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Links from Hacker Newsletter #422

My own abridged lists of links I found interesting via the Hacker Newsletter this week.

Hacker News


How To Manage your Monies

Save and don’t touch

Before getting into any deep thoughts on money management. Simply set an amount per paycheck you can live without. Set your account to automatically direct these funds to your savings account every pay period. Leave this account out of sight and out of mind. This is not meant for spending or even as a buffer. Create an emergency fund and leave that as a buffer in your checking. Simply don’t touch your savings until it’s necessary. All banks have restrictions on how many withdrawals you can make from your savings.

Stay away from credit

I got my first credit card when I was 31. I am happy I resisted it this long. Google the word obfuscate. Credit cards help to render your financial management into confusion aka obfuscation. It’s not worth the hassle. Keep it simple, spend only what you have. If you chose to forgo this advice, since there are some great benefits of having credit. Pay off your entire balance to zero at every statement. Not just the statement balance, I mean it, to zero. If you credit card is currently a debt, start aggressively pay it down.

Take inventory

You need to know what is coming in and what is going out. Print out your last two months of bank statements. Create a spreadsheet and figure out what is your monthly take home pay income and what are your recurring monthly expenses. (Round up to the nearest dollar) Budget for eating out, groceries, gas, and other predictable monthly expenses, round up. List out all your recurring annual expenses, divide that number by 12. Now you should have a rough idea of you expenses and what you have left over for spending and saving. Once you figure out your savings goal treat it as an expense, it’s important to never perceive your savings as spending money.

To save or to pay off debt

First save $1000, this will be your emergency fund if your car breaks down or any miscellaneous repairs. Then start a goal to save roughly 3 months of living. Do this based off your current lifestyle. If something goes wrong with your job you got 3 months to continue living your normal lifestyle or you can pare down your expenses and be able to extend those funds for more time. After you have both emergency funds fully funded. Start paying down debt. Pay off the smallest balance first. Regardless of interest fee, the motivation gain by achieving this lower hanging goal will be priceless. Now move the funds that were allocated to pay off the previous debt to your next lowest balance. This is called the snowball effect.

Reduce your expenses

After you have taken inventory of your bills, see what you really need to survive. Start cancelling all your subscriptions one by one. You can re-subscribe back to them a la carte. Crazy enough, a lot of the services you are subscribed to will give you discounted rates not to leave. Take the savings you just earned from cancelling and roll them into funding your savings goals or paying off debt.

Have a goal in mind

If it’s saving for something big like a trip, paying off debt, or just the knowledge you know you are good. After you hit this moment it’s time to think about investing.

My current setup

For checking, I use Simple. I really enjoy this online bank. There are zeros fees and no such thing as overdraft. I been with them for a year now and I have been extremely happy moving to them. They have great features that help you manage your expenses, goals, and savings.

For Savings, I use Marcus by Goldman Sachs. When I initially started with Simple they did not offer savings, now they do. I still enjoy having my funds move over to Marcus. It aligns with my ‘out of sight out of mind’ philosophy of no touching your savings. Additionally, it will take 2-3 business days for these funds to transfer back to your checking, I see this as a plus, since you be forced to always see your savings as untouchable. I have a portion of my emergency funds in savings at Simple, so this would not be an issue. Lastly, Marcus has one of the best interest rates for savings accounts and it continues to go up ever couple of months, so that is more money in your pocket.

For Password Management, Last Pass. There are those pesky bills you only pay once a year and you always forget the password to. Get a password management system like Last Pass. This will make things way easier and more secure.


Simon Sinek at Jen Waldman Studio


Simon Sinek visits Jen Waldman Studio for a conversation about what it means to live an artistic life and start with Why. Recorded at JWS on March 2, 2018.

I really enjoyed this conversation, I been harping on his ideas on the infinite game vs the finite game for weeks. Additionally he has some great insights on being an artist vs being an interpretive artist, I have never thought to isolate the two before. I would recommend watching any of this guy's long form discussion, so much to unpack in each one of his lectures.


Micro Apartment by Douglas Wan


"NEVER TOO SMALL ep.7 Micro Apartment Design George"

Douglas Wan turned his 28sqm micro studio apartment into series of small spaces, creating contrast and depth by smoothly varying heights and materials.


