The California Coast is nice

Every year I write a summary of our life and expenses, with the exception of last year / 2021 (because apparently I forgot.)

2022 was our 10th full year of unconventional living – we traveled some (Hawaii, California coast, Yosemite, Tahoe Thanksgiving, Disneyland), Winnie grew a ton of food and flowers, I built some stuff out of wood, and we went snowboarding often throughout this epic/record snow season. I also experimented with income generation (didn’t like it), home maintenance (renting is still better), and public speaking.

Expenses were what they were… a bit more than planned, but that is how these things go sometimes.

2022 Cost of Living

Core cost of living wasn’t too far from what I had previously estimated in Our California Dreamin’ Budget, but we added bi-weekly housecleaning, half-day childcare expenses for our 2-year-old so we could get some adulting in, and food cost a bit more. This was offset somewhat by not visiting Taiwan this year and extensive travel hacking (because free travel is the best travel.) We also installed some windows and a new HVAC system (which is really cool (badumtss)) which cost some $$$ but reduced future expenses.

Here is spending in fancy table form.

(start 9/2022)
(only 3 months)
Total (Core)$8,350$89,400

Sums don’t total because childcare payments were only for 3 months.

Other expenses include an e-bike ($3,000) and the previously mentioned HVAC system ($16,000 – but financed, total outlay was ~$1,000.)

* we have debt on our house (30-year fixed 2.75%) and car (7-year fixed 2.74%.)
Expenses reflect only the interest portion of the payments (~$560/month on mortgage, $100/month on car)

Thoughts on life

Life is fairly busy – Jr has year-round sports now (baseball, soccer, basketball, swim team, tae kwon do) plus snowboarding. Our little one is ready to do the same starting this next season. Overall cost for these activities is fairly reasonable.

When possible, we get in a bit of travel.

Although sometimes it is hard to want to go anywhere. Home is nice.

No fear

Hot tubin

Home is a source of good food – fresh bread, fresh vegetables, and juicy meats.


fresh from the oven

garden delights

With fun local activities

sledding buddies

fun day sun day

light winds

Thoughts on Money

By sheer coincidence 2022 (1st full year in the US) cost about the same as 2020 (last full year outside the US.)
I’m not completely sure what 2021 cost… but more ($200,000?)

The main difference is we are spending that amount from a smaller portfolio (because we sold stock to buy a house.)

In theory we could spend less, but it seems unlikely. 2023 spending will likely be similar.

In 2023 our monthly childcare expenses will go down as our soon-to-be 3-year-old will start formal pre-school at much lower cost, but those funds are likely to be redirected to sports. (Does that mean a 2nd car for the Mom-and-Dad taxi service? Higher food spending because the little guy already eats more than Mom?)

Home improvements have already resulted in lower spending on utilities, but it is mostly a rounding error that pays for itself.

Travel is expensive these days with fewer business travelers subsidizing things for the rest of us, so we spend a lot even with optimization. 2023 travel plans already include a return to Hawaii (Big Island this time) and Christmas in Taiwan. Some Tahoe camping is also in order.

The only thing I can say with any certainty is that our spending on taxes and health insurance will remain low.


Life is good. We live well, travel well, eat well. That costs us about $10k/month.

No real changes are planned so 2023 will likely look similar to 2022 in terms of life and expenses.

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Hope everyone has a great 2023 and beyond.

Jeremy, Winnie, Julian, Jaiden
Go Curry Cracker!