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…

Continue reading →

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:…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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.…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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 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…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →

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,…

Continue reading →

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…

Continue reading →