Advice for My Son

Rolling updates on a range of topics. My advice is short and clear.

I am not expert. I only know what has worked for me. Often, the simplest solution is the best solution.

I didn't know my father. In my late teens and early 20s I spent my free time at the library. Reading nonfiction, self help, business and biography books.

This reference was created on August 29th, 2020. It's my 43rd birthday. My son is one year and 8 months old. These notes are my advice to him.

If you are interested in supporting this page. You'll find some affiliate links below.


Life

Archive Your Life

I video record everything that my son does.

Everything is recorded in 4K. The highest setting on my phone. I have all his first. Rolling-over, crawling, walking and first words.

Limit Social Media

Social media isn't real. Don't compare your life to others.

Write It Down

You will forget.

Use both paper and a note app. Write with Uni-ball Jetstream pens. They are comfortable, fast drying and water resistant. Make your writing short and clear. Use HemingwayApp.com to edit your writing.

Use Standard Notes. Your notes are 100% encrypted and they sync to all your devices.

You Only Need Black Crew Socks

Black crew socks work for everything, even with a suit. It's a minimalist secret hack.

Give Great Gifts

Use the MoMA design store. One of the world's greatest museum curated this store. No one will out-gift you. You'll find something at every budget.

Minimal

If you have an option. Pick the minimal option. Minimal things have less parts to break or fail.

Minimal doesn't mean subpar. Many of the best designed items are minimal. They remove everything that it not needed.

Learn to Code

FreeCodeCamp.org is a fantastic resources. Also subscript to their YouTube channel.

FreeCodeCamp is self paced. Take your time, and understand what you are doing. At the end you'll get a FREE certificate that is respected industry wide.

Start with Responsive Web Design. Go from there.

Start A Business

Start a business or service. You don't need to Millions. If you can. Make that business run itself.

It is the hardest thing to do. But a business that runs itself is freedom.

Eyeware

Buy eyeglasses and sunglasses from Warby Parker.

Starting at $95 Warby Parker makes fantastic eyewear. Take your Warby Parker frames to a local Optometrist for make prescription lenses and sunglasses.

I've owned over 10 Warby Parker pairs. More often than not the prescription was incorrect.

Minimal

Learn how to edit, remove excess. Focus on quality over quantity. When you keep things minimal. You have less chances for something to go wrong.

Podcasts

Listen to podcast. They are great for keeping up with current events, learning and discovering. Keep your subscriptions manageable. Limit yourself to 10. Pick podcast on different topics to well-round your knowledge.

Listen to podcast on your commute and long drives. I also listen during my morning routine.

Trust Your Instincts

"Blink" by Malcolm Gladwell has case studies supporting this.

  • Believe in yourself.

Affordable Quality Brands

For the office get a pair of Dr. Martens 1461 Mono. The Dr. Martens Archie II is a great formal upgrade.

You do have to break them in. But they will outlast other brands. Dr. Martens aren't made in half sizes. Size up, not down. Dr. Martens are always on sale. Search, you'll find a deal online.

Regardless of your personal style. Dr. Martens makes a shoe for you.

Everlane makes modern upscale basics clothing. The quality is fantastic. They could charge more. But don't. Take advantage of that.

Get a tailored look by taking your Dickies to a suit tailor. A suit tailor is more expensive, but they have the skill to make your Dickies fit perfect. Dickies 874 will outlast all other pants.

If you want a wrist watch get a Timex Weekender. They are affordable, and look great.

Upgrade to a Seiko 5. The Seiko will last a lifetime.

Read

Use your library card. Your card now gives you access to ebooks, audio books and magazines. You can even download them to a Kindle, tablet for phone.

The way I see it. Articles will scratch the surface on a topic. Books will take you deep into that topic.

Be a lifelong learner.

Buy Quality

Quality doesn't have to be expensive. Research all buys with Consumer Reports and Wirecutter.

NEVER buy something from someone on the street. Scammers will show you fake receipts. They will rush you to buy. They willl tell you that you aren't getting a deal.

This is a scam.


Finance

  • Use Nerd Wallet to track your credit score for FREE. Nerd Wallet has advice on credit cards, student loans, mortgages and more.

  • Get a Robinhood account. First see if a friend already has an account. Ask them to send you a referral link. You'll both get a free stock. Setup automatic deposits. Enable DRIP (automatic dividend reinvestment).

  • Invest monthly in an S&P 500 Index Fund. You only need one. VTI is a great option. Don't buy the flavor of the month stock. Reinvest your dividends back into the ETF. You will retire a millionaire.

  • Buy used cars. Use CarFox.com. Get a Toyota. Make sure that it has a great service record on CarFax. Upgrade to a used Lexus if you like. A car's engine is the most important factor. Always do your cars maintenance on time. V6 engines will out last V4 engines. V8 engines are not worth it.


Technology

  • Install mobile apps from F-Droid. Apps on the F-Droid app store focus on your privacy.

  • Use Signal as your texting / messaging app. Signal protects your conversations with end-to-end encryption.

  • Use Spotify to stream music. If you have a premium account set your streaming quality to Very High. Turn on the Crossfade option. Set it to 12 seconds.

  • On video conference calls use Krisp for free noise cancelling. When you can, upgrade your microphone to a Blue USB microphone.

  • On your phone use the DuckDuckGo browser. It's a simple way to block ads trackers and malware on your mobile browser.

  • Use the Open Sans font from fonts.google.com on your documents and computer. This font is clear and has excellent readability at any size.

  • Buy used / last model FLAGSHIP phones. You will save hundreds of dollars, with no compromise in quality.

  • Buy a bargain Ultrabook laptop. Use an external computer monitor at home.

  • Use Linux (Pop-OS, it works!) If you need to use a windows program use wine, but install it with PlayOnLinux. Linux will add extend the life of your computer.

  • Don't buy video games or gaming consoles. Don't waste hours playing video games. If you want to enjoy a game from time to time. Use a free account from GeForce Now. Get free games by opening a Steam account. Geforce Now streams your games. It works on every platform, mobile, desktop, including Chromebooks. Install Geforce Now on Linux by installing an app called Lutris. Lutris will automate the entire installation process.

  • Install Blokada from F-Droid on your phone to block ads, trackers and malware.

  • Install Ublock Origin to block ads, trackers and malware on your browser.

  • Install Bitwarden to store your online passwrods. Bitwarden works on your browser and phone. Never reuse passwords. Make a new password for every website.

  • Use Protonmail for your email. Keep your Gmail address for your Google needs. Don't use your Gmail address for emails.

  • Create 2 email address. 1st for professional / banking use (your.name@protonmail.com). 2nd for services / online accounts (dont.use.your.name@protonmail.com).

  • Sign-up to websites using a temporary email addresses to limit spam. If you like the service. Create an account with your 2nd email.

  • Buy a Brother Laser printer over a Jet printer. Make sure that your laser printer has a Wi-Fi option.


Health

Target

Get a Target DEBIT RedCard. NOT the credit card.

Link your checking account to the RedCard. You'll get a %5 discount, free shipping and more.

Make all your target purchases on this card. In 2015 Target created a one year return policy for most Target brands items.

The RedCard is the best way to keep track of your purchases. You won't have to keep your recipe. They make NO exceptions without a recipe. Your Target RedCard keeps all your purchases on record.

One use is for baby clothing. Babies outgrow clothes in weeks. Exchange the item for a larger size when it no longer fits.

Target offers this amazing return policy for your loyalty. Take advantage of this.