Forced into the FIRE

by @edent | # # # | 1 comment | Read ~138 times.
A tiny lego Storm Trooper eats a chocolate coin.

I’m an ambivalent convert to FIRE – Financial Independence Retire Early. The basic gist is: Minimise your expenditure, Save 20x your annual expenditure, Retire early while maintaining the same lifestyle. That’s it. There are a lot of crappy books about FIRE, but the concept is simple. So I try to spend a little less, and…

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Paying people for their attention

by @edent | # | 3 comments | Read ~174 times.
A tiny lego Storm Trooper eats a chocolate coin.

I have a weakness. I love listening in to other people’s conversations on the bus! I was sat behind a gaggle pride squad of teenage girls on the bus. They were variously complaining about their schoolwork, parents, and love-lives. I’m not going to attempt to recreate their vernacular, but the conversation went something like this:…

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I hate subscriptions

by @edent | # | 5 comments | Read ~252 times.

Look – I get why your app or service wants me to pay a subscription. Recurring revenue is useful for a business. Your ARPU KPI is OMG to your VC. And, no doubt, there’s research showing how people are more likely to eat a kitten than cancel a subscription. But I hate it. I resent…

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A (partial) list of vanity identifiers

by @edent | # # | 8 comments | Read ~258 times.
A tiny lego Storm Trooper eats a chocolate coin.

One of those things that organisations love to do is issue identifiers. My credit card provider issues me with a Customer ID, a Billing ID, a Reference Number, and an online login ID. All of which are different. And none of which match the embossed plastic card they sent me. The state also issues identifiers.…

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How often would you like to get paid?

by @edent | # # # | 6 comments | Read ~156 times.
A tiny lego Storm Trooper eats a chocolate coin.

In the UK, most professional jobs pay monthly. In the USA, it seems most professional jobs get paid every two weeks. This usually comes as a great shock when someone from one side of the pond finds out how poorly employment conditions are on the other side. Naturally, everyone believes their own way of doing…

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A year of going cashless – and where it hasn’t worked

by @edent | # # # | 81 comments | Read ~1,188 times.
Four credit cards in a pile

I set myself a resolution last year – go 12 months without using physical cash. No coins, no notes, no gold bullion, no cheques. I attempted to do all my spending on credit card, Direct Debit, and bank transfer (BACS). It worked! Mostly… Here’s where it didn’t work, and what I learned from it. Foreign…

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OpenBenches is a recipient of a Microgrant!

by @edent | # # # # | 3 comments | Read ~190 times.
The Open Benches logo.

We’re delighted to announce that our OpenBenches.org project has been awarded a $250 microgrant from Icculus! When I agreed to the award, I hadn’t heard about @eiais’s firing, or any of the others. It’s not much money, but I don’t think quantity is relevant. — Ryan C. Gordon (@icculus) December 25, 2019 (If I don’t…

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The value of videogames (or, why I think Untitled Goose Game was a rip-off)

by @edent | # # # | 10 comments | Read ~197 times.
A stupid cartoon goose honks into a wishing well.

I have a limited amount of time on this planet. I also have a limited amount of money to spend. Therefore, like any Homo Economicus, I have a rational desire to get the most value for money for my time-wasting distractions. So, after months of memes, I bought Untitled Goose Game on the Nintendo Switch…

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HOWTO: Add sponsorship to a GitHub project

by @edent | # # # | 1 comment | Read ~558 times.
Sponsorship options for OpenBenches.

I’ve just seen that I can now add sponsorship to my GitHub projects. Here’s a quick guide to how it works: Repo settings There’s now a new option in your repository settings. Tick the box and click the button. Easy! WTF is YAML? This is a bit of a weird one. To set up sponsorship,…

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The unreasonable psychological effectiveness of the LISA

by @edent | # #

Pop quiz! Which is bigger – 25% or 20%? That’s a pretty simple question, isn’t it? If your boss asked if you wanted a 25% bonus, or a 20% bonus, you know which one you’d pick. The UK Government has a savings product called a LISA – Lifetime Individual Savings Account. The premise is pretty…

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