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Ask HN: Will soon have lots of time and little money – how to spend it?
95 points by granfalloon on Mar 22, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 73 comments
Hi HN,

A week from now I'll be leaving a high-paying/high-stress job at a big law firm for a part-time remote position (bitcoin related) that pays (comparatively) very little. I decided I wanted time to seriously pursue music, while also having time to read and learn new things (something I haven't done much of the last few years). Diving into the workings of bitcoin has also made me want to get back into learning programming, which I haven't really done since college. It's a big change and a bit scary, but I figure now is the time to do something like this, as kids are still at least a few years off.

So I'm looking to HN for general advice on budgeting my time and money -- I'll have plenty of the former and little of the latter. I really want to maximize this experience, but I also know that I tend to be a bit over-ambitious ("5 hours a day of music! Learn python! Work through euclid's elements! Start an exercise regimen!".) I've read plenty of great posts on HN about productivity, efficient use of time, and ultra-budgeting, so I thought this would be a good place to start. I'm also looking for any general tips about staying engaged and active while working from home.

If anyone has any advice or stories to share, I'd greatly appreciate it. Thanks, all!

I've been working from home for about 5 years. If you want to be productive, the key point is to make a very clear distinction between work and leisure. On a normal job this is clear enough - the clothes, the physical setting, the timetable, all converge to trigger your professional mindset. Not so at home.

Organize a little corner of your house for working. Even if it's just a desk and a bookshelf. Keep it reserved for your work hours/activities only. If you can schedule certain activities outside the house, eg a shared workspace, even better.

Give yourself working hours and respect them - preferably for a whole week, but at least for the next day. If you have several activities, divide up your time between them in advance. If possible, set daily or weekly goals for the activities you are engaged in.

Dress for work, even if you are at home - not necessarily a suit, but put on some decent clothes and shoes, and brush your hair, make yourself presentable. Go out for a short brisk walk before starting work, to simulate your commute; possibly repeat at lunchtime (more relaxed) and in the evening.

Do not snack between meals - VERY important. Avoid sweets, fizzy drinks, pastries, as you are less physically active than before. Schedule exercise every day.

Create at least one "event" every day which takes place outside the house and involves other people. This will give a focus to your day. Make sure you get enough human contact. You'd be surprised how important work is in this respect, even if you have no friends there.

Edit: be very strict about your use of the internet. Reading news is not working. More generally, honestly evaluate how you use your time relative to the objectives you have set yourself for that day.

I'd like to offer a different approach - do not organize a separate work environment. Do not build a copy of your day job routine at home.

Try to reset your mind off the 9 to 5 work mode schedule. Be free and open to new experience. Let inspiration come to you at any time. Choose when, how and where you work. It can be early morning in bed. Afternoon in a coffee shop. Lunch time in a park, whatever. Do not build artificial restrictions. They will come on their own with clients and deadlines. Keep it flexible, exciting, adventurous.

But above all - be mindful of your body. Stay active. Hike, bike, run, anything. Find sport you like. Go out regularly and play it. You will meet new people, socialize and keep yourself fit. Physical fitness is a direct feedback loop to your overall condition.

Good luck.

"Dress for work, even if you are at home"

This is great advice. It's important to create psychological compartments between "work" and "home" when working from home. And all the little things add up to form those compartments. How you dress, what room you work from, what hours you work, when and where you go when you go outside, etc. Make these things distinct from leisure activities. Don't work from a lounge chair in your bedroom, for instance, if that's where you usually go to kick back and read books. Don't work in a bathrobe or old gym clothes.

It takes a bit more effort to create the trappings of a working environment in your home, but doing so will keep you from slipping. And if this is your first major experience with working from home, you will slip. Everyone does the first time around. Set up mental guard rails.

A million upvotes for snacks. I work primarily from home now and they absolutely destroy you. Make sure you get out and do some exercise too!

