As part of my annual review, I go over my purchases from the past year. I like to see what I spent my money on and if it brought me joy. I use this exercise as a guide for purchases in the coming year. It might seem obvious but I want to spend more money on the things that bring me joy and less on the things that do not.
Favorite Purchases of 2022
CalDigit SOHO Dock
I needed a new computer dock because my previous one was falling apart. The cord from the dock to the laptop was frayed. I could see tiny silver wires inside the sheathing. This caused my monitor to flicker from time to time.
I bought the CalDigit SOHO Dock as a replacement. Originally, I wanted to a full fledged Thunderbolt 3 dock. However, those were over $300. They were also impossible to find due to shortages. I settled on the SOHO because it has everything I needed for my MacBook Air and work laptop.
One annoying thing about the dock is that I have to unplug everything when switching from my work laptop to the MacBook. If I don’t, the monitor doesn’t up pick the video signal from the MacBook. It’s a minor annoyance.
Kubera and You Need a Budget (YNAB)
Kubera is a portfolio and net worth tracker. It’s one of the few wealth trackers that integrates cryptocurrency assets seamlessly.
I considered cancelling the $150 per year subscription while doing this review. Instead of using Kubera, I could track everything using Google Sheets. But I would need to copy the balances from my bank accounts and crypto wallets into a spreadsheet every month.
My financial review process is much quicker with Kubera. If this app saves me a couple hours every month, it’s worth the $12.50 per month.
I have been using YNAB for several years now. However, it was especially beneficial this year because my wife and I bought a house. I was able to create another budget in YNAB for the shared finances. YNAB pulls everything together into one place for me. I can check my budget and cash flows easily. Just like Kubera, this is worth the $84/year subscription for the time it saves.
Vuori Sunday Performance Shorts
I bought a couple pairs of the Vuori Sunday Performance Shorts after hearing abut them on the Tim Ferriss Show. These shorts did not disappoint. I always grab them out of the dresser before any other pants.
They are stylish enough to wear outside of the house or gym. They are also comfortable, soft, and breathable. I have the Russet and Ink colors.
A few friends and I formed a running group in August. We would meet up, once a week, to run after work. I knew almost nothing about running when we first started.
So I decided to join RunWell.
RunWell offers training plans, strength exercise routines, and shoe guides for a one-time membership fee. The programs are well laid out and easy to follow. I used these materials to coach myself into a running routine.
If you decide to join RunWell, use the code “runwelltogether” to get 10% off the membership fee.
SeaTac Luggage Storage
My wife and I visited family in Washington state for Thanksgiving. We arrived at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport about four hours before her sister. We used the extra time to explore Pike Place Market. Before we headed out, we stowed our luggage at the airport with SmartCarte. It cost $45 for our 3 bags.
The costs seems a bit ridiculous. But it was worth it to me. Our other options were to stay in the baggage claim area for four hours or take our bags with us. Neither of those options sounded appealing. I framed the purchase as the convenience to walk around without luggage.
Lessons Learned in 2022
Although this is mostly a review of my favorite purchases. I also want to look at how I was negatively affected by money, so I can avoid these things in the future. Here a couple of lessons learned the hard way:
Excessive Bank Transfer Fees
I moved a bunch of money around in January to dollar cost average into cryptocurrencies. I used my Ally savings account to do these transactions. I did not know there was a limit of six transfers per month for savings accounts. I went over this limit 4 times before I noticed I was being charged a fee for each transaction.
Fortunately, the government was forgiving bank transfer fees because of COVID. I was able to get my $40 back. I promptly opened a checking account with Ally. I now move all my money through the checking account.
BeeMinder Goal Consequences
I set up BeeMinder as the consequence for not following through on my habits. I have goals set up for daily gratitude, daily pushups, and weekly workouts. This past year, I lapsed on my goals five times. As a result, I had $35 in total credit card charges from BeeMinder.
These self inflicted charges were painful. I did not want to give away money when I did not have to. However, each charge helped me reevaluate my habits. I looked into why the habit broke down. Then came up with better cues or reduced friction to keep myself on track.