Recommendations

It is no secret that I am not a huge fan of the frugality and minimalism movements. My philosophy is one of “if something makes you happy (and isn’t hurting anyone), then it is good”.

That said I’m also a proponent of common sense (it is a super power!), which includes not buying crap you don’t need.

This page contains a list of great products that I use every day, have lasted for years, and have simplified or added value to my life in some tangible way.





Apple Macbook

Like many techies of my generation I was a long term fan of Sony Vaio laptops. They were powerful and indestructible. Then they stopped trying, before giving up altogether.

After much research and angst I tried a Macbook. Wow! The initial learning curve was steep, but once conquered I haven’t looked back. They last even longer than the Vaios of yore did, yet for reasons I don’t entirely comprehend manage to retain a decent resale value on eBay.

For UK based folks John Lewis matches advertised prices, yet doubles the length of the manufacturer warranty for free. Definitely worth looking into.


Bellroy Leather Note Sleeve Wallet

Bellroy Leather Note Sleeve Wallet
BiggerPockets have made a name for themselves in the real estate community by providing useful advice that helps to fill the wallets of investors.

I’m a big fan of income generating investments, but I must confess I dislike feeling like I need bigger pockets to carry it all around in. Fortunately I found these great quality Bellroy slim line wallets that have plenty of space for paper money and those few cards I used every day.


Cookware

A friend of mine used to be a chef in a Michelin star restaurant. I’d mentioned that I enjoyed cooking, but found the preparation side of things tedious and at times a bit discouraging.

He sagely observed as with any trade, a chef should be equipped with the right tools for the job and know where and when to utilise each one. He talked me into buying a decent saucepan set and a couple of really good knives. I must confess it made a world of difference, so is definitely worth exploring.


Doxie Go Wi-fi Scanner

Many years ago I had a home office, with a desk, office chair, in-tray, filing cabinet, computer, flat-bed scanner, and external hard drive for backups.

Today I have replaced all of that clutter with this clever little Doxie portable scanner that automagically scans and uploads documents both to my laptop and a backup directly to the cloud via a baked in Wi-Fi connection.


Smartphone

Mobile phones are ubiquitous these days, with many online banking and brokerage services insisting on using two factor authentication via text message to confirm their customer’s identity.

Smart phones (with iPhones being smarter than most) have replaced any need to carry a separate camera, watch, day planner, notepad, torch, music player, book, newspaper, and map.

For UK based folks John Lewis matches advertised prices, yet doubles the length of the manufacturer warranty for free. Definitely worth looking into.


Syncwire 4-Port Fast Charger with Travel Adapters

These days every new electronic toy seems to come with its own charger. The trouble is that while the number of devices has proliferated, the number of power points around the house has not. This creates a physics problem.

This handy Syncwire box uses up just one power socket, yet can concurrently charge up to 4 devices. For bonus points and lighter travel bags it ships with adapter plugs so it can work in most locations.


Kolumbo 4-Port 2500W and 3 Prong Travel Adapter

For devices that have a dedicated power plug, like laptops, you need a dedicated adapter plug. However the great cheap ones can’t cope with power guzzling appliances like hair dryers and the like.

My original plan was to get the cheap one and not take the hair dryer/straightener/etc. Then I received that look (all you married guys know the one I mean). Plan B was this clever Kolumbo adapter, which has worked pretty much everywhere.


Decent Running Shoes

I find jogging a great way to unwind, destress, and get some exercise. Best of all it is free, it doesn’t require a commute, and the only equipment required is a pair of trainers.

After running a marathon in cheap shoes I learned the hard way that running shoes are one area of spending where you shouldn't cut corners. Buy shoes well suited to your feet, no matter how ungainly your gait may be. The best running shoes I’ve owned were Brooks Ghosts.


Reading List

Every blogger has a bunch of favourite books they recommend. From an economics, personal finance and investing perspective here are mine. Save yourself some clutter by getting the kindle version.


Takeaway: Pay yourself first, spend less than you earn.

Takeaway: A distilled summary of conventional FIRE philosophy.

Takeaway: Capital gains are lovely, but it is income that buys the groceries.

Takeaway: Focus on the value add, automate and outsource the rest.

Takeaway: Economics as it should be taught.

Takeaway: Learn to understand Mr Market.

Takeaway: Focus on things that don't change.

Takeaway: It is only an asset if it generates income. Owning a business beats working for one.

Takeaway: Live within your means, don't try to keep up with the Joneses.

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