You are working, as in earning money. Therefore snacks are an option. Six months down the line this guy is going to be looking back and seeing snacks as part of the good-old-days, when he had money for such things.

My advice would be to pare food down to the basics, as in a sensible lunch and a proper, cooked from fresh evening meal with no snacks. Get the sacks of pasta and rice in with canned goods, e.g. tomatoes, in bulk. Then do the rest of the shopping by bicycle, i.e. the vegetable shopping. Give up meat and go veggie on cost grounds. The jaunt by bicycle should also cover the regular exercise base somewhat.

I should also say: stay off HN!

Healthy snacks are fine. Nuts (cashews, pistachios), fruit (as long as you don't overdue it).

Just don't go through 2-4 cans of Mountain Dew a day.

Depends a lot on the person. For me, I've divided snack foods into "things I will eat when bored" and "things I will only eat when I'm actually hungry". There are very few on that latter list, but they are the only ones I'll keep in the house.

I found nuts of all sorts just killed me too.

Really? What kinds? Nuts high in protein and fat should burn slow and not give that lethargic feeling.

Pistachios surprisingly!

Avoid sweets, fizzy drinks, pastries, as you are less physically active than before.

Sorry, had to laugh about that. If the guy is coming from a high stress, high-paying law firm job, he probably wasn't very physically active before...law firm gigs don't usually leave a lot of free time. Most likely, he'll finally have the time to actually exercise now. But other than that the advice is definitely sound.

I never managed to figure out working from home and the whole knack of separating work from leisure. The best option for me has been coworking / hotdesking. The extra cost is more than made up for by the increased productivity and, more importantly, sanity.

A slightly more expensive and less sociable backup is working at a cafe - which I still find preferable to working from home.

This is really great advice. One other thing that has helped me immensely is getting a dog! It automatically forces you to take breaks.

You should use https://habitrpg.com/

Take everything you want to do every day, cut the time in half, then cut the time in half again, and add it as a "Daily."

* [x] 1 hour of music

* [x] 30m of CodeAcademy Python

* [x] 20m exercise

The key is to keep is so absurdly short that you will have no trouble doing them in a day. BUT, by doing them every day, you will accomplish much more than if you had overcommitted.

Using HabitRPG instead of a daily to-do list ads a gaming aspect to it. Skip enough days, and your character dies and loses a level. It's a lot of fun.

I'm currently using it to get myself to do a little Duolingo for spanish, floss every day, and try to stop drinking soda (habits section).

I'd increase the time a little at least a couple of times during the week. Because learning to programming or playing an instrument is like learning a language, and it requires some extended time of immersion to really make significant progress. An hour of focused practice is the minimum I need to really have noticeable progress.

Wow, this is awesome. Thanks for sharing!

There's a meta-rule that's been very helpful to me: never change today's rules.

For example, for the last 6 months I've been changing what I eat. Sometimes the rules I've picked seem like such a good idea, but turn out to be really challenging. Does that mean I've been too optimistic setting my goals? Or just that I'm in the middle of useful struggle?

By deciding that I'll only change tomorrow's rules, never today's, it makes habit-building a lot easier. If I booked myself 5 hours of music per day this week, then by gum it'll be 5 hours today. But I'm allowed to say, "Tomorrow, though, fuck it."

This constrains my rule-hacking powers in a way that keeps me from undermining my progress when things get hard.

That is an awesome idea.

What I do is tell myself "I'll start this activity, and if I still don't want to do it after 5 minutes, I'll stop"

Chances are, after 5 minutes, I actually want to keep going. The human desire to not leave something undone works in your favor.


For a while, do a lot of nothing. Long walks. Relaxed hikes. Meditation. Sitting at cafes, watching the world go by. Dawdling on park benches, tree stumps, beaches.

Why? Well, part of it is that high-stress jobs have a long-term cost. You likely need to heal. But it also sounds like you have both a learned habit of and a natural bias toward keeping busy.

