Notes for myself.

My boss asked me what I thought of the election. I said that the interesting thing will be in about six months when the progressive people want their projects funded and they find that the tax receipts are about half what they were in 2019, and there will be a need for austerity.

What to do now? How do we keep ourselves going when the rest of the world goes nuts?

On the image

I know Adam says you should wear the best clothes you can afford, but that won’t cut it right now. You need to look like you don’t make what you do.

If you have a job in six months, people will be jealous. They don’t see the years of 12 to 14 hour days it took to get to where you are. They will hate your ability to plan and be middle class. But being middle class is good for you.

  • Well made clothes that are not fashionable. I like Bluffworks clothes: not that expensive, machine washable, suitable for professional situations, but clearly not a bespoke suit. And they make tall fittings: I cannot find shirts long enough in NZ[1].
  • Minimal jewellery. Wedding ring and watch, male and female. Again, not too expensive. If you have a seiko 5 or a Casio eco drive, you can say it is not fake, but OK. Alternatively go obscure. If you wear sparkling pretty things, ladies, wear fake or say it is fake.
  • A car that you paid for in cash [2]. We are going to keep our 20 year old subaru going until it falls over: and then I’m going to get a car that is well under what I can pay for in cash. The 1/10 rule will be too generous for the next few years. Don’t be scared by mileage or fuel economy. You only use the car when you need to.
  • Don’t tell people where you live. They can look that place up: your property tax assessments are a public document.
  • Do not have a flashy laptop or e watch or phone. IF you do, say it is from work and it is not yours[3]. You should not have an e watch anyway, but if you must, then get last year’s model.

On the budget

Kea and I have talked about this. You need to record what you are spending. Get the receipts, keep a daily record, and reconcile this with your bank statements. There are a series of apps for this, but a simple notebook is just as good.

When times are good, you don’t need to do that. Times, locally are still good, but that won’t last. So we need to get the habits going now.

One of the best guides to all this is in Nikolai Vladivostok’s book.  Which you should read.


1. Both Kea and I like Lulumon trousers — not tights, because you can work out in them and we can find things that are long enough and fit. But we hate anything with logos on it.
2. If we were totally rational, we would sell both cars as soon as we get the e bikes we have on order and get an old for carrying the family and heavy stuff. But we like our fiat 500 and will run the SUV into the ground then get something similar. The Fiat is an indulgence. And yes, we paid cash for both.
3. My personal laptop is 5 years old, and my personal phone is an oppo which is now 2 years old. Put them in good cases, and keep them going as long as possible. I do get the best work phone and computer that I can get out of my employer, and I leave them either at work or in a drawer at home.,

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1 year ago

I’m hoping that eccentricity continues to fly under the radar of those who are brand and logo conscious. Because Harris tweed isn’t cheap – but who in Cali knows their woolens?