Money can buy a house, but not a home.

Money can buy a house, but not a home.

cabin in the woods

Just a friendly reminder 🙂


Money can buy a house, but not a home.

Money can buy a bed, but not sleep.

Money can buy a clock, but not time.

Money can buy a book, but not knowledge.

Money can buy food, but not an appetite.

Money can buy position, but not respect.

Money can buy friends, but not love.


Keep hanging in there!

j. money signature


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from Finance

Ever wonder where your money’s been?

Ever wonder where your money’s been?

Stumbled across this poem by children’s author and writing coach, Amy Ludwig VanDerwater, and thought you might enjoy it 🙂

Maybe you think a lot about this too?

pass the money poem

If only dollars could talk!!

(And didn’t contain any viruses – eek)

Thanks for putting into words something I think about almost every day, Amy, haha… But next time tell us the answers, please! 😉

For more on Amy and all her books/poems, visit her at And if anyone’s interested in learning how to get better at writing (or who have kids who enjoy it!) she’s currently teaching *free* weekday writing lessons for the foreseeable future –> Keeping a Notebook… Together.

See ya back soon!


PS: The blog and newsletter will be offline tomorrow (Thursday) due to some scheduled maintenance, but we’ll be back at it early Friday morning to continue spreading the good word 👍


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from Finance

New Book + Giveaway: “Keys to a Successful Retirement” by Fritz Gilbert

New Book + Giveaway: “Keys to a Successful Retirement” by Fritz Gilbert

keys to successful retiement

Gooooood morning everyone!!

So excited to share this new book with y’all from my long-time blogging friend, and occasional guest poster here, Fritz Gilbert from The Retirement Manifesto!!! One of the nicest guys in the community!

Keys to a Successful Retirement:
Staying Happy, Active, and Productive in Your Retired Years

This has been a project in his head for years now, and on May 5th it becomes a reality when it officially gets launched everywhere 🙂

The original 401(k) millionaire is now an original author! Way to go, man!!

And of course we here at Budgets Are Sexy get a sneak peak of this book, so if it’s something you’re interested in, keep on reading and look for how to win a free copy of this below…

We’ve got THREE copies to give away – so don’t be shy!! This needs to be in your library!

More on everything below:


Keys to a Successful Retirement:

Staying Happy, Active, and Productive in Your Retired Years

keys to successful retirement

Here’s a clip on the book from Fritz himself which I liked better than the Amazon write-up 😉 From his recent blog announcement: Big News: My Book Is Launching!

Writing the book has given me the opportunity to look back over the past 5 years of my life, from the point when I still had three years of work left through the first two years of my retirement. They’ve been some of the most interesting years of my life.

Some folks do well with the transition, and some folks don’t. I’ve studied the difference between those two camps, and I’ve been writing on the topic for five years on this blog.

Keys to a Successful Retirement highlights 24 keys that increase your chances of having a successful retirement. It’s been a pleasure to summarize all of my learnings over the past five years into a concise, easy to read book which summarizes the keys to a successful retirement. These are the keys that work, based on my personal experience and research I’ve conducted on the subject.

Like my blog, the book focuses on both the “Hard” (financial) and “Soft” (lifestyle) issues related to retirement. However, I found the process of writing a book significantly different than writing my blog posts. Writing the book allowed me to be more expansive, to more thoroughly examine relevant topics, and to organize my thoughts into a broader perspective than is possible in a 1,500-word post.

The book isn’t long, and that’s by design.

It’s meant to be read and applied, quickly and easily, by folks who are +/- 5 years of their retirement date.  It’s a lot of the stuff that matters, and not much of the stuff that doesn’t.  After going through four organized rounds of edits with various editors at the publishing house, you’ll find it’s a “tight” read.

I couldn’t be happier with the result.

More about Fritz:

Fritz and his wife Jackie achieved early retirement on June 2018 at the age of 55, after more than three decades in corporate America. His award-winning blog, The Retirement Manifesto, focuses on helping people achieve a great retirement, and he can also be found on Twitter sharing advice at @RetireManifesto. Fritz and Jackie recently sold their primary home and moved into a cabin in the North Georgia mountains as part of their downsizing strategy:

fritz cabin in mountains


Want a copy of this book?!