That business has its benefits. But for me at least it was also a symptom of avoidance. I didn't want to think about uncomfortable things in my past, my present self, my likely future. Changing that has made an enormous difference in my life, and I wish I had done it years ago.

So book a lot of time for rest until you feel like you can sit quietly for a half hour without resorting to distraction. You could try an Unschedule [1] for that as a way to get started. Or you could just have some set working hours and let the rest of the time be. And definitely consider picking up a meditation practice. I'd suggest simple insight meditation (aka Vipassana) as an easy way to start.

[1] http://www.lifeclever.com/how-to-unschedule-your-work-and-en...

Part of the usefulness of vacations, can be that one is disabled from the usual busyness, by not being in a familiar environment. You get the opportunity to see how exhausted you are because you cannot engage with your usual activities, and can actually rest, and do nothing.

Follow the five-rule plan:

1. No more zero days - do something towards whatever goal or want. (e.g. make time to study/research/learn/design/develop/create/build/launch)

2. Be grateful to the 3 You's - The Past You, The Present You, and the Future You.

3. Exercise - when you exercise, you are doing your future self a huge favor.

4. Read Daily - almost everything we've ever thought of, or gone through, or wanted, or wanted to know how to do or whatever has been already figured out by someone else. Reading will help you better understand.

5. Have faith and follow through with action.

yup! that's it!

Get a good kitchen set and starting making your own meals. Spend two weeks where you make every meal you eat, so you break the habit of eating out.

Also continue to surround yourself with fantastic people, it will keep you from getting depressed. Exercise (jogging, especially) is a very economical and beneficial pastime. Start that as soon as possible.

To add to cooking idea, challenge yourself to eat "simply" – i.e with cheap carbohydrate heavy ingredients such as rice, pasta, potatoes as a substantial portion of your calories.

Use meat sparingly (it's expensive!) to make things more exciting, and always put onions, garlic and [all kinds peppers[1], zucchini, fennel (the bottom parts), herbs[2]].

All of those ingredients last in the fridge and can be "revived", or cooked when they're starting to go bad. If you're new to feeding yourself all of your meals and having food in the fridge all the time, the tendency to buy fresh products that rot in the fridge is high. These ingredients let you cheat a bit.

Olive oil and salt and pepper should be liberally applied to all of this.

Finally, on the the health front, you'll probably cook more than you need – this can cause overeating. I usually portion food into a storage container before I start eating, forcing me to control portions. When you start cooking all of your food and controlling your portions, you realize more what your body needs and honestly how little it actually requires for sustenance. Rich world countries eat such an incredible amount of food.

My two cents! This is a personal thing, so your mileage may vary, but hope it's a bit helpful.

[1]: I live near a substantial hispanic population, so all sorts of interesting peppers exist that can change meals completely for very little cost and effort. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capsicum

[2]: Depending on your market and the season, herbs can be relatively affordable or completely absurd. I only buy it if it's fairly priced, can be a real gouger.

Suggestion to eat cheap carbos is insane. Sure its cheap, but it will also raise your blood sugar, make you feel without energy and make you obese.

Considering that I've been practicing diets without any carbs for a while now, I can say that:

1. They aren't much more expensive if you plan ahead. You need to buy in bulk and refrigirate at home. 2. You do get added benefits of canceling any drinks with carbs, which means no juices and beer and much less carbonated stuff (all you can do needs to be sugar less). 3. You should feel better across the day. I always got super tired after eating rice or pasta (especially the simplest, white stuff, full grain is usually better but not much).

If you need a very good crash course on what to do, read the 4-hour body from Tim Ferriss. That's a nice starter for people trying to change their lifestyle.

BTW: Since I reduced/removed carbs from my diet I lost 10-15% of body weight, am much less tired/sleepy and can perform better mentally. I also eat less without even trying, overeating is very hard + regardless of the fact that I eat at least two eggs daily + insane quantities of fatty foods (ribs, suckling pig, bacon, butter) my bloodwork (including holesterol) improved.