Geoff McFetridge - ART SCHOOL


In the first episode of Art School—a series devoted to exploring the process and background of artists from all fields—graphic designer Geoff McFetridge shares his space and vision.

https://www.instagram.com/mcfetridge/


Why You Should Be Typing On A Mechanical Keyboard

mechanical keyboard

Simply why must you get a Mechanical keyboard

  1. It feels awesome to use. You immediately will feel more confident with how you type and it just feels many times over more professional like tapping away at a typewriter.
  2. You are not tethered to a laptop. Laptop’s are great because you can easily release yourself from always having to sit at your desk and can literally work on top of your lap. I do all my work on an ultra portable laptop with a small screen, great for portability but when I want to fully use my large external monitor as my primary screen its tough without oddly positioning my laptop or just plugging in a keyboard. 

I may sound pretty ridiculous saying that tapping away at a mechanical keyboard would instill confidence, but I more than feel that this is true. I realized it immediately once I started typing away at it. With the tactile mechanical nature of each key, when you press a key it responds with a resonating click. Because of the flat sensitive keys on my laptop, I spent much of my time fixing errors due to pressing the wrong key nearby than for actual spelling and grammar errors. This type of experience reminds me of when I was in graduate architecture school and a professor mocked me for sketching with a ball point pen. I thought his comments were unfounded until a year or so later I started writing with a fountain pen, and I quickly noticed the versatility you have with an instrument like that  This is the same case.

These types of keyboards are heavily marketed towards the gaming community, I am not a gamer nor do I plan to be one. This investment was completely on the focus of having a better typing experience and to fully utilize my larger screen as my primary monitor. This purchased definitely impressed me more than I could have imagine. 
I am typing on the DREVO Tyring (Tenkeyless) Keyboard. For $41 it’s the best you are going to get in quality and with real mechanical keys.
 


Embrace a Little Disorder

Of late I have been experiencing a case of sensory overload, just feeling over-stimulated by everything. I can not fully figure out what is the root cause to this disorder. It could be poor sleep, horrible diet, not enough exercise, too many digital distractions, maybe my day job is just that tough, or it could possibly be plain avoidance. A little procrastination in one part of your life starts to pile up a list of demands. Demands that creates a mental residue of things that need to be addressed and vie for your attention. My initial thought was to clean up every part in my life, that would fix it! Despite if I agree with that statement or not, that would be a daunting task to take on. One that does not provide a lot of continual motivation. Can the 'obstacle' really be the way? I was reminded by Josh Waitzkin’s book ‘The Art of Learning’, he didn’t care much for an overly organized & pristine environment where everything felt precious. Instead he invited disorder into his life, purposely leaving pictures askew on his walls. Things that would drive other people crazy instead he embraced them, so he was not conditioned to only to work in perfect environments but be able to work effectively in any situation. Once I quickly remembered this like a crazy man I threw everything that was sitting around in my home office right on top of my desk instead of trying to methodically strategize in a orderly way. I wanted my desk to be as cluttered as possible.  That comical tower of mass on my desk was actually more relieving than stress inducing. I might have found the way out and it was through the obstacle, the overload. At that moment I was finally armed with a better mindset to judicially go through everything on my desk and figure out what I really had time to commit myself to and what just needed to be thrown in the garbage without thought. I wanted to see how far this could take me, I picked up my phone and started typing this post, copied it to WORD, edit it, and now you are reading it. Embrace some disorder, be sloppy, get started and get it done. At the end I was able to sort through a pile of mail, calm my overly stimulated mind, and post my thoughts on it. ?

Edit: Two days later I revisited this post and tweaked the grammar & syntax. I am really happy to have had that burst of energy to write this and post it with confidence. Edit #2: 50 days later, I cleaned up some grammar issues. I feel so good to have written this post, rereading it has it own power to remind me how I got out of a previous funk.


Derek Sivers's Writing Process

  1. Write all of my thoughts on a subject.
  2. Argue against those ideas.
  3. Explore different angles until I’m sick of it.
  4. Leave it for a few days or years, then repeat those steps.
  5. Hate the messy pile of thoughts.
  6. Write a tiny outline of the key points.
  7. Post the outline. Trash the rest.

Other posts by Derek


Isaiah Rashad With Anderson .Paak At MacArthur Park


TDE artists Isaiah Rashad performed with Anderson .Paak and Free Nationals in Los Angeles on 12-3-17

 This morning while clearing up my bookmarks I found this gem. It reminded me of my days walking down every block of MacArthur Park while I was in Grad school. It was an architecture project I was helping a professor with, but I grew to really appreciate the area around that park and pavilion. Additionally, Isaiah Rashad killed it. Definitely a rapper I always appreciate when I listen to him, I will definitely not be sleeping on his music.