Dave is an extremely lucky guy, living in the great city of New York. He knows that you don’t have to have a six figure salary to get the most out of NYC. He blogs about saving money without sacrificing quality of life and currently lives off of approximately $25,000 per year with the rest of his income going towards saving and investing for an early retirement. These are his good things.
Good things to read.
Ready Player One, by Earnest Cline. A great Sci-Fi story about a dystopian future, where those who can afford it, tap into a virtual reality world for most of the day to escape what the real world has become. The creator of this world has died, and he is giving his inheritance to the person who can follow a trail of clues he has left in his virtual world and overcome challenges he has placed. As Wade, the main character gets closer to the inheritance, he finds himself getting closer to the people that control society and finds himself fighting another battle altogether. I love Sci-Fi, and this was a particularly good read. Not to mention, I am a child of the 80s and the creator of the virtual reality world loves 80s pop culture and references it constantly. It all comes together for some great fun!
A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole. I am not sure why this hasn’t been turned into an HBO series yet. It has all the intelligence of a great HBO drama, but with a huge helping of humor. Set in New Orleans, Toole creates a cast of unique, bizarre and hilarious characters, led by the out-of-touch (delusional even), psuedo-intellectual, Ignatius.
Mr. Money Mustache’s Blog. This is the first blog I read about early retirement. I have always been frugal-minded, but this blog brought the “why” into perspective for me. I understood why I wanted to save and why I wanted to work at saving even more than I already did. I recommend going through the archives and reading any article that looks interesting to you. Most of them have a lot to offer.
Good things to watch.
Dollhouse. Leading off with more Sci-Fi. This is a TV show by creator Joss Whedon that only lasted two seasons (so it won’t take a lot of you time). The setup is a bit obvious. A corporation wipes their employees (indentured servants) minds so that they are a blank slate. They then imprint these “blanks” with any requested personality and rent them out to rich clientele. Of course, being Sci-Fi, you might guess that this show is looking to explore the question “what does it mean to be human”. I very much enjoyed the ride and the intricacies of this exploration, though.
The Queen of Versailles. A documentary film about how the super wealthy live and how they dealt with the real estate bubble collapse and the recession. I found myself scoffing at their excess one moment and sympathizing with them as they build an unsustainable reality for themselves the next.
Sunsets. Yes, I realize this is a bit hokie, but as much as I like watching TV shows and movies, I think it is important to unplug from time to time, relax and enjoy a sunset (preferably with a beer in hand). In NYC, there is nothing better than finding a friend with a roof deck and grill in the summertime and watching the sun go down over New Jersey.
Good things to use.
FollowUpThen.com. This has been the absolute best productivity tool I have ever used. And it’s free! Just send or forward an email to a specific time @ followupthen.com (for instance, email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org) and it will shoot you a reminder email then! For someone with as terrible a memory as mine, it has been a lifesaver. And you don’t even need to sign up. Just send an email – right now!
These Silly Scrubby Things. A long time ago, I switched from bar soap to body wash. But with these little things, bar soap lathers just as effectively as body wash while lasting longer and costing less. It’s a small thing, but it makes me happy.
IFTTT.com. I love automation. I use IFTTT and now I get a text message if rain is expected, so I can remember my umbrella. I can turn on my A/C from my phone (using WeMo). I get updates on my favorite sports teams. I get an email as soon as a product I am looking for gets listed on Craigslist or Woot.com. And I automatically tweet and post my new blog entries across my social media channels.
Connect with Dave on Twitter, @NewYorkBudget.