To win one of 3 copies of Keys to a Successful Retirement, answer the below question in the comments or via email, and you’ll automatically be entered for it:

At what age do you expect to hit retirement?

If you don’t ever expect to be “retired” retired, but to hit *financial freedom* instead and continue working, you can shoot us that expected age as well 🙂

As you can see from Fritz, he certainly has not stopped grinding! Lol…

Good luck everyone!! And congrats again my man! Giveaway open to U.S. citizens only, but you can always pick it up on Amazon later or at your local bookstore whenever we’re allowed to visit them again, harumph….

Get your entries in by midnight this Sunday, the 5th, and we’ll announce the winners Monday morning!

Amazon links to book above are affiliate links


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from Finance

Quantum: In Search of the Invisible

The inner levels of matter and energy follow rules and patterns so different from the ones we’re used to that they defy our mental schemes. Over the past few decades, quantum physics has been exploring how these fundamental particles operate everything in the universe. Their influence is hiding inside both the very mundane and the very extraordinary. Quantum physics is behind your morning toast apparently but it is also behind transistors, laser technology, GPS, cryptography, atomic clocks, MRI and many of the technological advances of recent years.

Semiconductor, The View from Nowhere, 2018

Lea Porsager, CØSMIC STRIKE, 2018. Photo by Caroline Lessire

What makes quantum physics so mind-boggling, however, is the way it mocks not only our trust in what we’ve always known about the world but also our capacity for imagination. Quantum physics tells you that a phenomenon can occur at the same time in two time-spaces. Or that the world we live in might very well be a vast hologram. A number of philosophical questions inevitably emerge from the new paradigms it brings about. Questions about the nature of reality, the importance of speculation in science, the limits to what humans can comprehend, etc.

iMAL entrance on Quai des Charbonnages / Koolmijnenkaai in Brussels. Photo by Caroline Lessire

iMAL, the centre for digital cultures and technology in Brussels, has re-opened a couple of weeks ago with a spectacular art exhibition that explores the world of quantum physics. I’m sure you can guess the bad news: iMAL is closed until further notice. Keep an eye on their social media though, it is not only a space where creative minds from all over the world like to meet but also, because of its location in the infamous neighbourhood of Molenbeek, a cultural centre which programme will also address the inquisitiveness of local communities who tend to be left out of the cultural offers.

Suzanne Treister, The Holographic Universe Theory of Art History (THUTOAH), 2018. Photo by Caroline Lessire

I was lucky enough to be in Brussels for the opening weekend of Quantum: In Search of the Invisible. The international project, curated by Mónica Bello, Head of Arts at CERN, and José-Carlos Mariátegui, scientist, writer and curator, presents ten projects by artists who have spent time at CERN discussing with engineers and particle physicists.

The show is visually stunning. The installations and videos exhibited might be anchored in robust science but they are also able to speak to human imagination and sense of wonder. Here are some of my favourite:

Suzanne Treister, The Holographic Universe Theory of Art History (THUTOAH), 2018. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Suzanne Treister, The Holographic Universe Theory of Art History (THUTOAH), 2018. Photo by Caroline Lessire

No one in the world looks at technology the way Suzanne Treister does. At first sight, the way her work The Holographic Universe Theory of Art History (THUTOAH) approaches quantum physics is a bit puzzling and bizarre but it turns out to be grounded in genuine scientific debates. I had never heard of the holographic principle and the theory that our universe could be a vast, two-dimensional hologram.

Treister uses the theory to hypothesises that artists, every since they started painting in caves, may have been unconsciously attempting to describe the holographic nature of the universe.

The Holographic Universe Theory of Art History (THUTOAH) bombards our retinas with over 25,000 chronological images (25 per second) of works of art created by humanity. The video treats images like electrons and protons in a particle accelerator and plays with our brain’s capacity to process images. A series of watercolours and a soundtrack of interviews with CERN particle physicists accompany the video and further explain the holographic universe principle.

