mathiverse's journal

Where are you and where are you going?
mooretrees
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mooretrees »

I wanted to chime in with some specific suggestions for reducing your food budget. You sound like you are going from eating out most meals to trying to reduce to five or so (can't remember your exact number...) and it sounds like it's been a mixed bag of success/failure. Why not try to make one or two really simple easy meals? Do you have those in your cooking repertoire yet? Like, a simple stir fry or frittata? I like both of those meals because all you really need are some veggies, eggs, maybe some cheese, and a few sauce ingredients. The best situation to get you to eat at home more is to make is EASY to do so. Someone else mentioned a CSA share. Whatever you can do to make it easy for you to cook at home is best. If that means starting with some boxed meals and a rotisserie chicken, then do that. I'm not clear on your cooking skills, I'm am assuming they are pretty negligible because you don't get much practice. So figure out a simple two or three meals that you can make easily, and add one or more every other week or so.

If you stick with cooking at home (and ERE) long enough, then going out to eat will slowly start to lose its attractiveness. We have a little kid which helps us not eat out much, it's just too annoying to have to deal with him out. But I'm also starting to just prefer our food over restaurant food. And we don't make fancy food at all.

Your reports about your SO sound promising. They haven't thrown up any reservations about reducing the eating out, that's fantastic! So, now you just need to take the lead and make the plans revolve around your kitchen or theirs instead of a restaurant.

I've lived with a lot of roommates over the years. I think the reservations you have about living with someone and feeling like you only want to be in your room are fairly normal. I also think they can be overcome. And if you can drop your housing expenses in half, that will certainly feel amazing. I think the key is to really be picky about a roommate. And if possible, find someone who works nights or weekends and boom, you have a lot of time to yourself at home. If they are coming into your home and the living room is furnished with your stuff, there is a subtle form of ownership you have that they might be sensitive too. Since we're the home owners at our place, it shifted the dynamic with our renters. Without exception, they have all been reluctant to hang out in the living room. They have spent more time in their rooms and only just a little bit of time in the kitchen. It helped that they have had their own bathroom. Since I have lived with a lot of people in shared housing, I was surprised by this dynamic. But four roommates later and it is holding true. Anyway, something to consider if someone moves into your place, is that they might not really use the shared space as much as you assume.

I think you are facing an unusual problem in that you make a LOT of money so it can be hard to focus on the little things. But you seem really motivated so that might offset that unique problem.

Here is a link to a woman who did a buy nothing year: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/life/ ... ved-22000/

Best of luck and keep posting!

wolf
Posts: 1084
Joined: Fri Jan 06, 2017 5:09 pm
Location: Germany

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by wolf »

The idea of a "no spend"-year sounds great. You should do it. There could be many lessons to be learned. I did similar "experiments" in the beginning of my ERE journey, e.g. minimal spending, no traveling, stopping to buy x or consume y.

Best of luck! Keep posting updates. I'm looking forward to your progress.

flying_pan
Posts: 116
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2019 4:06 am
Location: USA, Oregon

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by flying_pan »

@mathiverse

I read through your journal and your weekly plans especially caught my eye. I am also a software developer, so I kind of feel where you are coming from regarding your plans. To me it sounds like you are trying to achieve goals which will make you a "better person", but looks like you are trying to do too much.

For example, running. Why running at all? Why not walking? If you live in SF (looking at your rent seems so), it is pretty walkable, so why not just start with long walks? Another point about 5 runs per week. Now, 2 miles is not super lot, but 5 times per week is extremely high (you don't need that high frequency unless you are competing). 1 run per week + couple long walks are good enough for start. I assume a lot about your shape here, but you mentioned that two times in a row was tough.

To get into shape, one should progress slowly! And if you feel any pain, or you are tired too much, no need to push yourself. Your muscles will take time.

