The start of Spring was filled with the smell of jasmine in my garden, along with a thriller film, board games and better spreadsheeting skills.

A duotoned dark purple and beige version of the Apple heart hands emoji, in front of a blue triangle across the top right corner
🎧Dune soundtrack
📖She’s on the Money
🎒Spreadsheeting skills

Watching 🎞️

Fresh (film)

Jess: I’m not usually a thriller kinda gal but TikTok / Daisy Edgar-Jones made me watch Fresh (2022 film) and honestly thought it was pretty great. Story, soundtrack, aesthetics all on point.

The Fresh film poster
Streaming on Disney+ in Australia

Listening to 🎧

Dune soundtrack (Spotify)

Jess: I’m a board game nerd and Dune:Imperium is one of my faves. It takes a lot of setup (and coffee table space) but once you’ve played a few times, it’s really satisfying!

I like to put on the Dune soundtrack while my partner and I play, so you really feel like you’re “in the Dune world”.

Photo of the Dune:Imperium board game setup for play
Our coffee table is only just big enough 😅

Reading 📖

She’s on the Money (book)

Jess: I’m on an eternal quest to improve my financial literacy so since Aimee had mentioned the She’s on the Money book and podcast a couple of times (re: financial literacy, and getting back to the basics of investing), I decided to hop onto it. I opted for the audiobook* so I could listen while out walking or in the car.

*Pro tip: I always check my local library’s Borrow Box app to see if an eBook or audiobook is available there before buying elsewhere, and this time it was! Felt particularly appropriate to read a book about money for free…

It’s a clear, easy read which covers things like:

  • Understanding your ‘money story’ and risk profile
  • Why having a positive cash flow is important (spending less than you earn)
  • Using personal goals to inform your budgeting setup and decisions
  • The basics of investing and how to set an appropriate investment strategy
  • Real life examples of people who have improved their financial situation (and how they did it)

It’s aimed at financial newbies and geared to Australian context, so I would really only recommend if you who fit that profile. I skipped the chapters where I already have a good handle on the topic, but there were some good tips and reminders along the way.

She's on the Money book cover

My top takeaway: do an audit of your recent transactions and tag them as either fixed/necessary expenses or discretionary expenses. Where is the majority of your discretionary spending going? This will tell you what you actually value (as opposed to what you think/say you value).

Using 📱

Letterboxd (app)

Jess: I forgot about this app for a while but I’m back, baby. Letterboxd is a place to keep track of what films you’ve watched, add a rating or review, and see what your friends have watched/rated lately. Like a film diary.

I only use it for retrospective tracking (as opposed to ‘want to watch’), because I have a separate film and TV to-watch list setup in Notion*, which is a curated set of the films or TV shows I’d like to watch someday along with any notes (like who recommended it, and whether it’s on my partner’s list too).

*Check out how to setup a film and TV watchlist in Notion if that idea piques your interest, along with the free Notion template I made for anyone to duplicate and use for yourself 😘

Learning 🎒

Spreadsheeting skills

Jess: I use Google Sheets at work, so I’m doing one of the LinkedIn Learning short courses called Google Sheets: Advanced Topics to sharpen up my skills, and learn a few new tricks.

My top takeaway: I’m embarrassed to admit I didn’t know what the dollar sign meant when it appeared before a cell reference before now — it turns out that’s how you denote an ‘absolute reference’ to a cell, so it doesn’t change when you copy and paste the formula to another cell. Handy!

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