Definitely this! I'm currently in my first year of uni and a lot of it seems like getting a good routine is important.

I'm lucky to have clever friends around me, so going for a drink or a game of pool and talking about work and assignments is always a good way to talk and share knowedge on assignments/problems/tech world.

Equally, scheduling when I'm going to eat is quite important. If I know I have an hour and a half till I eat, I know I will work in that time. Similarly, if I have 30 minutes, it's best spent talking to friends as I won't get much done. Know what works for you and stick to it.

Equally getting up is an issue I face(d). Waking up at 12:00 means that half the day is wasted. This took me a while to figure out, but if you want a good working day, set alarms for eating, powering down your laptop, and going to sleep (23:00 for me).

It's all about finding a good routine when you have an abundance of time - which works for you - and sticking to it.

Here's a vote strongly in favor of exercise, but against steady-state cardio such as jogging. [0]

[0] http://www.simplyshredded.com/cardio-for-fat-loss-high-inten...

> Get a good kitchen set and starting making your own meals. Spend two weeks where you make every meal you eat, so you break the habit of eating out.

How would you suggest doing this? Both in terms of learning cooking techniques as well as constructing a healthy diet for oneself?

...get a girlfriend/boyfriend that complains if the food is always from 'the roster'. It is much easier to cook exciting stuff if it is to be cooked with love and shared.

"Guy on the beach with a laptop".

Seriously, lots of time/little money is why Thailand was invented in the first place. Rock up on Tonsai beach today, just as the high season is winding down and you'll have no problem negotiating a bungalow for less than $300/month if you tell them you plan to stay a while.

They have good enough internet for casual remote work, good power, awesome rock climbing, Australian girls sipping stiff drinks out of a coconut, and all that James Bond Villain Headquarters scenery that Thailand is famous for.

And there are roughly thirty thousand equally nice beaches scattered across this world that will offer pretty much the same combination of cheap living, paradise, and wifi.

Sucks to be the rest of us. Keep us posted!

If I were in his situation I'd be in Pokhara, Nepal - my personal paradise. You can pay $6 a night for a beautiful hotel room so you could probably get a good longterm rate.

I am from Nepal and I second the serenity of Pokhara. A colleague of mine who traveled throughout Asia put it this way: "There is something healing in those mountains".

If anyone in HN is interested in going to Nepal, feel free to reach out, e-mail is in profile.

I'd love to hear more, especially about where to stay. Could you please share your email? My email is in my profile. Thanks!

Sent you an email

Besides Thailand i would also suggest to look at India, some nice locations there, considerably cheaper than Thailand and a higher percentage of people speaking English.

What good places in India?

Can you recommend some at similar price points that offer good connectivity, access to nature, the beach, etc?

Dont get kidnapped.

Congratulations on taking the big jump and going on a new adventure!

I'm hoping to be in a similar situation in the future (uni student with a gap of up to 7 months because I'm ahead of the curriculum, and I have maybe ~€3k in savings, while living with my parents). Here's some ideas I had for myself.

- Travel cheaply. I have friends in many parts of the world and hopefully some of them will let me stay with them. I could also stay closer to home and travel by bike with a tent, but sleeping in a tent might be harder to combine with a remote job.

- Experiment with freelancing, possibly on a "Pay what you want" basis because I won't really need the money

- Focus for some time on just learning the things I've wanted to learn for a long time; technologies, languages, hobbies, professional skills.

- Create some side projects, primarily to learn but some might also bring in a little money.

Disclaimer in case it wasn't clear: I'm not speaking from experience, those are ideas I have for the future.

> I'm also looking for any general tips about staying engaged and active while working from home

This is something I do have experience with and I found that communicating sufficiently, clearly and honestly is both harder and more important than at non-remote jobs.

