I recently moved from the Dallas area to the Bay Area.
The first thing I miss is the cost of living.
The second thing I miss is the food.
Dallas Fort-Worth has Mexican, cajun and good barbecue. But, thankfully, the summers here are much more bearable. It's been 61 and sunny all day everyday for the past few weeks. There's a drought going on in California and there are hills everywhere. People ride their bicycles to work and some people cruise around on Segway tours. I caught myself rolling my eyes at "tourists" from further down the Peninsula coming in to AT&T Park for a Giants game because it was along my transportation route. How frustrating!
I've learned to love SF's particular blend of Cali-Mex and the sushi game here is sub-par (that is to say if it were a golfer it'd be below par - meaning good). I've managed to live almost nine months in the city now without a car and I don't foresee myself buying one in the near future. There's really no need for me... I can bike, take public transportation or walk to work and my local grocer and I am well connected around the Bay Area with the public transportation options.
Apps Without Wires
I was admittedly a late adopter to the smartphone transition; I waited until around 2013 to purchase my first smartphone - a Samsung Galaxy III.
At first, I scoffed at the idea that I would need a smartphone; after all, I was always connected to a computer to get Google Maps or order food or send e-mails. I didn't think it would impact my life in any significant way. That held true, generally, until I moved to San Francisco.
Now I am connected to everything: GrubHub for food, Uber/Lyft for transportation, Moovit for public transportation, Schwab for banking, Instacart for food delivery, Washio for dry cleaning, Snapchat for the lulz (Tinder for the swipes). It was such a sneaky transition but now my biggest fears include being away from a mobile Hotspot or data connectivity or my battery life being low. #FirstWorldProblems
Also: Coffee snobs. Coffee snobs, everywhere.
"I wouldn't be caught dead with anything from Peet's coffee. Did you know that they don't even use locally-sourced, organic and gluten-free quinoa in some of their branches? It's enough to make you go crazy."
I had to figure out what composting was.
"So, this is recycling right? I just need to put all my plastic and paper in here. Oh wait, not the paper? Or any of the food? I didn't know there were three buckets. I'm sorry."
I had never experienced an earthquake until a recent 4.0.
"Oh, I don't even get out of bed if it's under a 6.0."
I thought it was timely to discuss some of my investing and recent personal financial moves I've made especially in the wake of the 5% dip at the end of last week.
In July, I sold my house that I purchased in June 2013. I instantly paid off all my student debt (good bye to the roughly $52,000 I started with) and funded the rest into a Wealthfront account. After scoring a Risk Tolerance score of 10 and being disappointed in the conservatism of my underlying portfolio, I recently wondered if they could crank it up to '11'. (Give it the ol' Spinal Tap experience.)
So, right now, I am living debt- and house-free heavily loaded into equities. Next piece in this 4-part series will give details on the sale of my house and provide some of the lessons learned from my first foray into real estate: much more 'school of life' learning than I had hoped!