Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Last LinkFest of 2009!

As you know, I recently converted my rollover IRA to a Roth IRA, and there are a lot of reasons why that made sense. I'm nowhere near the income limit, but if you are, good news! It's going away in 2010. This article has lots of good reasons for converting, but also points out that it's the federal limit that's ending, so your state might still have one in place.

Lifehacker's most popular how to features of 2009. My favorites are How to Use Twitter, How to Properly Erase Physical Media, Definitive Guide to Finding Free Wi-Fi, Use Firefox to Fix the Web's Biggest Annoyances, and You're Backing Up Your Data The Wrong Way.

Lifehacker also talks about how to become the ultimate gift giver with Evernote. I'm not crazy about Evernote, but the same concepts could be applied to something as simple as a spreadsheet.

How Trent at The Simple Dollar finds the perfect gift--I did this to figure out what to get my mom, which wasn't obvious at first but she ended up liking it.

How Boston Gal finds holiday deals on Amazon--a great resource of URL codes for finding great deals, and this could work all year round!

Dog Ate My Finances and Living Almost Large had some interesting discussions about gift giving at work. I don't like office gift-giving, particularly for holidays and birthdays. My work friends and I go out for lunch for birthdays and don't exchange gifts. I don't have anyone to "bribe" the way Dog describes, so I don't do anything. I usually bring in a homemade treat for everyone, and that's it. This year, my boss gave me a lovely bottle of lotion and a $100 gift card--much different from last year (last year I got a card from her). She hinted that there will be no bonuses this year, which is what this was trying to make up for. It's much appreciated, but I don't feel a need to "gift up". Her assistant and I are getting her flowers on her first day back as a thank you for being such a great boss.

How to cook a latke--I'm not Jewish but I love latkes!

Quarterlife Finances talks about working as if it's your last week--clear out your personal files, keep stuff organized in case someone else needs to pick it up when you leave. I took that advice last year during our rounds of layoffs and took home anything sensitive. I still have some personal items at work, but they're obvious (photos, etc) and won't be a problem to take home quickly if the need arises. It's not just a matter of layoffs either--I ended up switching jobs unexpectedly a few months ago, and I learned some things about making it easy to transition that I'm keeping up with now. drink recipes! I love hot drinks. Time to go make some chai right now!

Okay, now that I'm back, I ignored the urge to check my email--I've been trying to curb my constant email checking anyway, but then I saw this. If you check email every five minutes, you're doing it 24,000 times per year! I don't want to do ANYTHING that much in a given year, so I'm trying to scale back.

FruGal talks about relationships and money--I'm surprised that so few people combine their income and that so many people fight about money, but I guess I shouldn't be. I wouldn't have combined finances with my exes, and we fought about money all the time. I guess Peanut's just too perfect for words. We have a joint credit card and a joint checking account.

I'm sort of obsessed with small house living right now. Posts at Mother Earth News, Boston Gal's Open Wallet and Unclutterer really have me thinking about how small I could go. Maybe it's just because I've lived in apartments for so long, but a 900 square foot house sounds GREAT! Totally roomy but still cozy, and a house wouldn't share walls with neighbors and would have a little yard. Sign me up!

I really like this post at World of Wealth about how sometimes the best investment is something you just really want. I can save all my money and eschew entertainment and nice things, but for what? As long as it's not shopping for shopping's sake, I wholeheartedly approve of getting yourself something just because. I have a few things like that, which were great purchases and provided far more enjoyment or happiness than expected. A notable recent one was a $10 purple purse I bought from a street vendor. I totally didn't need it, but I loved the color and I've gotten compliments on it almost every day since. I really, really like that bag and it has made me very happy--it wasn't a super high quality bag and it won't last forever, but it was a good investment. I put travel and pets into this category, too. 

Essential year end money moves! I'm waiting to review my budget until the end of January, when I'll have an idea of what I'm bringing in (my paycheck will change again since I'm no longer contributing $5,000 to flex spending, so it's like another raise!). I bought my Sony Reader this month for the tax deduction. I converted my IRA to a Roth. I get my credit reports on a staggered schedule, but my latest one in December showed nothing unexpected. I'll be maxing out my Roth before tax day. And my renter's insurance renews in January, so I'm all set there. I did all of these things sort of automatically but I'm glad there was a checklist handy.

That's it for LinkFest 2009, I guess. More to come in the new year!

1 comment:

  1. I agree with buying something you want

    I still pet and love my lace purse that I paid $80 for.. it was a lot of money then when I had debt but DAMN I LOVE THAT PURSE. And I haven't found anything close to it which makes me even happier when I use it.


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