----

Regarding eating out. I am not the best advisor here (I literally hate eating out, I honestly believe I cook better for myself), but you got a good advice about cooking meals. Instead trying to restrict yourself from eating out, try to find easy and tasty meals which you enjoy! If you find them, you won't mind to eat them from time to time, which will naturally decrease number of times you eat out.

---

Closing thoughts. It looks to me that you are trying to restrict yourself and do what is "good" for you. It is a good intention, but it looks like you are making a lot of sacrifices. The goal of ERE for me (and only for me, not trying to present it as a universal goal) is to find alternatives to what we often do, and then make a choice. It also takes time, so no need to punish yourself for failing objectives! Explore different options and don't be afraid to concentrate on problems 1 by 1, no need to attack all of them.

ertyu
Posts: 1182
Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2016 2:31 am

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by ertyu »

I just read a book about personal change (as I am in sore need of personally changing) and their argument was that change starts with your vision of your ideal life - not the shoulds and oughts and "that book says it's good to aim to" but the core motivation behind it all. I think it may be why both of us struggle with full time work - we don't know why we're doing it and what we're aiming to achieve. So that's what I'm going to work on next, developing a personal vision. Figured I'd drop that here.

Good luck

mathiverse
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

@all Thanks for the comments, everyone!
classical_Liberal wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 5:49 pm
Going even a bit more basic, I just want to point out that your second highest monthly expense is "work related" what does that even mean or entail? If you wouldn't chose to live in the bay area, if it wasn't for work, then 2.5K of your rent is also "work related". I think one of the biggest things a high income person needs to do is to challenge the normal societal assumptions of these "work related" costs. Instead look at the situation as I described above. What are they actually providing you? and can you find a better way to get that which they are providing?

...

So following the housing example here, let's make another hypothetical. Lets say you really like the Bay areas start-up, tech, neo-liberal culture. You have acculturated to it in such a way that you believe it's the only place you fit in and all of your friends are there. Your high income job has provided you the benefit of living in one of the most HCOL areas in the world. But is both a benefit, and potential a drawback. Not super evident as it's happening, but if you become "stuck" there for the reasons above, your job has cost you a 200% housing cost increase. OTOH, your job is also giving you the opportunity to explore what it's like living in that environment, if you would have made 30K less in a smaller, less "happening" city, then it's basically a free trial run in nerd-tech heaven. These potential benefits or costs should be considered and accounted for, otherwise they will bite you in the a** later. Like in this hypothetical situation, if you try to RE in a LCOL area per your plans.
I've been wary of the trap that you mention in your last paragraph where a person moves to an area and then decides they can't move away because they have too much to lose. As a result of being cautious, I believe I'll be able to move away in the next 2 - 3 years and my SO isn't from this area and would be okay moving to many other places in the US as well.

edit: Suffice it to say, the work related expenses will go away once I'm ERE. I had a few months off before my current job and was able to cut those expenses completely. True, the higher housing cost could be listed as a work related expense as well, but in that case I may be able to optimize it further in the next year, so it's useful to list it separately.

