The Experiment Chronicles 03: Consignment, Entertainment Week, and Exercise

I experiment with squeezing money, entertainment, and exercise into my last few weeks of summer.
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I experiment with squeezing money, entertainment, and exercise into my last few weeks of summer.

sunset

The sun is setting like my summer (I'm excited to go back but shhh) / Photo Credit: Flickr

Hi again from your guinea pig for all things work, play, and rest-related. I've got some new experiments in store this week in the lead up to back to school.

This post coincides with me realizing that summer is coming to a rapid end. My last summer as a college student. That's a strong reminder to make sure I accomplish everything I wanted to this summer. 

I have themed this trio of experiments "First and Last Things." Read on to see how my results went!

Work: Revamping and Selling

consignment storefront

Resell shops are always so whimsical / Photo Credit: Flickr

Set-Up

First things first, I had to get rid of some possessions. With the prospect of moving states and a full-time job looming, this summer seemed like a good time to tackle cleaning out my closet and bookshelves. I knew I would probably shove a large project like this off to my next break if I didn't get it done now. 

I sorted all of my unwanted clothes and books into two piles (donate or sell) then listed out local resell/consignment shops that were taking inventory similar to what I had to offer.

I wanted to see if I could actually make some money off selling stuff instead of just donating everything straight away. Even a few dollars can make a big difference to a broke student!

Results

Three resell shops, a 5% successful selling rate, three books, and five articles of clothing later ...

I made (drumroll please) approximately $25 with $7 of that as store credit.

The three books that were sold consisted of one modern nonfiction and two classic novels that will probably be summer class reading for somebody.

The clothes I managed to sell were dresses and dress-code-esque clothes: One solid black classic dress by Banana Republic, one printed dress with cutouts, a white polo by Calvin Klein, etc. The classic clothes sold had popular/designer labels, meanwhile labels were ignored for modern pieces as long as they were trendy looking.

Although I did OK with consignment, I think I would net more cash selling items on niche Facebook groups, i.e. selling groups for my university, local books/clothing groups, etc. 

I was hoping to make at least $50, so I failed there, but $25 isn't bad and I found some really cool, inexpensive stores in the process. 

Play: Entertainment Week

cinema neon

I'd go to a movie theater just called "cinema" / Photo Credit: Flickr

Set-Up

This is where "first and last things" really comes in. I wanted to have a week where I sought out entertaining things, especially things I haven't seen/done before in the area or in general. Summer is the time for fun and I wanted to make sure I didn't miss anything!

Results

I've finally played tourist in my own city and it was so much fun.  

I took one day to explore downtown with my trusty smartphone camera. I've been downtown before but never specifically to take pictures. While I was there, I discovered some beautiful theaters, street performers, and food trucks that I've somehow overlooked in the past. Those things became the next three days worth of entertainment for me. 

Day five and six, I hit up free concerts. These were awesome and completely exceeded my expectations. Free can be fabulous.

On the seventh day, I watched The Princess Bride for the first time (don't judge me) with a friend and his very photogenic cat.

I really enjoyed Entertainment Week. It was like a dirty, quick mini bucket list and a great bookend for my summer.

Rest: Exercise Habit

yoga at sunrise

Dude is wondering if he can balance an egg on his head / Photo Credit: Flickr 

Set-Up

I kept to the "KISS: Keep It Simple, Stupid" motto for this experiment. In order to ease my way into boosting my exercise habit, I cajoled myself by going: "You only have to put on exercise clothes." That was it; that counted as a win. Actually working out was a bonus instead of mandatory. 

This sounds like a silly experiment, and in some ways it is, but I had also heard it could be surprisingly effective. So how did it go?

Results

This was an offshoot of my last experiment involving productivity wins. It felt silly but positive reinforcement with a side of "why not" actually does a lot of good for health.   

The biggest surprise? I ended up working out every day I put on workout clothes. That's a 100% success rate for what is essentially a super dumbed-down habit trigger. The open feedback loop of "well, I have workout clothes on, now what? I guess I could go do something" is a much better thought process than "I am a slug because I haven't worked out today and still don't feel like exercising."

I definitely recommend this experiment if you like the post-workout feelings of warmth and relaxation but hate starting. Extend some of that relaxed coziness to the beginning of the ordeal and KISS yourself.

What have you been experimenting with this month?

What have you been prodding at for your own satisfaction? Have you tried out any of my experiments? Will you? What would you like me to test out for my next post?