We have been home owners, living the American Dream, since 2009. Our first starter home was a 1,600 sq.ft town-home with three tiny bedrooms. With our second child born in 2012, we had out grown the house by two fold. However it was not until 2014 that we finally decided to move into a 3,400 sq.ft new construction house. If it was today, we might have gone smaller, probably in 2,400 sq.ft. range but our justification at that time was the possibility of our aging parents coming to live with us. Regardless, we felt it was good time to buy a house as the housing market was beginning to recover from the Lehman crash is 2008.
After couple of months of house hunting, we finally decided on a new construction neighborhood which met most of the items in our list.
As we approach the beginning of a new year let’s focus more on bringing more value to our lives. More value to our time , our relationships, our choices and our money. Money is essential for a comfortable life. There is no question about it. But getting too caught up in the rat race to make more money without proper planning will lead us to a bottomless pit of poor health and increasing cost to maintain our lifestyle.
Almost every city in USA has something special to offer during the holidays. In Philadelphia, we have the Christmas village featuring vendors offering authentic European food, crafts and ornaments. A special mention to mulled wine which is one of our favorite.
As a family, we plan a trip every year to the Christmas village and the surrounding Dibert park and City Hall. This time however my 6 year old was asking (borderline begging) to have an overnight stay in a hotel in the city. This is the same 6 year old who for her birthday wanted to stay at a hotel in NYC. In any case before committing to her, I wanted to check the prices.
Both I and my valuist wife are busy working professionals with lot of things going on in our lives. Having two children, a house, jobs, investments, etc make life busy and exciting at the same time. So we decided to check on different options such that the simple mundane tasks in life are automated and require very little of our attention. It would leave us with a significant amount of time to do things more enjoyable.
After 2 years in our newly constructed house our electric bills were soaring pretty high averaging $180 per month. My Valuist Wife always blamed it on our double ceiling in our family room. Being an engineer, I wasn’t very convinced. My thought process was that warm air rose to the top and if I were to go with her idea then it would be an issue during the winter months. However our heating was primarily gas based and we shouldn’t be seeing hikes in our electric bills. In the summer months, on the contrary, it would work to our benefit with the cold air settling on the bottom which in effect should minimize the air conditioning. Nevertheless, we decided to investigate solar panel options.
This is my first post and its about the book that has influenced me the most and lead my journey towards Valuism. “The life changing magic of tidying up by Marie Kondo“. This book to me is not just a home organization book, but it is mindset altering book. It changes your perspective of how you view things, commitments etc and really helps you in choosing value. As the saying goes” A messy space leads to a messy mind”. Here are my 5 takeaways from the book..