Thanks for the tips about Pareto optimizing a node. You are correct in that the primary reason I live alone is to make it possible for me to comfortably stay at my current job and I'm looking for roommates I could live with that maintain that. Ideally I could find a roommate among folks I know, I have spent a lot of time with, and who have living quarters I've seen, but an alternative is to filter for people who will be out of the house a lot or who are quiet and clean and willing to agree to rules to keep the place quiet and clean. I'm also still open to the possibility I may continue to live alone, but I think I could find a cheaper place that still meets my needs while also providing some benefit without much loss (eg if I lived a bit further away I'd get more exercise on my daily commute while still being close enough to work for comfort (20 min bike ride vs 10 minute walk).
mooretrees wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:58 pm
I've lived with a lot of roommates over the years. I think the reservations you have about living with someone and feeling like you only want to be in your room are fairly normal. I also think they can be overcome. And if you can drop your housing expenses in half, that will certainly feel amazing. I think the key is to really be picky about a roommate. And if possible, find someone who works nights or weekends and boom, you have a lot of time to yourself at home. If they are coming into your home and the living room is furnished with your stuff, there is a subtle form of ownership you have that they might be sensitive too. Since we're the home owners at our place, it shifted the dynamic with our renters. Without exception, they have all been reluctant to hang out in the living room. They have spent more time in their rooms and only just a little bit of time in the kitchen. It helped that they have had their own bathroom. Since I have lived with a lot of people in shared housing, I was surprised by this dynamic. But four roommates later and it is holding true. Anyway, something to consider if someone moves into your place, is that they might not really use the shared space as much as you assume.
Oh, thanks for pointing out that dynamic! As I look back at my own time renting a spare room in the landlord's home, I did the same thing your tenants do, in that I spent most of my time in my room since it didn't feel completely like joint space. This opens the possibility of finding a good roommate and having them as a subletter in a place I'm the primary leaseholder on. I wonder if I'd get a similar dynamic with that situation. Unfortunately, it's not a good idea to buy in my area, so I can't test it out by being the actual homeowner.

Also thanks for pointing out that when folks have their own bathroom one tends to see them less as well. My old roommate who had their own bathroom and my SO's current roommate who has their own bathroom was/are rarely seen. Plus great tip about living with someone who works nights or weekends, I wouldn't have thought of that.
mooretrees wrote:
Fri Dec 27, 2019 6:58 pm
I wanted to chime in with some specific suggestions for reducing your food budget. You sound like you are going from eating out most meals to trying to reduce to five or so (can't remember your exact number...) and it sounds like it's been a mixed bag of success/failure. Why not try to make one or two really simple easy meals? Do you have those in your cooking repertoire yet? Like, a simple stir fry or frittata? I like both of those meals because all you really need are some veggies, eggs, maybe some cheese, and a few sauce ingredients. The best situation to get you to eat at home more is to make is EASY to do so. Someone else mentioned a CSA share. Whatever you can do to make it easy for you to cook at home is best. If that means starting with some boxed meals and a rotisserie chicken, then do that. I'm not clear on your cooking skills, I'm am assuming they are pretty negligible because you don't get much practice. So figure out a simple two or three meals that you can make easily, and add one or more every other week or so.
Thanks for the tips! Yeah, my cooking skills are somewhat poor, but I think I can cook enough that going without eating out can be okay if I plan ahead. I can cook a few simple foods (eggs, stir fry, roasted vegetables, porridge, lentil soup :D) plus I learned to cook chili last week which I think is what I'm going to keep large quantities of in my fridge.

My plan is to keep a few containers of cooked beans around and a few containers of chili around since they are easy to make in large quantities. Then I can easily make the next batch of chili when my current one ends given the beans are already cooked or I can eat the beans plain or I can make some rice and stir fry the beans and rice with vegetables.
flying_pan wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:06 am
I read through your journal and your weekly plans especially caught my eye. I am also a software developer, so I kind of feel where you are coming from regarding your plans. To me it sounds like you are trying to achieve goals which will make you a "better person", but looks like you are trying to do too much.

For example, running. Why running at all? Why not walking? If you live in SF (looking at your rent seems so), it is pretty walkable, so why not just start with long walks? Another point about 5 runs per week. Now, 2 miles is not super lot, but 5 times per week is extremely high (you don't need that high frequency unless you are competing). 1 run per week + couple long walks are good enough for start. I assume a lot about your shape here, but you mentioned that two times in a row was tough.

