Do the Opposite #41 - Your Money or Your Life, DuckDuckGo, Color Blindness, Sleeping Well

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Your Money or Your Life

I've continued to read a lot about personal finance, FIRE (Financial Independence / Retire Early) this past week. I've actually started reading Mr Money Mustache's blog from the very beginning (articles dating to 2011). Yes, once I get obsessed about something I can't stop.

I've been making some changes to my personal finance as I read the books/articles, which includes a big cut in spending and a focus on saving.

I'm finishing up a book called "Your Money or Your Life" by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez - listening to the audio-book on Scribd (Get 2 months of reading for free by using this link. Disclaimer: if you get 2 months for free, I will also get a month for free: win-win :) The book talks about financial independence, but also covers emotional and psychological topics that are always tightly coupled with money beliefs and habits. Vicki and Joe teach us that money is "life energy" and that each time you buy something, you need to think about it's value in terms of your life energy spent.

For example, let's say you earn $30 per hour and you want to buy a USB flash drive for $60. That means you are spending 2 hours of your life energy (the life energy it took you to earn that money) on the flash drive. This might be a good deal or a bad deal, depending on your needs, beliefs and more.

Another cool term I got from the book is "Gazingus Pin". It's an item that doesn't bring you much value but when you see it in the store you always buy it. For different people Gazingus Pins are different. For you it might be the USB flash drives I've mentioned above. You just can't not buy one when you see it being sold at a good price, because you think - "I can't go wrong with this purchase; there is always a need for a flash drive". For me, personally, at various points of my life, my Gazingus Pins were t-shirts with prints on them and books. I have a lot of books that I've purchased, read 10-15 pages and never opened again (yet).

All in all, "Your Money or Your Life" is absolutely amazing at teaching you to think about your financial choices and why you make them, as well as educating you on personal finance matters.

I have a plan for the books I've purchased over the years: in the next year I plan to buy no new paper/digital books, but instead read the ones I have on my shelf. Then I will either keep them or get rid of them. :)


1) "I Ditched Google for DuckDuckGo. Here's Why You Should Too" by James Temperton
I've switched to Mozilla Firefox from Google Chrome more than a year ago. I've tried to switch my default search engine from Google to DuckDuckGo around the same time as well, but that didn't stick - DuckDuckGo works amazingly well for regular searches I might do - for books, for specific people, events, website etc. However, when I tried using it for work related queries - looking up specific code related topics or error messages - it didn't do as good a job as Google did at the time. I am looking to give DuckDuckGo another chance though. I'd love to gain the peace of mind associated with knowing that all my queries are not being tracked to sell me more stuff I don't need with targeted ads.

2) "The Best Thing You Can Do for Your Health: Sleep Well" by Matthew Walker
This is something I really need to internalize. One of my intentions for the upcoming year is to structure my days so that I get more sleep. Nowadays I definitely feel the difference between 5 and 7 hours of sleep and it's huge. I highly recommend reading this article by Matthew to get "more reasons" to make changes in your life if you are, like me, not getting enough sleep.

3) "Man Who Ate $120,000 Art Banana Said He Would've Done It Sooner, But Wasn't Hungry Yet" by David K. Li and Adam Reiss
The title speaks for itself :) Sharing this in case you haven't heard this hilarious news item that happened this week.


How Color Blindness Works | Human Interests
Way more people than you think are affected with color blindness. There are many different types of color blindness, all of which affect the color perception differently. Often the color bilnd people are not aware they are color blind until later in life. I highly recommend this video for the quality and depth of the material shared on the subject, as well as for the immersive experiences of what it would be like to see the world through 'the lens' of different types of color blindness - so that we can at least briefly imagine what it's like. You probably do have at least one person you know who is color blind. I know I do.


Dark Reader - browser plugin

This has definitely the gem of the week for me. This plugin puts any websites you visit into a dark theme. It has lots of options, and you can set specific sites to use light theme for example. What makes this plugin great is how the colors that it switches to work together so well, even the accent colors. It's almost like it's intelligent. :)

Tweet that resonated with me

James Clear doesn't run out of gold.

Bonus tweet



"It has been my observation that most people get ahead during the time that others waste"
― Henry Ford

"As I grow older, I pay less attention to what people say. I just watch what they do."
― Andrew Carnegie

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Keep doing the opposite,
Alex Kallaway