Diann Bauer, Scalar Oscillation, 2018

Diann Bauer (in collaboration with composer Seth Ayyaz), Scalar Oscillation, 2018. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Diann Bauer, Scalar Oscillation (in collaboration with composer Seth Ayyaz), 2018. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Time doesn’t really exist. A crash course by Carlo Rovelli

Time as it functions in physics is different from the temporality we experience. The reason why the distinction is important is that our most advanced systems operate on time scales that our human physiology can’t comprehend.

Through an hypnotising avalanche of text, graphics and sound, Scalar Oscillation overloads our senses and pushes our capacity to absorb and process information.

The script for Diann Bauer‘s video is partly based on physicist Carlo Rovelli’s book The Order of Time. The video makes the claim that even the most stable of objects, when observed from non-human scales are processes rather than things. It is science that defies our most basic human experience.

James Bridle, A State of Sin, 2018. Photo by Caroline Lessire

James Bridle, A State of Sin, 2018. Photo by Caroline Lessire

A State of Sin looks at mathematical randomness, a concept critical to many processes from gambling to cryptography. Randomness, however, cannot be computed, it must be acquired from the world. That’s exactly what the robots in the installation do.

The 8 random number generators on tripods look like little robots. Each of them uses a different sensor to sample randomness from the environment: level of moisture, sound, light, etc. They then generate random numbers from their reading. A nearby screen displays in real time the data captured.

The work cleverly demonstrates how much computational practices are dependent on the chaos of the world. Just like art. Just like the kind of creative thinking that underlies the work of engineers and particle physicists.

Yunchul Kim, Cascade, 2018. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Yunchul Kim, Cascade, 2018. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Yunchul Kim, Cascade, 2018. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Yunchul Kim very briefly describing Cascade, 2018

Cascade explores matter by capturing the pattern of muons. Muons are everywhere. These subatomic particles, much heavier than the electron, shower Earth from all angles and can pass through hundreds of metres of solid material before they are absorbed.

When muons are detected by Cascade’s handmade detector, a signal is sent to a chandelier-like structure, a light and connected pumps are activated and a fluid can be seen traveling through the transparent tubes of the sculpture, making sub-atomic activities visible. It’s slow, subtle and it requires a little bit of faith in what you think you’re seeing.

Juan Cortés, Supralunar, 2018. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Juan Cortés, Supralunar, 2018. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Astronomer Vera Rubin changed the way we think of the universe by advancing that galaxies are mostly dark matter. Dark matter, a “material” that does not emit light nor energy, is thought to account for approximately 85% of all matter in the universe.

Supralunar consists of a series of electromechanical gears in motion that renders physiologically perceptible the patterns in astronomical data from which Rubin and other scientists have inferred the existence of dark matter.

More works and images from Quantum:

Julieta Aranda, Stealing One’s own Corpse (an alternative set of footholds for an ascent into the dark) – PART 3, 2018. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Julieta Aranda, Stealing One’s own Corpse (an alternative set of footholds for an ascent into the dark) – PART 3, 2018. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Exhibition view of Quantum: In Search of the Invisible. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand, Mucilaginous Omniverse, 2009. Performance during the opening weekend of Quantum: In Search of the Invisible. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand, Mucilaginous Omniverse, 2009. Performance during the opening weekend of Quantum: In Search of the Invisible. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand, Mucilaginous Omniverse, 2009. Performance during the opening weekend of Quantum: In Search of the Invisible. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Evelina Domnitch & Dmitry Gelfand, Mucilaginous Omniverse, 2009. Performance during the opening weekend of Quantum: In Search of the Invisible. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Inside iMAL. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Exhibition view of Quantum: In Search of the Invisible. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Exhibition view of Quantum: In Search of the Invisible. Photo by Caroline Lessire

Quantum: In Search of the Invisible, curated by Mónica Bello, Head of Arts at CERN, and José-Carlos Mariátegui, scientist, writer and curator, will hopefully reopen very soon at iMAL in Brussels.

from Finance

Budgets are Sexy? Budgets are NECESSARY!

Budgets are Sexy? Budgets are NECESSARY!

gold piggy

[Morning! My man 5 AM Joel stops by the blog again today to share his recent thoughts on budgeting through these wild times we’re living in… Maybe it’s a good time for you to touch base with your long lost budget too?!]