To get into shape, one should progress slowly! And if you feel any pain, or you are tired too much, no need to push yourself. Your muscles will take time.
I was trying to do too much in the first few weeks of my journal. However, I think the problem with my exercise plans is/was more that I didn't really know how to get into exercise. I've been sedentary my whole life minus a few months I was running long distance in high school, so I don't know what was too much or too little until I tried it. After trying to run and failing for various reasons in the early weeks, I realized I should probably work up to running more and now I'm working on a Couch to 5k program instead. In the longer term, I also plan to learn more about exercising so I can make my own workout plans. I chose running because I did enjoy running that time in high school plus it's cheap, it's convenient, it feels good afterward, and it's easy.
flying_pan wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:06 am
Closing thoughts. It looks to me that you are trying to restrict yourself and do what is "good" for you. It is a good intention, but it looks like you are making a lot of sacrifices. The goal of ERE for me (and only for me, not trying to present it as a universal goal) is to find alternatives to what we often do, and then make a choice. It also takes time, so no need to punish yourself for failing objectives! Explore different options and don't be afraid to concentrate on problems 1 by 1, no need to attack all of them.
Going into the "no spend" year a lot of things I'm cutting will seem like sacrifice at first, but I'm betting that after the first few months of going without, I'll gradually start finding equal or better alternatives to spending that I wouldn't have pushed myself to find without this artificial constraint. And if that doesn't happen, it's only a year. :)
ertyu wrote:
Sat Dec 28, 2019 1:46 am
I just read a book about personal change (as I am in sore need of personally changing) and their argument was that change starts with your vision of your ideal life - not the shoulds and oughts and "that book says it's good to aim to" but the core motivation behind it all. I think it may be why both of us struggle with full time work - we don't know why we're doing it and what we're aiming to achieve. So that's what I'm going to work on next, developing a personal vision. Figured I'd drop that here.

Good luck
Thanks! I think my personal vision does need a lot of work. Whenever I think about it, it's easy to imagine the things I'll have freedom from, but I don't have one overarching thing I want to do after I quit my current job. I have a couple of things that might be fun to do (starting a company, PhD, real estate investing, playing more music), but none of those are a driving urge. Maybe I should commit to one and create a more grand vision about it even if in reality I'm not sure which is the most compelling.

mathiverse
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

After a multi-year bicycle riding hiatus, I went for a ride mostly on bike trails today. I was out for about 2 hours and was riding for maybe 1.5 hours of that. Turns out it only takes 20 - 25 minutes for me to bike to my favorite park.

Seems like biking more places is doable. Plus I really do enjoy biking. It can be a bit scary on some streets, but on the trails it's pretty pleasurable.

I'll try to bike one place new place every couple weeks until I know all the routes to my main haunts and have validated they are reasonable for me to bike to (likely 3 - 6 months until this is done). After that I'll try to go without a car for a month or two and if that goes well, then I'll put my car up for sell.

mooretrees
Posts: 326
Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2019 1:21 pm

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mooretrees »

Years ago when I lived in a city and was getting rid of my car, I made a small list of how long it would take me to get to my normal places by bike. Mostly it was to reassure myself that it was totally doable and to make the transition easier. It worked really well. Also, if you're going to switch to biking more, give yourself some time to figure out gear/clothes that make sense for you climate. When I lived in Portland, rain clothes were essential. But your climate is more mild and not as wet, right?

The other reality about biking is that it is way more fun than driving. I have never regretted a single bike ride and even in some bad situations (pouring down rain, super hot) I always was happy I biked. The best advice I can give you about riding in the city; always assume the cars are going to hit you and ride very conservatively.

Congrats on getting back into the fun way of travelling!

mathiverse
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

Yesterday, I read this journal on the MMM forum from a really high paid person who lived on one Jacob a year.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/journ ... ventures/

Wow. I wish I had that level of skill. In OP's case, they did not intend to live at that level of expenses for their retirement, but, even still, I was impressed.

As a result of reading his journal, I also realized I was making cooking more complicated than I needed to. I'm a totally novice cook and so I've been following recipes exactly since I don't want to mess them up. The problem is that they have so many damn ingredients in specific proportions that it's very annoying to cook them.

