2020 September Expense

This month’s expense is back to normal, overall 8k spending

  • Home: 4k, this is the fixed, refinance closing is on the way
  • Utilities: $64, after overpaid around 2k, only internet and phone has dues
  • Grocery: 1.2k, mostly from weee and costco
  • Shopping: 1.4k, a laptop for my parent, and some PC parts, a standing table, and a nvme 1tb…
  • Kids: $40, small toys, no dancing class this month
  • Restaurant: $200,
  • Cars: $60, gas and parking at airport
  • MISC Expense
    • $2.5K gift card for MS: $1k costco, $1.5k amazon;
    • $700, donation
  • Recurrent Subscriptions: $42, including ring, disney+, amazon music, aws, amazon freetime, PBS kids, AMZ show time

Investment gain is much less than august now 🙂

2020 August Expense

A late one, but not exceed one month 🙂

Overall 11k spent, higher than previously, but as expected as overpaid some utilities.

  • Home: 4k, this is the fixed, glad that in Oct, it will be reduced a little bit due to refinance
  • Utilities: $2.1k, overpaid around 2k for credit card spending
  • Grocery: 1.1k, however 1k costco gift card spending is not counted here
  • Shopping: 240, however 1.5k Amazon gift card spending to max Chase Freedom reward are not counted here
  • Kids: $180, dancing class, basketball hoop, and a toy that has not been opened
  • Restaurant: $100, only ordered carryout once and fast food once
  • Because of a tragedy, make one of the longest trip in my life, a round road trip from Seattle to CA
    • Car: $180, a round trip to CA
    • Hotel: $250, trip to CA
  • MISC Expense
    • $2.5K gift card for MS: $1k costco, $1.5k amazon;
    • $383, donation, other $700 counted in next month
  • Recurrent Subscriptions: $42, including ring, disney+, amazon music, aws, amazon freetime, PBS kids

Seems the monthly expense are pretty stable, especially after my parent went back home, There might be around 1k fluctuation because of large purchase.

Stock Gains looks good.

2020 July Expense

2020 July Expense

A normal month: 9.5K used.

  • Home: 4k, this is the fixed and almost half of the monthly expense
  • Grocery: 1.8k, roughly 1k at costco and 500 at Weee. Reduce the trips to Costco may help both my wallet and my weight.
  • Shopping: 1.5k, finally build a new PC, spend 700 on motherboard/CPU/memory. $140 on apple pencil and $150 on some gc are the other major contributors.
  • Kids: $500, a new bike, a new booster seat, dancing class (2 months), and some random books
  • Pet: $80, medicine and some treat
  • Restaurant: $100, only ordered carryout once.
  • Utilities: $200
  • Car: $500. including $464 insurance

Next month forecast: huge… prepaid some utilities, amazon and costco gc

2020 June Expense

Obviously we spend much more this month, than 2020 May.

2020 June vs 2020 May

Breakdown of expenses (12.2k)

  • Home
    • Mortgage: $4000, always the largest expense in each month, and this month contributes to 33% of total expense.
  • Grocery: $1400, majorly on Costco
  • Restaurant and Fast food: $200, almost no eating outside or delivery
  • Shopping: $2700, including $1k ipad and $650 gc, so on par with last month
  • Utilities: $300, this normal expense, sometimes it is small simply because I overpaid some account
  • Kids: $160
  • Pet: $75 for medicine
  • Gas: $35
  • Others Large expense
    • $400 car insurance
    • $900 for parents status extension
    • $1600+ for two air tickets


  • as estimated 10k would be the average expense during WFH situation..
  • cannot believe I spend so many in Costco

2020 May Expense

(Following what other people has done: https://engineerseekingfire.com/may-2020-expense-report/ )

May is the month with lease spending even after we moved to Seattle, and also a two year celebration of us to move to Seattle, Join FB, and my son’s 6 year birthday.

This month we only spend $7159, including $3900 mortgage, purely due to the COVID-19.

May 2020 vs April 2020

Breakdown of expenses

  • Home
    • Mortgage: $3900, including insurance, this is usually the largest expense in each month, and this month contributes to 55% of total expense. Hope after Oct this year, when I officially with H1B status, I can do a refinance and reduce this number. Do not have strong incentive to pay off some of the loans.
    • Other: $230 on a weber grill, which brought lots of fun and leisure food time for the family
  • Grocery: $1100+, 15%, majorly from Weee and group buy with neighbors: fruits and seafoods
  • Restaurant and Fast food: $250, a few deliveries, usually spend $1k before COVID-19
  • Shopping: $1300, majorly from Amazon, and a $400 Video Card from Newegg and a $100+ case and $50 mouse from AMZ. Due to WFH and old PCs at home (both are build/manufactured in 2012), some of the parts are dying, and also want a SOIA 🙂 setting at home.
  • Kids: $75 dancing class, and a $50+ LEGO, that is all for May. most of the gifts for Harry are counted in Shopping or last month.
  • Others
    • $50 gas
    • $70 utilities: internet and mobiles, other utilities are either bimonth, or have prepaid in the account
    • some recurrent spending: amazon music, Wechat Read, Disney Plus.


