Monthly update: The joy of renting and a shambolic quiz
Jun 08, 2020 4:02 am
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Here's what had my attention in May...
What I've been up to
🏠 I compiled a list of five things I don't like about where I currently live, and read them out to my wife. When I tell you that the list includes "no ice dispenser on the built-in freezer" and "not quite enough room at the foot of the bed to do yoga", you'll understand that I live a ludicrously charmed existence and it's disgraceful that a single negative thought should be allowed to run through my head.
Nevertheless – we're considering moving, mainly because we rent so it's extremely easy to do. Although we're happy where we are (lack of ice cube provision aside), it might be fun getting to know a new part of town or moving into a swanky new block with an integrated co-working space and swimming pool.
This is why I love renting: there's no pressure to choose somewhere that meets our current and future needs, and it's very low-risk to try new things and test our preconceptions. For example, I assume I much prefer living in apartments to houses – but I've never lived in a house as an adult, so why not try it for a year at some point?
(The main downside to renting is crappy landlords and agents – which is why I'm more supportive of pro-tenant measures than you'd expect a property investor to be, and believe that the professionalisation of the sector is broadly a good thing.)
🚴♂️ I've signed up for a London to Brighton bike ride in September, as part of my usual strategy for improving at something: sign up for a daunting challenge, leaving me with no option but to start training. At the moment I keep having tubby middle-aged men glide effortlessly past me while I puff my way up modest inclines, so let me know if you have any tips to share!
What I've published
– Personal Leverage: A method for squeezing maximum results from your working hours. Away from its new and annoying life as a fancy synonym for "use", leverage is a concept that can transform your personal productivity.
– My 10 financial principles. Which do you agree with? Or more interestingly – which do you disagree with?
– My life as a part-time vegan: The case for making big changes slowly. Morally inconsistent? Sure! But there's a principle here for making difficult changes that stick.
What I've enjoyed
🤑 Andrew Wilkinson is the owner of a portfolio of small software businesses, and has been called "The Warren Buffet of the internet". He was interviewed on the My First Million podcast, and I found it a fascinating conversation. It gets geeky in places and won't be totally accessible if you're not familiar with online business models, but there are lessons that can be applied to any type of investment. I particularly loved his concept of "a New Zealand business".
🎧 I've barely listened to any other podcasts because I spent thirty six hours this month listening to an audio course about the history of concert music. I know that topic is unlikely to interest you, but the company behind it – The Great Courses – has 852 courses on Audible that cover a massive range of topics. And given that they each cost just 1 Audible credit, it's pretty insane value.
🍺 My wife and I have been watching a Virtual Pub Quiz on YouTube in the evenings. It is – as the name suggests – just a bloke hosting a pub quiz, which you can either stream live and compete against friends or just watch the recording later. It's charmingly lo-fi and shambolic, and often made easier by the host putting up the wrong set of slides and showing you the answers instead of the questions.
👋That’s it for May! It'd be great to hear from you if you've got news or recommendations to share.
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