Budgeting … Simplified

I don’t claim to be a financial genius. I’ve had my struggles in the past, but now there’s a new-found hope for how I manage my money and it all started with a simple little piece of software called You Need A Budget or YNAB for short. It only does one thing, but it does it really well. They’ve taken the concept of budgeting, with which many people struggle, and they’ve made it embarrassingly easy. In the end, it wasn’t the software that helped me turn a corner, but the YNAB Method. The software helps to keep YNAB’s four simple thoughts front and center in my mind and that has helped me rethink the way that I manage my money.

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What’s in the Morning Sky?

I go for a walk every morning at 5am. It gives me time to think and get my mind straight for the upcoming day. Ever since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated with astronomy so it’s no surprise to me that I love to check out night sky during my walks, looking for the few constellations that I can identify. Sometime last week I noticed an especially bright star almost due south just below the half moon. It was always the last star to wink out when the sun came up so it I used an awesome little iPhone application called Planets to confirm that it wasn’t actually a star, but Saturn, the sixth planet out from our sun.

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Book: The Way of Kings

I’ve just finished reading The Way of Kingsfor the second time. I wanted to re-read before the second book comes out in March. I still feel that this book is the best epic fantasy book that I’ve read. I really like the way the Brandon Sanderson builds a completely different world in each series including completely original magic systems and this book is no different.

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Do you have a Moment?

Working with dates in native javascript can quickly become tedious and cumbersome. You have the standard Date object with a few different methods for constructing that object. Then you have a series of getXXX and setXXX methods that let you work with and manipulate various pieces of that Date object.

But what if you need to do more than that? What if you need to calculate future dates from this object? How do you display your date as a relative time like ‘4 hours ago’ or ‘3 weeks ago’. How do you compare two different Date objects? You could start down a long road toward building your own library of utility methods to answer some of these questions or … Enter moment.js.

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Book: Dust

I’ve just finished reading Dust by Hugh Howey. It’s the ninth and final book in the Wool series. The series starts off with the remaining human population living in an underground silo more than a hundred floors deep. They’ve been living there for many generations and have forgotten everything about the world above them. As the series moves on, we find out that there are several independent silos. We find out who built the silos and ultimately what happened to the world that forced people underground.

Dust is a great conclusion to the series. It offers a finality that really ends the story but leaves room for the hope that the survivors will make a better life for themselves. It’s about overcoming impossible odds and in the end reclaiming their humanity.

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