mug of boiling water. Stir well and then let cool enough to drink. I wasn’t sure I would like the taste, but I actually really enjoy it. It reminds me of having lemon and honey when I’m sick and trying to rest. I don’t know if it makes any difference to sleep at all, but I do notice that within about half an hour of having it I am feeling pretty drowsy and ready to sleep. I also think it serves the purpose of giving your body a routine. Have a honey and apple cider vinegar drink, and then go to bed within an hour and your body knows to prepare to sleep.

I couldn’t say definitively that it makes any difference to sleep, but I’ve noticed that within about half an hour of having it I am feeling pretty drowsy and ready to sleep. Another podcast I listened to a while back talked about how a tablespoon of honey before bed ensures that your body has enough energy to get through the night without waking up, so I’d say that is part of it. I also think it serves the purpose of giving your body a routine. If your body knows you go to sleep within an hour of having a honey and apple cider vinegar drink, then it knows to prepare to sleep when you have the drink.

Of course, there are all the claimed health benefits of apple cider vinegar as well, so this is a good way to get a decent amount of it.

Squatting, yep, squatting

This might sound like a funny one, but lately, I’ve been experiencing intermittent bad back pain. It turns out my spine is actually longer on one side than the other, and so I have to actively take care to maintain the curve in my back and not to do things that put too much pressure on the wrong side. After listening to Tim Ferriss’ interview with Jerzy Gregorek from The Happy Body, where Jerzy spent a lot of time talking about flexibility, squatting, and posture, it inspired me to squat more often. Even just to pick up little things or for things that I only needed to get a little lower for, squatting down instead of leaning over.

It was actually quite tough at first. After a day of squatting if I needed to get lower for something, I was feeling it the next day. It was not so much that it prevented me from continuing to squat, but more that good feeling like something is happening but without hurting myself to do it.

After about a week, I was squatting all the time and no longer had any soreness after a regular day. I find that now, just from doing that, it’s easier to maintain my back posture and easier to lift heavy items properly. This, in turn, means that I am better able to retain the curve in my back and it is hurting less frequently. That provides a tremendous amount of value to me.

As a side-effect, I’ve noticed both my upper and lower leg muscles seem to have gotten much stronger, and I can walk faster than I used to, for longer. The fastest speed I could maintain for 1km while walking previously was about 9 minutes. After squatting for just 2 weeks, my walking posture improved and I could maintain a walking speed of 8 minutes per km and can keep up that speed for quite a bit longer.

The Tim Ferriss Show

The Tim Ferriss Show
The Tim Ferriss Show

As you might have guessed, I’ve gotten a fair bit of value out of Tim Ferriss’ podcast, the Tim Ferriss Show. I’d heard of him, and his books often get mentions in other podcasts I listen to, but I’d never actually listened to his show. After wifey showed me his evening routine video and I found the honey/apple cider vinegar drink so helpful, I decided to subscribe. So far it seems that his interviews tend to be long, a lot longer than most podcasts I listen to, some upwards of two hours. They are usually interesting, insightful and useful. I’ve only skipped one episode where I found the interviewee to be so arrogant that by the half hour mark I just couldn’t handle listening to another hour of it. Every other episode though usually keeps my attention for 2-3 days at a time as I try to squeeze it all into the 15-minute listening blocks I have.

I’d say I always come away with something of value, even in the case of the episode I skipped. If you are looking for some quality listening, this is a great podcast that has provided me with value every week.

Raiz (previously Acorns Australia)

Acorns Australia - Invest the change
Acorns Australia – Invest the change

Now, for the only item on this list that is not connected to Tim Ferriss, Raiz. I know my last blog post was about it, but I wanted to include this because even though I’ve been using it for over a year now, February marked the one year anniversary since I’ve been using it. This meant I could now get an accurate ROI for 12 months and really evaluate whether or not to keep investing with them. It ticked over 7.03%, more than double the best bank interest rate I can find. It returned more just in dividends than the same amount of money in the bank, then, of course, there was the increased market value of my Acorns investments on top of that. If you want to invest small amounts of money and help yourself save money at the same time, this is an excellent way to do it. I can’t recommend it enough.

It ticked over 7.03%, more than double the best bank interest rate I can find. It returned more just in dividends than the same amount of money in the bank. Then, of course, there was the increased market value of my Raiz investments on top of that. If you want to invest small amounts of money and help yourself save money at the same time, this is an excellent way to do it. I can’t recommend it enough. You can just let it run in the background investing your change for you which is not really noticeable on your bank balance at all. Or, you can set up an automatic investment that you want to transfer in each week/month. Then you can also manually invest additional funds if you like. It all contributes to helping grow your investment, but if you don’t think you have spare cash to do anything with, just using the round-ups are an excellent way to start!

When it comes to value for money, this is the best way to get value out of investments without needing to put aside large sums of money to invest in a single stock. My wife and I now have many shares in things like the S&P500 that I never thought would be practical for us to invest in. I think my entire extended family have started using it now because it makes investing so simple! Just remember, it’s a long-term investment, not short. Some months the values will go down. Over the long term though, the value far outweighs other methods of saving and investment I’ve found in Australia.

If you want to sign up, you can use my referral link here to get yourself a bonus $2.50 investment when you sign up.

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