Edit: I'm also bookmarking this thread to find advice for myself - thanks a lot for posting this question!

There's really no need to freelance on a "pay what you want" basis. Just set a rate and stick to it. If you don't need the money, set the rate higher, not lower, because it will filter out projects where a) people don't understand the value you're providing or b) you're not actually providing enough value for them to justify paying you your normal rate. There's no need to do work like that, especially when you can be pursuing your own passions and investing in yourself rather than someone else's project. Save your precious time for those projects where everyone is winning from your involvement.

Also, that might sound like a lot of savings now, but for most of us life gets a lot more expensive, so you really do need the money, even if you don't need it right at this moment. :-) I'm not saying that means you need to be working now... just don't squander your valuable time on someone else's priorities because you "don't really need the money."

Thanks a lot for the advice!

One reason I was considering PWYW is just to try it out because it sounds great in theory, and I'd love to see how it works out in practice. And the best time to learn that is when I don't rely on the money to stay alive. I've done some research of course, and I'd be careful to only work with people I trust and on projects I'm excited about.

Another reason was that I'd want to do a job I have little or no experience in yet, so it's well possible that I don't manage to provide any value to my first clients.

But perhaps freelancing before I have a portfolio is always a bad idea, period? I don't know.

> Also, that might sound like a lot of savings now, but ...

Don't worry, it doesn't :) It's simply that until I start traveling or move out, I'll need little to none of it - assuming no emergencies. Of course that's a ridiculous assumption to make, so I probably shouldn't allow myself to go much lower (thanks for the implicit reminder!). I guess I shouldn't travel without making some income too.

Amen on the freelancing. Most people judge contractors the same way they judge wine: they look at the sticker price and figure it's meaningful. The more you charge, the better your clients listen to you. Which often means the better you can serve them.

Thanks, this is a good point I hadn't considered.

I’ve started the same process as you; left a comfortable, well-paying job two weeks ago so I can pursue other ways of making a living and doing contract work to meet basic needs.

The most important thing for me is to make sure my health is in check, since that’s the foundation for everything. My mental checklist - things I go through my head every now and then to make sure they are at healthy levels - is food, fitness, sleep, stress and sun. I try very hard not to compromise these in pursuit of doing other things.

Another thing I’m doing now is treating every project as a client, including personal projects. I had been using FreshBooks for keeping track of client work, but I also use it to keep track of the open source projects I work on. Obviously I don’t charge these people, but I find it helpful to see in one place where I’m allocating the time I spend designing UI and writing code. If I notice I hadn’t been putting enough time yesterday, I’ll let go of other pursuits to make the time.

As for saving money, having a budget that you can easily refer to helps. I use You Need A Budget becaus - unlike mint - it forces you to really look at each transaction and “give your money a job”.

What I haven’t solved yet is the social interaction I had while working in an office of people I knew. While I have access to a co-working space, people tend to keep to themselves. Same thing with coffeeshops. I’ve had to just rely on friends and meetups to balance this instead.

EDIT: my contact info is on my profile if you ever want sync up and share further tips and experiences. This goes for anyone else trying out this type of experiment. :)

Learn Clojure via Overtone! https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=Mf...

I personally have to either wake up early, wake up and exercise, or start working outside my apartment (e.g. eat lunch out and take my computer) in order to not fall into slacking off all day. Assuming I don't fall into one of my slacking off patterns (e.g HN/Reddit/Twitter tech "news" all day), I've never had trouble staying engaged. I think of it as working every day but sometimes I get paid for working on other people's projects and others I get to enjoy working on my own. My personal priority list of things to do puts sleep and waking up without an alarm as the top priority.

Do that stupid thing: a todo list. Write what you want on it, set priority, set a lifetime for the todo list (like say it's for three month), setup deadline for some achievements like (30 hours of by june), update your todo list.