I’ll be the first to admit… I’ve been slacking off on my budgeting the past few years. J. Money would be very disappointed in me 😦

It started in 2016 when I changed jobs and got a massive pay raise. Money was falling from the sky! So, I loosened my spending belt… just a weeny bit.

Then, my net worth began growing larger and larger. Not only was I socking away a lot of money, but I participated in the longest bull run of stock market history!

Next, I started skipping some of my monthly budgeting exercises. Instead of rigorously reviewing transactions and matching them to an exact budget, I started rounding my figures up to the nearest hundred or thousand dollars.

By mid 2018, things were going so great that I decided to leave my job to take a sabbatical. Even after 1 year off work, my net worth was still growing! The good times continued through 2019, so I loosened my budget even more.

And then…

Boom! Disaster.

  • My stock portfolio dropped 30+%. (and is still dropping lower as I type this)
  • The tenants in my rental properties lost their jobs and probably can’t pay rent next month.
  • My wife is uncertain of her job security (she’s a teacher’s assistant, not a salaried employee)
  • The companies I’ve applied to work at are no longer hiring.
  • My 6 month emergency bank account suddenly feels ‘thin’.
  • I hate admitting this… but I’m kinda scared 😦

Sooo… What do I do now?

Back to Basics:

The reason I LOVE this blog is because:

Budgeting is the cornerstone of personal finance.

I think of my budget like a map. It’s a personal guide to my future wealth. If I follow the map and make good decisions based off of it, it will lead me to financial security.

Without a solid map, I’m wandering aimlessly. I’m treading water and always reacting to the circumstances around me. When times are good, I feel good. But when times are bad, well… this is what I’m experiencing currently. I feel lost.

Some good news though… My map isn’t completely gone, it’s just a little blurry. I need to spend some time dusting it off and getting it back to a clear picture.

Maybe you’re in the same boat?

My Next Steps:

Since I’m stuck at home anyway, what a great time to thoroughly review all my expenses and solidify my budget for 2020. This week I’m planning to:

#1. Do a spending deep dive: I actually already have most of my categories and totals written down in my budget template. But I’m planning to go back through and dig a little deeper into my spending trends the past 6-12 months.

#2. Match my budget to my goals and values: As much as I *think* I’m living according to my values, every time I do a budgeting exercise I find little things that surprise me. I want to make sure our budget this year is both realistic and includes the things my wife and I enjoy in life.

#3. Look for opportunities to reduce spending: Off the top of my head, I can think of 3 ways to cut back some of my regular expenses in this strange stay-at-home time:

  • Pay-per-mile car insurance. Since my wife and I both will be driving probably under 5k miles this year (maybe less?), it’s a great time to look into new quotes for car insurance. Currently we are with Geico for both our cars, but I’ll be calling 2 competitors today: Metromile and Esurance. These “pay per mile” policies charge a base monthly fee, and then charge a few cents for each mile you drive. The less you drive, the less you pay (I’m not sure if these companies are available in every US state, so check before you get too excited!)
  • Cheaper cooking and food. I’m not going back to the ramen days I lived in my early 20’s… but there are definitely some fancy foods I can live without. As for the next 2 months, it’s safe to say that we won’t be eating out at any restaurants, so that’s something I can cut completely from our budget.
  • Cheaper drinks. I have a weakness for craft beer. I’ve already dusted off my homebrew kit and started brewing again! Craft beer usually costs me $2-3 per beer at the store, but I can easily brew delicious beer for 75c – $1 per beer at home. My wife prefers wine, and we’ve found a few wine promotions online with free delivery service!

#4. Run everything by the boss: It’s important my wife and I are on the same page about everything financially. So everything I create around our budget and future plan needs to be OK’d by her. I might even create a $exy powerpoint presentation to keep things fun and interesting 🙂

I’m already feeling much better just by writing this stuff out! It’s amazing how much the simple act of budgeting makes you feel in control of your finances, instead of behind and helpless.

Bringing $EXY back:

The universe has thrown us an unbelievable amount of change this past few months. We’re in for a rough time, and nobody is certain where the end of the tunnel is.

What I am certain of though is this: If my map and plan is clear, I will exit from this hard time in a good financial state. I’ve done it before, and I can do it again. It all starts with a basic budget, ruthlessly followed.


