My 2016 Resolution: Big Data, Smaller Stomach

In my life, I seem to have three recurring problems:

1) Achieving my desired weight (I want to go back to 165, but I’m at 185 or so)
2) Skyrocketing energy bills (looking for $250 average but hitting $450)
3) I have bad driving habits that cost money

This year, I have enlisted the help of big data to help rectify these issues. Here’s the plan.

1) For weight control, I need to diet and exercise more. For diet, I need to go back to the plan of calorie counting on MyFitnessPal, and keeping track of my calories burned using a FitBit. My FitBit Surge should be arriving soon, and once I have it, I can begin collecting data on my progress. Next, I plan to join a gym or invest in exercise equipment, and possibly buy a wi-fi scale to automatically keep tabs on my weight, BMI, etc.. Further steps I can take are investing in a pressure cooker and cutting down on the amount of days eating out.

2) This one is tricky. I already have access to my KW/h online which is updated every few hours, but this doesn’t tell me anywhere near what the full story is. I have decided to try Smappee, a smart meter with promises to isolate each major appliance in your house and keep track on their individual electrical usage.
This should allow me to see the watts being used by the pool pump vs. the AC, fridge, etc. so that I can make decisions on when to run equipment, for how long, or even what devices to get rid of. We’ll see if it works. I have the feeling I’ll discover the pump needs to be swapped out for something more efficient, and possibly even the fridge. The only other thing to do in this category would be to improve home efficiency and go solar, which I’m not prepared to do at the moment. This is more in line with what I want to do once the house is paid off.

3) For improving driving efficiency, I have already purchased an Automatic, and have been using it for over a month. So far, it has helped me drive better and save money in the process. It probably won’t immediately pay for itself, but I imagine in the next few years it will. Next on the list would be to buy an electric car to completely eliminate the cost of gasoline and maintenance.

The conclusion I’ve come to, obviously, is that the best way to solve a problem is by collecting and analyzing data. These solutions should assist with that, and should point me in the direction of a better, more efficient life.

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