You'll keep track about what you have done so far and it will remove that feeling that you will meet at some point that you haven't achieved anything.

The key is to review your todo list regularly : to know what to do, to remind you of your objective, to write down that you have actually done something and also, very important, to update it by removing what doesn't interest you anymore and adding new stuff.

I have a three months todo list, with all the big things in my life, I have milestones or targets for all these. I find it pretty efficient.

Congratulations :)

- when you find yourself not being productive any more, stop and take a walk. You can't be productive 100% of the time, and it's important to accept that. 30-60 minute walks will do wonders for you.

- pick modest goals for the first month to make sure you knock them out of the park, and then set appropriate goals the following month. Nothing gets you down like missing your first set of goals and being perpetually behind.

Let me suggest that you view this as an opportunity to unplug.

I was a homemaker for years and I homeschooled my sons for a long time. We are solving hard (personal) problems and making a significant transition in our lives in part because we tend towards not having a TV, have gone through periods without a phone, and tend to have fairly quiet lives, literally and figuratively. People who have super busy lives often have very noisy lives. While driving, they have the radio on. While jogging, they have the ipod on. While relaxing after work, they have the TV on. Their phone is always on and they are super plugged in to social media and on and on.

I think constant noise makes it hard to think. I think it promotes that sense of needing to do a million things and not being able to afford to do just "nothing" for a time if you wish. If your brain is constantly being bombarded with musical lyrics and TV advertising and on and on, how can you ever really, truly think about anything?

When my kids were little, I was able to deal with some serious personal issues in part because I was able to be a homemaker. Cooking, cleaning, doing laundry and caring for small kids took all my time but it did not take all my mental capacity. Thus, it allowed me to think deeply about a lot of things without much interruption. It became a habit and I continue to arrange to live quietly in some sense so my brain is not bombarded with other people's word, ideas, etc all the time so my own ideas and feelings can find their way to the surface and be expressed.

Congrats and good luck!

You should read Mr. Money Mustache! http://www.mrmoneymustache.com

He's an ex-software engineer who, by living reasonably (not even at extreme levels of frugality) saved enough money in seven or eight years to retire at age 30. He's got great money advice! You'll love him!

Speaking as a musician, it will cost you a bit of money up front, but finding a top notch teacher and taking a few lessons might be a great way to kick off the new phase of your life. Of course I'm saying this while having procrastinated on doing the same for myself. Find a teacher who could provide you with a frank assessment of your technique, and identify gaps in your abilities that might hold you back from fully engaging in your local music scene at a desirable level.

Also, a check-up on your technique might be a good idea in order to avoid injuring yourself once you do start in with those 5 hours a day. Naturally some instruments are more physically demanding than others, but any instrument can hurt you if you don't consider ergonomic technique.

I'd recommend filling out a dreamline (Google it) to figure out SPECIFIC goals you want to achieve over the next year or so. Then list the specific steps you need to take to achieve those goals.

Start on step one today.

There's a lot of irrelevant stuff on the first page of a Google search for dreamline. Here's a solid link: http://www.fourhourworkweek.com/blog/lifestyle-costing/

Thanks for posting about this; I've read Ferris but hadn't heard about this one.

I took on a similar shift last year, with a similar drive to cement my grasp of a few languages. Depending on your location, I cant recommend highly enough looking for a hotdesking site if there is one nearby. This will not only break up the monotony of your house, and provide a clear "work/play" separation, but will stick you in with like minded people / freelancers who may be further along the process. This "productive socialising" hits two birds with one stone, accelerating your learning and keeping you sane!

If you're going to go to a bar and socialize, get a low-priced single malt scotch, and really stretch it out. Bartenders will let you nurse a single scotch far longer than the equivalent dollar amount of beer. Also, most people's bodies recognize that scotch isn't all that good for them, so you will feel biological pressure to not drink very much at all.

This is a great socializing hack.