Herbert Derp had a very simple menu with meals that had very few ingredients (plus in his case he could cook them in a single pot). I'm going to aim for that in my future cooking endeavors. To start, I'm going to make a simple rice and beans mixture and add whatever spices I want. From there, I can branch out. I am going to get some one pot recipe books from the library to see if I can get some ideas for simple additions I can make.

Changing my cooking plan up like this also means I can afford to cook everyday if I'd like to since it'll take less time with a simple recipe made in a single pot.

Also chopping vegetables takes so long, I might start eating salads at work during lunch and leave all vegetables out of the dinner I make at home, so I no longer have to chop any vegetables while still getting some vegetables in my diet. That's another thing Herbert Derp ended up doing that I could copy. Work has more salad ingredients than I keep around anyway. That would also mean I don't have to go to the grocery store as often.

mathiverse
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

bigato wrote:
Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:57 pm
You mean cooking rice and beans together? That’s doable if it’s brown rice, but not such a good idea if it’s white rice because it cooks much faster than the beans.
Oh hm. I'm going to have to figure out some logistics. Maybe I could do rice and beans on different days rather than eating them in the same meals.

Eureka
Posts: 326
Joined: Fri Jun 10, 2016 11:03 am

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by Eureka »

Of course you can cook white rice and beans in the same pot. Just pick some beans, like mung beans, with a short cooking time. If you add spices, you get the Indian dish kitchari, but you can also just add salt and a little oil for a simple version.

https://realandvibrant.com/healing-ayur ... ainer-4499

Scott 2
Posts: 1546
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by Scott 2 »

For beans - I bought a $10, 3 qt. crock pot off Amazon. I rinse and sort a cup of dry beans (no soaking). Then I add 2.75c water, 1/2tsp salt, 1tsp random spices, 1/8tsp cayenne. Turn it on high and run until beans are done, maybe 6-7 hours. It depends how old the beans are. Super easy. It makes 3 single cup servings. I could do bigger batches, but I get tired of eating them. I did not like watching or washing the pressure cooker.

I get protein at meal time, by dropping 3 eggs into a hard boiled egg cooker. Effortless, other than cooling and peeling them.

I still debate on a rice cooker. Currently I cook two servings on the stove. Day old rice is tolerable, but not nearly as good.

mathiverse
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

Thanks for all the suggestions, everyone! I'll try them out. I've got an electric pressure cooker, so I'm good to go there.

2019 Summary

Savings Rate Over 2019: 35.49%

Honestly, I'm a bit embarrassed by my numbers here, so I'll leave it at that. This will improve next year!

December 2019 Summary

Savings Rate: -75.66%

Same as above. I had a few one off, high expenses this month. This will improve as well!

Looking Forward to 2020

Most of my money is in retirement accounts, I am going to change that this year. I will max my pre-tax 401k and my IRA, then I will save until I have 3x yearly Bay Area expenses in cash. That should lower my stress at work. With that much in cash, if I get fired I'll have time to regroup while remaining in the Bay Area rather than needing to leave immediately or find a job immediately. I don't expect to get fired, but I want that peace of mind. edit: This would also mean, if I wanted to move away to somewhere I could maintain 1 - 2 Jacobs of spending, I could ERE or semi-ERE immediately if I were fired. However, given I have an SO in the Bay Area, I don't think I'd want to leave the Bay immediately.

I've been thinking about what FBeyer wrote in another thread: viewtopic.php?f=7&p=203461#p203258

He suggested I ask myself "What do I need to live a fulfilled life?" rather than "How do I lower my expenses?"

I've spent the last few days thinking about "what I need to live a fulfilled life?" It turns out when I ask myself that question, I do, as FBeyer said, start thinking about my "needs, values, and dreams" and eventually I get to the point where I'm considering similar things to what I would have with the "lowering expenses" question while having also considered my values and what's important to me and why.

