I saw the byline on this and was genuinely confused for a second until I realized that the Billfold and my high school days were intersecting. We definitely went to the same high school, Lexie (unless you're a different L.F., which I guess is technically possible)—small world! We had mutual friends, and I was in your older brother's grade. (I guess I'd rather not mention my name here, but if you're wondering what random high school person is commenting, feel free to email me at jnp3890 at gmail.com.) Anyway, this post is very interesting! I too am in Nashville and thought hard about potentially buying a home around a year ago, but then I talked myself out of it. It still feels really tempting when there's a lot of talk in the city about Nashville's ongoing/impending growth, but I realized it might not be the best idea for me personally at least for the next few years. But I'm looking forward to reading your experiences with figuring out what's best for your situation!
I know it's odd, but the David Sedaris piece...kind of...made me want a Fitbit after I read it. I too am prone to becoming obsessive about stuff in the way that he describes, but I also know that I have a tendency to stay in my office during my lunch break when I could be outside walking and getting some fresh air and sunlight. Part of that is social anxiety mixed with introversion (i.e., it just feels easier/more relaxing to stay in my office, even when I know the healthier option would be to walk some days), but I'm pretty sure turning it into a competition with myself would make me go be more active. So basically, I guess it's all about finding a balance between my different neuroses, ha.
@cjm Meant to say this sooner, but thanks for the additional advice re: Tivo! It's good to know that I have an affordable cable-less DVR option that's worked well for someone else.
@moreadventurous Also, I really like your Jeopardy/gym idea! Would that I were more of a gym person (although I guess Jeopardy would be a good motivation to make myself keep going)
@all Thanks for weighing in, everyone! I've been happy with my Netflix + sometimes Hulu subscriptions, except for (mostly) the aforementioned Jeopardy conundrum. It seems silly to spend a lot more money just to enable my love for a game show, but it's fun to watch, and being able to record it would open my evenings up some. @cjm Thanks for sharing your setup! I briefly looked into Tivo as an option a couple weeks ago but assumed that the cost of purchasing a Tivo box would be high enough to outweigh the cable price. (The AT&T deal is $56/mo. (+taxes) for a 1-yr commitment for basic cable + basic internet, but the cost would go waay up after the year is over.) Also, incidentally, I love all the PBS cooking shows you mentioned, so I'm right there with you on thinking of them as a good substitute for Food Network/other cable food shows.
Money-related question that I’m interested in people’s opinions about – do you think of cable TV as a) worth the money or b) a waste? I don’t have cable and am normally all about keeping fixed costs low, but I also would really enjoy the ability to easily record TV shows that aren’t available online and watch them later (e.g., I love Jeopardy but feel like it’s kind of wasteful from a productivity perspective to interrupt my free time after work basically every single weeknight to watch it when it airs). And it would be nice to watch, idk, stuff like Food Network occasionally. There’s a decent internet + cable/DVR deal that I saw is available in my area through AT&T, so I’ve been considering it, but I keep waffling between “this will be more convenient and thus worth the extra cost” and “no one actually needs cable and this is clearly lifestyle creep.”
Your hosting style sounds so much more cohesive than mine! I still need to invest in a complete set of flatware so that I have more than the 4-5 forks/spoons/knives each that I inherited from an old roommate, haha. I think the biggest amount of money I've spent on an as-yet-unfulfilled resolution was buying a sewing machine that was on sale a few years back. I was really into the idea of being able to sew basic things then, but I guess I lost that motivation pretty quickly, because I still haven't learned how to sew. As for more recently, I made an impulse purchase a few months back on a book about how to learn Python that had good reviews, but have yet to make any progress on that... It's still on my ongoing/aspirational to-do list, but I can easily see myself selling it in a year if I never get around to it...
This was a rare no-spend weekend for me! I stopped by an estate sale on Saturday, but all of the things that I'd seen listed online that I liked were either already sold or out of my price range. And I had food in my fridge that I've been needing to eat, so no reason to go to the grocery store. The rest of the weekend was devoted to cleaning out my extra bedroom, which is something I've been needing to do for months. It's not a very big room so it's been basically full of boxes and odds and ends and clothes I've been needing to get rid of, but I now have 3 huge stacks of clothes to take to Goodwill. (so much laundry!) I'm weirdly excited to get home from work and hopefully finish cleaning the room tonight - I don't usually go on cleaning/organizing sprees, so when the urge to clean comes, I have to seize it.
@Gef the Talking Mongoose Right there with you! That's why I also love America's Test Kitchen - knowing that I'm using a recipe or a cooking tool that's been tested by people more knowledgeable about these things than I am, and who can explain why they're recommending what they're recommending, is very satisfying.
@Gef the Talking Mongoose Ooh, thanks! I looked at The Sweethome's research before buying a space heater this winter, but it somehow completely slipped my mind to check their recommendations on a/c units.