Extreme version: tall soda w/ lime. some bars won't even charge you because they will assume you're driving and want to encourage responsible behavior, and no one will bother you about "come on just one drink!" because it looks so much like a voda/gin and soda.

I've actually spent the last month doing the same.

I started blogging. just to decompress, and figure out what i've learnt over my career.

I actually think it's allowed me to rediscover my voice, and i just... i have so much to say. I didn't expect that.

It's been very freeing, and I think possibly life changing.


If you can do your work remotely then pack a small backpack, and travel around the world. No flights, just cheap road transportation, trains, boats, where you'll meet ton of people you'd never meet in your life. Go to South America, to Asia, to Africa, if you're smart and tough you can travel a year on a $15K budget.

Since you're interested in both, one possibility would be to somehow combine your interest in music with your curiosity about programming (especially if you're into electronic music). Something like SuperCollider/Overtone or, if Python is your thing, maybe https://code.google.com/p/pyo/. You might not be able to rush through the docs at CodeAcademy-pace, but -- who knows where you'll end up? Also, having a project you're personally invested in (which is usually the case when music is involved) is incredibly helpful when learning new stuff; there is always something to do.

Sounds like you've already taken the biggest and hardest step; which is to simply initiate the change.

My #1 piece of advice, while you're setting goals and scheduling activities, is to understand the organic rhythm and cadence of growth for each goal.

Work brings an inherent cadence of 9am-5pm, Mon-Fri and success is often calibrated every week/sprint/quarter.

But learning guitar, body building, and understanding new programming languages each have their own organic cadence and process for achieving mastery.

Sometimes taking a break from learning something new and simply reflecting is better than grinding away for 5 hrs per day, as that pattern tends to reinforce bad habits rather than develop new and better habits.

It felt good to have a regular job after leaving a law firm when I did that myself a few years ago. I ended up working as a lowly CSR for something I considered my passion at the time. After a couple unexpected transitions, I've picked up coding and am doing that full time remotely at home now.

People here are right: Separation between time and work, Food - don't eat too much of it, and Humans - you need that contact.


I don't know how much money you have, but I would invest it into an income asset like a rental property or dividend paying equity. You will need an income stream if you want to live work-free for any length of time. Otherwise, I would buy a house or condo or find a situation where you can live "rent-free". Also pay cash for an older car. Those are your major expenses. Generally, I would live within your means, and cook your own food. Avoid travel and entertainment expenses, especially bars. Have fun!

Try very hard not spending 18hs a day in front of the computer. It's really hard to do that when you switch to remote. Go out, shave, shower every day. Try to keep you healthy.

Take 20 min a day to meditate

I kinda like your advice !

Since you're interested in Bitcoin, educate yourself on economics. There's a good reading list on /r/economics.

Read SICP, take MIT's 6.001 and learn Lisp -- it'll get you ready for any other language you'll pick up. Then take any number of free courses online on Coursera, Udacity, Codeschool...

This is what I did after I quit being a trader at an Investment Bank, and moved to the Chinese country-side for 8 months of re-education :)

I'm a recent graduate of the Royal Northern College of Music in the UK; If classical guitar is something that interests you music-wise, I'd be happy to help point you in the right direction. alir3142@gmail.com

If you do plan to keep your license active, your state may have a poorer-lawyer fee scale. Take advantage of that. Same goes with CEB requirements. There's no need to pay for the expensive all inclusive programs.

I just did this. Learn piano. If you suck, write code that will make it faster to learn. (off the top of my head: write a midi filter that only permits keystrokes that are onbeat, and makes a fart sound if you miss.)

Wow, thanks so much for all the great responses! This has gotten me really excited. Lots to think about!

(And special thanks to those who left their contact information -- I really appreciate it.)

I started Udacity courses, highly recommended, you don't have to pay as well if you don't want to. There are othe MOOC's as well..

Make sure to spend some time with your family/parents/friends.

Make more money.

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