  • $7.1k will be a local minimum (of not a globale one) for my family’s monthly expense, majorly due to the pandemic, there are 0 travel and almost 0 dining outside. Also we did not buy anything large this month.
  • So $80k will be a minimum number for yearly needs, and $120k will be a safer number, thus $3M (based on 4% rule) or $4M (based on 3%) is what I need, given my current net worth, I will need …. Well I gave it up. LOL
  • I am a pretty aggressive people in terms of stock investment (or actually speculation), so to have $120k passive income, probably actually need $1M investement in stock market. This year’s investment (STOCK+401K+IRA) return till today: -0.46%

There is still a long way to FIRE


Recently I saw a blogger (probably from Reddit), and the concept of FIRE (FINANCIAL INDEPENDENCE AND EARLY RETIREMENT), and looks like I pretty like that idea: most of us do not need (and cannot) reach financial free, but can be financial independence, after which, one can work more freedom or do not work at all.

Key point:

  • with a saving that is equals to 25X yearly expense, and 4% withdraw rate (in other words return rate to keep the saving stable)

Something to keep in mind

  • Increase Income: can reach the needed savings early
  • Decrease Expense: reduce unnecessary expenses
  • Investment: that is how you get passive income

Start from tracking my yearly expense now.

Setup Linux Env for Deep Learning

Install Ubuntu 18.04 LTS

The old server has been dead for a while. Finally I bought a new PSU (not sure whether it is the PSU’s problem), reinstalled everything, organized cables, now I have new a desktop. Later I reinstalled the OS too, previously using a Windows Server 2012 for some reason (failure to install any linux at that time due to the nividia driver problem).

Surprisingly, this time it is a pretty smooth process to install a Ubuntu 18.04 LTS (with a AMD GPU at the beginning), and then switch to a nVidia GPU (old 4GB GTX 970).

In case you have problem install Ubuntu with a GTX GPU, try the solution of ‘blacklist nouveau driver’ in here

Install nVidia Drivers

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:graphics-drivers/ppa
sudo apt update
sudo apt install nvidia-driver-440
sudo reboot
# also you can install in setting -> advanced drivers

Install CUDA

If you want to delete old CUDA installed, try sudo apt-get –purge remove cuda.

wget https://developer.download.nvidia.com/compute/cuda/repos/ubuntu1804/x86_64/cuda-ubuntu1804.pin
sudo mv cuda-ubuntu1804.pin /etc/apt/preferences.d/cuda-repository-pin-600
wget http://developer.download.nvidia.com/compute/cuda/10.2/Prod/local_installers/cuda-repo-ubuntu1804-10-2-local-10.2.89-440.33.01_1.0-1_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i cuda-repo-ubuntu1804-10-2-local-10.2.89-440.33.01_1.0-1_amd64.deb
sudo apt-key add /var/cuda-repo-10-2-local-10.2.89-440.33.01/7fa2af80.pub
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y install cuda

Set CUDA ENV (not sure whether needed)

export PATH=$PATH:/usr/local/cuda-10.2/bin
export CUDADIR=/usr/local/cuda-10.2
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/usr/local/cuda-10.2/lib64

Test Cuda

mkdir cuda-testing
cd cuda-testing/
cp -a /usr/local/cuda-10.2/samples samples-10.2
cd samples-10.2
make -j 4 # (add -k to skip errors)
~/cuda-testing/samples-10.2/bin/x86_64/linux/release$ ./nbody


Cuda 10.2+Ubuntu 18.04 might give you error message of

'make: Target 'all' not remade because of errors.'
cudaNvSci.h:14:10: fatal error: nvscibuf.h: No such file or directory
compilation terminated.
Makefile:394: recipe for target 'cudaNvSci.o' failed

It is a temporary new feature issue according to https://github.com/NVIDIA/cuda-samples/issues/22#issuecomment-562105202

Install CuDNN

Download CuDNN lib for corresponding CUDA version from here

sudo dpkg -i  libcudnn7_7.6.5.32-1+cuda10.2_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i libcudnn7-dev_7.6.5.32-1+cuda10.2_amd64.deb
sudo dpkg -i libcudnn7-doc_7.6.5.32-1+cuda10.2_amd64.deb

Test CuDNN Installation

cp -r /usr/src/cudnn_samples_v7/ ~/cuda-testing/cudnn_samples_v7/
~/cuda-testing/cudnn_samples_v7/mnistCUDNN$ make clean && make

Install Pytorch through Anaconda

sh ./Anaconda3-2020.02-Linux-x86_64.sh
conda install pytorch torchvision cudatoolkit=10.1 -c pytorch

python -c 'import torch;print(torch.cuda.is_available())'

Install Tensorflow and Keras

from here

pip install tensorflow-gpu
pip install keras

conda install tensorflow-gpu keras

python -c 'from keras import backend as K;K.tensorflow_backend._get_available_gpus()'

from keras import backend as K 

Install MXNet

pip install mxnet-cu102 d2lzh



[Paper Reading] A Fast Learning Algorithm for Deep Belief Nets


  • It is a Unsupervised Probabilistic generative graphical model to learn P(X), while LeNet/AlexNet and so on are discriminative models that focus on P(Y|X).
  • The top two layers of the DBN form an undirected bipartite graph called Restricted Boltzmann Machine
  • The lower layers form a directed sigmoid belief network
  • DBN can be formed by “stacking” RBMs. Later Autoencoder is used instead.
  • Greedy, layer-by-layer learning
  • Optionally fine-tuned with gradient descent and backpropagation.


  • RBMs are a variant of Boltzmann machines, with the restriction that their neurons must form a bipartite graph
  • Architecture: RBM has an input layer (also referred to as the visible layer) and one single hidden layer and the connections among the neurons are restricted. So RBM looks like a MLP connection between two layers


Book Reading List for 2020