I spend a lot of my time researching different things in depth for various projects, and as I come to write more on this blog, these are tidbits that either don’t warrant a full article or can be distilled in an easily digestible bite-sized form. I aim to update this regularly…
Experiment with many options in a category – when you find something you like, stockpile. This goes especially so for things like pants and socks, but also for non-perishables like toothpaste. Wait until a sale hits (Keepa) and buy a year’s worth. The inconvenience of storage and lack of flexibility is made up for by the convenience of not having to think, match socks, or run out of toilet paper.
Behave with integrity. Not only is everything monitored on the internet in some way, but word gets around. Screw friends or business partners and not only will it catch up to you, but more than likely it will become public knowledge (with ‘public’ generally being defined as the number of people knowing having a direct correlation with the severity and impact of the indiscretion).
Stick with brand names where possible. Unless you have the time to research (or enjoy doing so), brands guarantee you won’t have a bad experience. It may not be an exceptional experience, or anything surprising, but it won’t be bad. The bigger the brand the less bad your choice will be.
Have 6-12 months of personal runway in cash in a separate bank account. Your life will become infinitely more pleasurable once you realise you have a monetary cushion and can make decisions from a place of financial security. I’ve seen too many people make bad choices because they wanted/needed a little extra cash.
To that point, use YNAB. The very act of tracking your spending in categories will psychologically encourage you to reduce your outgoings. Even better if you use it to budget and project into the future with goals and financial targets.
Get good at what you do for a living. “Passive income” is for people who don’t have the capacity or stamina to work hard and don’t enjoy what they do. Build something you can be proud of.
Buy cheap non-stick pans and treat them as if they weren’t coated. It saves so much effort and they can be replaced at low cost when the Teflon starts to wear. Same with things that aren’t dishwasher safe but take a long time to clean.
Never trust someone obsessed with privacy. Either they have something dark to hide or are incredibly insecure.
Never buy expensive wine, and always buy it with a screw-top. Wine snobs generally travel so deep down into the minutiae that their tastes and recommendations have no correlation with a novice’s palate. So much of wine is about perception that often times the only way to tell if a wine is ‘fake’ is to check the label, not the taste. In every study I’ve seen, price alone has the strongest influence on whether a wine will taste ‘good.’ Vineyards actually prefer to cap their bottles, it keeps the wine fresher and tasting just like it was when it came out of the barrel – corks give the impression of a more expensive bottle and thus a better tasting wine.
Don’t buy a BMW unless you love them. I have a yet-to-be-proven-wrong theory on why nearly all BMW drivers are pricks: it’s because they’re the cheapest ‘luxury’ car brand.
Keto probably isn’t for you. It results in identical fat loss to low-fat and low-carb diets, and the research is in on high saturated fat being incredibly negative for dozens of biomarkers. The Keto diet can even put as much as 30% of the population at a greater risk of cardiovascular disease because of how their genes indicate they process and handle such high amounts of fat inefficiently. Stick to a paleo or Mediterranean diet, the latter has been proven to reduce inflammation, incidence of heart disease, and increase lifespan (which the keto diet has only been shown to do in rodent models).
Ignore the latest thing for longevity. If it’s really effective, starting three to five years later once the studies have been performed and protocols established won’t kill you, and you’ll have saved months of your time and thousands of pounds researching and trying these baseless fads.
Be incredibly suspicious of people who champion a minority position and their motives. Cryptocurrencies, conspiracies, vegans, male feminists, and so on.
For actions or tasks you’ll repeat often (or for the rest of your life potentially, in some cases) learn the best and most efficient method as early as you can. Try to do so from professionals who do that task routinely (e.g. learn to clean a toilet from a professional domestic cleaner).
Cheap but freshly roasted and ground coffee is substantially better than expensive coffee that’s been sitting in your cupboard for ages. If you give a shit, just buy a subscription but stop going on about the nuances between varietals — it all tastes roughly like coffee with hints of something.
If you’re interested in tasting drinks, try whiskey or beer where the changes between regions, distillers/breweries, and ingredients can vary dramatically. An Islay single malt tastes very different to a blended Japanese whiskey, and a sour beer made with fruit in the mash tastes almost completely unlike a session IPA.
Max out your ISA every year as a priority. Track it to the stock market in a low-cost fund. If you’re below 30, saving £400 every month will mean you’re a cash millionaire before you retire.
Cultivate great taste. Taste and integrity are the only things that separate people online now that outsourced labour is more available and cheaper than ever. People with short-term thinking are getting easier to spot.