“Easy to do? Ridiculously so. Easy *not* to do? Tragically so.”

– Jeff Olson, The Slight Edge

What about you? Have you strayed from your budget the past couple years? Or are you rock-solid and ready to attack 2020?

Joel is a 34 y/o Aussie living in Los Angeles and the guy behind Every morning he gets up at 5am and sends a short positive message to friends, family, co-workers and strangers from the interweb. He last shared a fun game with us on the site that you can find here: Stock Market Game.


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from Finance

COVID-19: Winners and Losers

By James Kwak

I think it’s highly likely that the dust will clear eventually and that our economy will come back to life at some point in the next two or three years. I know there are certain disaster scenarios that can’t be ruled out, but I think they are unlikely. I’m not going to guess when things will return to a semblance of normal. Really, no one knows.

Photo by Free-Photos from Pixabay

The question for now is: what will that economy look like?

A few things, I think, are clear. The economy will not grow back up to its trend line prior to the pandemic. This, for example, from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, is what happened after the financial crisis and Great Recession:


Not only did actual GDP fall, but the trend line of potential GDP fell as well, costing the economy trillions of dollars of output. Behind that loss of potential GDP is an enormous human cost. Recessions cause permanent damage to people who lose their jobs and to recent graduates who can’t find jobs.

There will also be a certain amount of psychological scarring that will affect the economy for at least a generation. People buying safety stocks of dried beans and toilet paper may give the consumer goods sector a one-time boost. But those with enough income will save more, depressing demand, and people will also be much more reluctant to start small businesses.

Amazon will be a big winner, of course. A large proportion of the population, particularly among the affluent, already reflexively shopped for everything at Amazon. (I used to, but now I try to find things elsewhere first, basically for political reasons.) The pandemic is pushing more people to try to fulfill all of their consumer needs online, and they aren’t going to stop when the coast clears.

More generally, big chains will expand their domination over the economy. Tens of thousands of small businesses will vanish, never to return, wiped out by weeks or months of zero revenues. Large corporations will have the capital to swoop in and steal their customer base. Family-owned restaurants will be replaced by national chains. Sporting goods stores will be replaced by Dicks. Electronics shops, if there are any left, will be replaced by Best Buy. Bookstores … well, there aren’t many of those left, anyway.

The other winners will be private equity funds with the nerve to buy assets on the cheap. After the financial crisis, investment funds bought up single-family homes in foreclosure, becoming some of the nation’s largest landlords. This time, the bargains will be found in small businesses desperate for capital and commercial real estate hammered by defaulting tenants.

The business sector will become more concentrated. Inequality will increase. The fundamental trends that have reshaped the American economy over my lifetime will accelerate. The survival of capitalism depends on a large enough proportion of the population having a stake in its survival. For how much longer?

from Finance

Free “Mindful Budgeting” Templates!

Free “Mindful Budgeting” Templates!

mindful budgeting

Hey guys!

One of my favorite people in the world, Cait Flanders, just released her “mindful budgeting” templates for *free* for anyone who wants them.

It includes weekly spending sheets, a monthly budget, a monthly calendar to stay organized, and two exercises to help you do monthly check-ins to see how you’re feeling + quarterly check-ins to ensure your spending aligns with values.

More info in her latest newsletter, but here are the direct downloads if you want to get right to it:

Thanks for re-releasing them, Cait!! And for making them free! (Used to be $20)

Here’s what a few of the templates look like…

They’re SUPER simple, but also SUPER powerful if you actually follow through with them.

It doesn’t require anything fancy to be more thoughtful 🙂


weekly spending template


align your budget template


monthly check-in template


PS: She’s also brought back her physical Mindful Budgeting Planners too and selling them at cost. More info on those here for anyone interested –>


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from Finance

COVID-19: Inequality

By James Kwak

By some measures, in the short term, COVID-19 will surely reduce inequality of wealth, and probably inequality of income as well. As a purely mechanical matter, the rich have a lot more money to lose when the stock market crashes and most sectors of the economy grind to a halt.

