April 2017 Money Diary: Shortcuts

Ivan here.

Back from two weeks in Taiwan with Jennie’s annual supply of milk tea ("...which by the way is delicious," says Jennie). The Origami Life will be back to our regular posting schedule (every 2-3 days) just as soon as I recover from this jet lag.

The Origami Life - Good Budget Expenditures for April 2017

We reported $5,158.33 savings in April - largely due to one-off federal and state tax returns, which made up for lower freelance income during my absence. Spending is on pace for $36,000 in 2017, even as we include airfare ($~500) and gear for a seven day cycling trip across eastern Taiwan (~$100). I came back from the trip with some stories - but that’s for another post.

All in all, no excitement or surprises on the financial end. We’d like to keep it that way.  


It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.
— Mark Twain

Shortcuts: there aren’t any.

Man goes to a casino one night and leaves with a million dollars. What does that make him? Rich, for one. Second, improbably lucky. Third, an idiot.

To voluntarily participate in this tax on the poor, this man (unless he’s Rain Man) is just as much of an idiot when he walked out of the casino as he was when he went in. The only difference is that he’s now an idiot with a million dollars.  

My point is: it’s better to be good than lucky, and because the process of making a decision is the only thing you can control, you should be laser focused on how you can make your process better.

Part of getting better is understanding what you don’t know. In personal finance, investing, and in anything else I can think of, there is nothing worse than the illusion of knowledge.

So whenever we think we have something figured out - is actually the perfect time to think again.