Tuesday, November 13, 2018

What have I been spending on ?

Having lived on dividend income for the past 4 years, my household is relieved to have earned income flowing in again. I am personally quite happy, but mainly for the "perverse" reason that I will be paying income taxes again next year.

The big question for financially independent folks who find a way towards earned income again is what should a person do with it ?

My hobbies are relatively cheap. I buy tabletop RPG PDF books and then read I them like a book of Statutes. I have relatively little wants and my household spending is as lean as ever.

My problem is largely solved by the pact I have with my course attendees. I put in slightly more than half my earnings into a leveraged account on a portfolio we jointly co-create together. That still leaves the other half to be spent.

A large part of the remaining amounts is just given to my wife because it increases the quality of life for my household immediately. She has gone crazy hunting for deals online.

One of her most ridiculous coups is a Coffee Capsule machine that was sold by Coffee Bean Tea Leaf on their 22nd Anniversary. This model was supposed to sell at over $300+ but we bought it at $22. After testing it, we loved it so much, we bought another machine for my brother in law.

We have since gone a little crazy during the 11.11 since I am an Amazon Prime member. I've spent over $400 buying stuff from Amazon last week. Even worse, last week there was a rare Moleskine stationery sale where I could get designer stationery at half price, so I did as much Christmas shopping as I could so we don't have to worry about buying gifts later.

One of the problems of adopting a highly disciplined lifestyle but splurging during heavy discount days is that you lack control over how your life will turn out. You basically have to go with the flow and enjoy whatever the stores are discounting at that time.

We only get to upgrade our coffee because we lucked out on a coffee machine. I also got a lot of junk toys, my daughter got silly Operation game with a Finding Nemo theme. My son got a pair of Nerf swords.

If you want something cheap, you don't really have a choice to get what you truly desire. You will need to adapt yourself to whatever you can buy.

Just for fun and to show that I am human, I'm going to talk about what I hopefully will be buying for myself over the next six months :

a) Google Pixel 3 XL

I've been using my OnePlus 2 phone for close to 4 years and even tried to install new batteries about half a year ago, but the phone would still lose a charge after 6 hours and I'm getting quite sick of that. I've been meaning to go back to a pure Google phone for quite a while and this is my chance to do that. Sadly, the Pixel is priced as a flagship product and I expect to pay possibly $1,500 for it. It's probably since I have a habit of using phones for 4-5 years anyway.

b) Creative Super X-Fi Air

There is always a special place in my heart for Creative because I did my engineering internship there and it was one of my first paid engineering gigs ever.

While I'm not really into audio, the idea of adopting sound waves to an image of your ears is really exciting to me. The other reason why I am excited is because I have been introduced to the world of high-end audio by other friends who talk about "auditioning" audio equipment. The potential of getting $15,000 sound at maybe $300-$500 is intriguing and may even lead to a long term position in Creative Technologies.

c) Next Generation Ipad Pro

I am very likely to stick to the Apple ecosystem for my tablet because of Goodreader. I expect to pay through my nose for a 1 TB version because it lets me lug my entire RPG library around.

Of course the prospect of playing Diablo on a tablet is an exciting one.

I will still prioritise developing my human and financial capital over these new shiny toys, so I'm not sure whether I can act on my wants. Ahead of these gadgets is a course on Improvisation and Voice training - since I use my mouth to make money these days, I should be investing to ensure that I get better at it.

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