Photo by Free-Photos from Pixabay

At the same time, however, this pandemic is throwing into stark relief how unequal the lives of Americans are today. Most of the upper-middle class and rich seem to fall into one of two categories. Those without children in the house trade suggestions on how to fill their time: virtual happy hours, virtual yoga, free streaming opera, binge TV-watching, etc. Those with children in the house trade suggestions on how to keep said children occupied so that we can get anything done or have any time to ourselves: educational apps and websites, home science experiments, live streaming from zoos and aquariums, etc.

There are exceptions, of course. Doctors generally make comfortable livings, and many of them are currently facing difficult working conditions and high risk of infection to save as many lives as possible. But the most difficult thing many rich people have to endure is figuring out how to get a Peapod or Instacart delivery slot, or finding a good recipe for canned tuna.

On the other side of the great income divide, things are very different. Tens of millions of people suddenly lost their jobs and barely have enough cash to buy groceries, let alone stock up on gourmet canned tuna. Remember, 17 percent of adults already couldn’t pay at least one of their bills even before COVID-19 hit. Economic insecurity is so widespread that a large portion of the population is just one shock away from being unable to make ends meet. Well, that shock just hit.

Then there are the people who still have jobs, whom all of us are relying on: people who work in warehouses, distribution centers, delivery services, grocery stores, pharmacies, and hospitals. Many of them go to work, keep our society functioning, and face an elevated risk of infection because they can’t afford to lose their jobs. Amazon warehouses, of course, are so efficient that there isn’t time to wash your hands. And Amazon workers don’t get paid sick leave—unless they test positive for COVID-19 (then they get two weeks), which is virtually impossible given the lack of testing in this country. But Jeff Bezos doesn’t even need to call out the National Guard to force his employees to go to work. As one warehouse employee said, “A lot of people are going to be there for longer. People will take as much OT as they can get, because we’re all poor.”

The vague parallels between COVID-19 and September 11 have been drawn a million times already. Then the heroes were first responders who risked their lives to save people. They were also underpaid, but at least many of them knowingly took jobs that involved risk. The people on the front lines today are doctors and nurses, of course, but also millions of low-wage workers (including many in hospitals) who have been drafted into this war and are kept there by poverty and economic insecurity.

Is this the society we want?

from Finance

Quarantine check-in and savings, you?

Quarantine check-in and savings, you?

mona lisa mask


Here’s a quick corona check-in over here:

  • # of days self-quarantined now: 13
  • # of people infected in our household: 0
  • # of days it took to feel “normal”: 5 (amazing how fast you adapt!)
  • # of times I’ve screamed “OH HELL NO!” after hearing the news: 387
  • # of times I’ve shut down the news and promised to never look again: 387 😉
  • # of times I’ve invested in the crashing market so far: 3
  • State of the kids happiness: Disneyland levels!!
  • State of the parents sanity: Ever seen a Yo-Yo on drugs? 😉

Other things I’ve come to realize over the past handful of days:

We’re lucky as hell to have jobs we can do completely online. (And thank the inventors of the internet every single day for being the glue that holds this world together right now!)

We no longer try to keep our house tidy. We were good for about 3 days and then all chaos broke and lost all energy to stay on top of it, lol… (not like anyone coming to visit anyways!)

We’ve stopped trying to prevent our 1 y/o from drawing all over the walls (free art, right?)

baby doodles

I’m APPRECIATIVE for once of our large ass lawn and decently-sized house! Two of the bigger areas that ironically gave me the most anxiety when buying last year! (Though sure to revert post-pandemic I’m sure ;))

I’m a lot more at peace with dying if it’s my time to go… Not that I think that’s coming anytime soon or wishing for it, but this has def. gotten me reflecting more and I catch myself telling the Mrs. almost every day that I’m happy and fulfilled shall my time expire! 😉 And now you guys know it too! So only parties when I’m gone – no mourning!!