Thinking about those things, I realized that a missing piece of a fulfilled life is my satisfaction with work. I've been focusing on all the bad parts of my job and thinking about how to leave it ASAP, but I also love the core parts of my work and think I'm in an amazing position that I only dreamed of having when I started working full time. I think sorting out my attitude towards my job and figuring out how to have a more sustainable mindset with respect to work will go a long way toward increasing my fulfillment. This change is almost wholly psychological, but there are also actions I can take to make work more fulfilling. Wish me luck!

edit: Note: I'm still doing the "no spend" year mentioned a few posts back. I'm only changing how I approach thinking about the things I'm removing as a result.

mathiverse
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

Success: A Change Required by the No Spend Year Experiment

I walked into the grocery store looking for sweet potatoes. I come out with bananas, blueberries, maple syrup, and some fruit juice that add up to $21.

What runs through my mind:
Oh shoot, I blew through one-tenth of my food budget on these items. How the heck did those four things cost me $21? I should keep track of how much I've spent in the last month and pay attention to the prices as I add things to my cart. I'll make a spreadsheet on Google Sheets to keep track. Also what do I have at home that I can eat for the next month in case I use up my budget too quickly?

Well, there ya go. The $200 a month constraint on food has already resulted in me changing my process for the better.

I do wonder whether the experiment will result in a long lasting change. Maybe not if the artificial constraint continues to be the primary/only reason I buy cheaper foods. Maybe yes, if the year of buying cheaper foods due to the constraints results in me getting better at cooking with those cheaper food so that I enjoy eating at home more often.

PS: I know you're wondering about the sweet potatoes. They didn't have any at the store I went to, so I browsed (another mistake!).

edit: In hindsight, maybe I shouldn't have been so excited about this. I think this is called budgeting. ;P

Scott 2
Posts: 1546
Joined: Sun Feb 12, 2012 10:34 pm

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by Scott 2 »

That does seem like a lot. I think learning to shop and eat differently is something you can keep, without it feeling like sacrifice.

In my area, Aldi provides a much cheaper source for that basket of food. I'd guess at least 33% less. I'd probably go with frozen blueberries, whatever potato was cheapest, and consider a sugar substitute for the maple syrup. It tends to be overly expensive. I'm sure I could get a comparable basket for half the $21.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1905
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

Groceries is probably the area in which an artificial budget constraint provides the most positives, least negatives. Most foods have limited shelf life, and most people have limited shelf space. So the ability to make a large, expensive purchase to save in the long run is limited by other preexisting constraints. Also, procurement of any tool minimizing the above restraints (ie extra deep freezer, or storage containers) do not fall under the "grocery" budget line. Working within the grocery budget forces one to act differently and learn to use whatever they can afford, but does not prevent capital expenditure in other realms that will increase grocery dollars efficiency.

mathiverse
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

Upon further thought, I don't think I want to have roommates. classical_Liberal is right in that live alone enables me to much better handle work. Besides, I can reduce my rent by a couple hundred a month by moving a bit further away.

Now I want to move to a neighborhood that is about 3 - 4 miles from work. I can bike to work or I can take the bus (there are two stops near where I plan to live that stop at my office). I'll probably start off mostly taking the bus and then move on to biking a day or two at a time until I get into the habit of doing it daily (or when there is good weather at least).

The bike/bus commute is somewhat a downgrade from my current walking commute, but in some ways it's an upgrade. I have a hard time getting in moderate exercise on the daily because I don't like splitting my day up into small chunks and my normal hobbies are non-active, so I'm going to get into bike commuting which will feel like a part of the work chunk of the day that is non-optional anyway.

Upsides of the New Neighborhood
  • Bike commuting distance
  • Two different bus stops that go to my office
  • Three grocery stores in walking distance that I know of and likely some smaller grocers nearby as well
  • Cheaper rent
  • More residential area that will be quieter
  • Much more walkable area overall than my current neighborhood
  • Walking distance to my significant other (The main reason I drive on the weekend is to get to their place.)
  • Walking distance to the library and to the downtown area of the city I live in
  • Walking distance to the doctor
  • Walking distance to a park with a tennis courts and tennis walls
  • I'm more likely to spend a full work day at work instead of cutting out early and bringing work home if I'm waiting on the bus schedule. Probably a good forcing function for my current situation at work.
I'm optimistic this will result in a good lifestyle change for me. I want to try it out before committing though because I also was optimistic about the van living which turned out to be net negative in my case. Maybe I can get a six month lease at a place in the area!

Assuming this move does work out as I hope, I can likely justify selling my car once I've gotten into the habit of biking to work and my other local destinations. We'll see.

@bigato
Thanks for the suggestion wrt fried garlic and black beans. I also add onions, salt, and paprika and the result is delicious and honestly something I've been eating for 2 - 3 meals a day in the last week.

classical_Liberal
Posts: 1905
Joined: Sun Mar 20, 2016 6:05 am

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by classical_Liberal »

Sounds like your making great progress!!

Instead of looking at housing from a financial cost constraint, maybe look at it from a maximum space constraint. If you need certain things in a housing solution for sanity while working your job, and you want it to otherwise work into your web of goals, the actual cost of housing itself may not be the best indicator of it aligning with what you want to accomplish.

For example. I need at least 150sq feet of private, quiet space to do my thing, and reasonably easy access to a kitchen and bathroom for hassle free cooking and cleaning. If a roommate means cooking will be a hassle, and my time is limited while working, I won't do it nearly as much. This is counter productive to my overall goals. I'd be better off spending a bit more to have this easy (or private) kitchen access while working because it gets me in the right habits for cooking food. The long term web-of-goals benefits benefits being less food costs as I become more skilled cook, healthier home-made foods, tastier foods that bring me joy, etc. Obviously proximity to things is huge on the transportation and health front as well (walking/biking vs driving). The list goes on.

Anyway, your needs will be different than mine. I encourage experimentation by starting with the least space you think you need, while taking into consideration all the other things as well, cost only being one of them. It's likely that it'll turn out to be more than you need and you can experiment further to reduce costs. It reads like you are considering most of this in your analysis, even entertainment solutions nearby, etc. So maybe I'm just providing a bit of confirmation bias for you. :D

mathiverse
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

I did the bike ride from the new neighborhood to my office and it was good. It wasn't during rush hour, so I don't have the full experience yet, but the ride is easy enough for me.

I also put in a rental application for a place in that neighborhood. Rent may be higher rather than lower like I thought, but I'm excited to move anyway.

mathiverse
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

More fruits from FBeyer's recommendation to ask myself what I need to live a fulfilled life. At first he told me this so I would stop thinking in terms of how I can cut expenses, but if I combine that question with a question of if I should increase my expenses for an apartment that costs more, I find that the extra amenities (central heating, central A/C, in unit laundry) of the apartment are not helpful in letting me live a more fulfilled life compared to a cheaper apartment in the same area.

However, moving a few blocks closer to the park with the tennis courts probably will increase how fulfilled I feel assuming I end up regularly using the courts, so maybe the cheaper apartment is better in terms of costs AND fulfillment which is great.

mathiverse
Posts: 82
Joined: Fri Feb 01, 2019 8:40 pm

Re: mathiverse's journal

Post by mathiverse »

Short Update

I found a new place to rent that is ~$350 cheaper a month than my current apartment in the new neighborhood. Woot! Let's see how it goes. It seems like I'll be able to get a better night of sleep there.

I donated my van and no longer have to pay for its car insurance. Yay!

The no spend year is going well. I did spend on one thing that wasn't budgeted, replacement keys when terminating my UPS mailbox contract, but the result is that I no longer have any loose ends from living in the van last year.

I've biked to my new neighborhood from the office twice. It was even easier the second time. I think I'll begin biking to work twice a week right off the bat.

Progress :)

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