And then lastly, we’ll incidentally be saving a good chunk of money through all this… Though of course I’d give it all back in a heartbeat to get this thing over with…

Here’s a rough breakdown from the top of my head:

  • Daycare savings: $1,000’ish
  • Karate lessons: $100
  • Coffee shops: $80
  • Gas: $50 (?)
  • Entertainment: $100 (?)
  • Total savings: $1,330

We’ve been spending a little extra though too:

  • Extra food: $200’ish
  • Extra supplies: $100’ish (?)
  • New Chromebook for kids and e-learning/streaming/whatever we end up having to do since the school year is officially closed for the rest of the academic year (!!): $160
  • New (physical) subscription to local newspaper a few times a week: $20 (Funny story with this – the day after I signed up I got a call from a representative at the paper who literally asked me if this was a mistake, lol… No! Just trying to do my part supporting the industry and giving myself something new to do in isolation! 🙂
  • Total extra spending: $480

Total real savings this first month: $850. And then approximately $1,000+ in each consecutive month since we’d no longer be acquiring Chromebooks or more back up supplies or anything… Though Lord knows what else will come up by then! I rarely get surprised anymore – every day seems like a MONTH during this thing, doesn’t it?!

At any rate, that’s the update in the Money household over here…

Oh, that, and we’re no longer Millionaires, haha… The least of the world’s concerns 😉 I’ve gotten a few notes lately asking if that means we’ll go back to posting up our net worths again, but sadly those days are gone though I applaud the creativity 🙂

How are things going on your end?! Calm and collected or at least pretending to be? 😉 Anyone catch it yet or living in one of the super locked down areas?!

I know some people think this is all an overreaction and I would love for them to be right, but in the off chance they’re not we’re doing our best to heed the advice of the experts and do our part in helping slow down the spread…

Not sure when it’s going to end, but we’ll all get through it!! Sending my love to everyone!

Mona Lisa masterpiece by sumanley


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from Finance

Upcoming: Art & Animals in the Age of AI and Bio-Engineering

Public announcement!

Next month, I’ll be giving online classes on the theme of Art & Animals in the Age of AI and Bio-Engineering with the School of Machines, Making & Make-Believe.

Maurizio Cattelan, Novecento, 1997. At Castello di Rivoli

If feels a bit strange to launch this class in the midst of a pandemic, at a time when inboxes are overflowing with offers to watch virtual visits of museums and online performances. And yet, here I am, suggesting that you spend even more time in front of your screens.

The classes i gave two years ago, A mapping of socially-engaged creative practices, brought me a lot and gave me the opportunity to meet some super interesting people. And I REALLY miss meeting people after several weeks of lockdown here in Northern Italy. This year, the class is still going to have elements of socially-engaged practices but it will focus on non-human life. Microscopic and massive. Extinct, endangered, wild, familiar, lab-grown or “tech-augmented”. And because -as we are painfully learning right now- everything is connected, the classes will also be looking at the world that animals inhabit and where they encounter fungi, trees, bacteria.

During the classes, we’ll be looking at taxidermy, de-extinction programmes, robotics, bestiaries, “invasive” species but we will also discuss the ethics of working with animals and more generally of exhibiting life inside museums and galleries. The main objectives will be to investigate the shifting paradigms of the living world and to reflect on the possibility of co-evolving in a more sympathetic and mutually beneficial way with other living entities.

The full description of the classes is over here.

Brandon Ballengée, DFA136: Procrustes, cleared and stained Pacific tree frog collected in Aptos, California in scientific collaboration with Stanley K. Sessions (from the series Malamp Reliquaries), 2013

Búi Adalsteinsson, Fly Factory, 2014. Photo by Istvan Virag

The online classes will be taking place over the course of five weeks, two hours each week. The first session will be a crucial but informal “getting to know each other” event during which i will also be taking notes of any special curiosity and interests participants might have. I wrote down a break-down of the classes on the description page but it’s not a rigid one. If there’s a strong request to focus a whole evening on say, farm animals or fungi only, we can do that.

If you feel extra studious, extra self-isolated or if you prefer to learn about the connections between art and the human body, I’d also recommend having a look at Marisa Satsia‘s online classes on Medical Bodies.

Marisa’s classes take place on Tuesday. Mine are on Monday.

Classes are live meaning that you can directly interact with the instructor as well as with the other participants from around the world. Classes will also be recorded for playback if you are unable to attend that day.

The school is offering a limited number of pay-as-you-go tickets to take part in this class. Preference given to women, POC, LGBTQ+ and persons from underrepresented communities who would otherwise be unable to attend.

This way to join!

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