Friday, September 30, 2011

Linkfest: Loooo-ooooong Edition

I didn't realize until today that my Linkfest from last week never got posted, so lucky you - here's two weeks of great content.

I recently found Mutant Supermom's blog, and this post about 27.5 reasons she coupons is one of the reasons I'm enjoying reading her.

I LOVE this post's How to Be Prettier, although I consider it a How to Be Smarter AND  How to Be Less Awkward tip.

Lifehacker has the 10 dishes and drinks everyone should be able to make at home. I can do about half. Which ones can you do?

A PF book club! Want, want, want!! Peanut and I have actually talked about starting a PF book club in real life, but we couldn't find anyone else who was interested. :( So I am ALL OVER THIS! First book: Shortchanged: Why Women Have Less Wealth and What to Do About It. First meeting: November 1. Hashtag: #pfbookclub. Be there or don't be in our book club. :)

I'm definitely a self-curator - that's effectively what this blog is, especially these link round-ups! There's simply so much information out there now that we can't even process it all, much less remember and re-use it.

I found this neat little tool - Typealyzer. It analyzes your blog and tells you what kind of Myers-Briggs personality you're displaying. Here's mine: ESFP - The Performers.

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.
In reality, that is the complete opposite of me. No, seriously - I've been tested several times and I am way-at-the-opposite-end INTJ. So, is the test wrong? Do I come off online totally differently than I do in real life? Is blogging an attempt to reconcile two divides senses of self?

I have no idea, but I thought it was neat.

I love this best kept secret for frugal living! It's so true - it's simple, but not easy.

An emergency kit (for school, car, work, or home) is a great idea - and not just for kids. In New York, I always kept flats and some other items in my desk (a 14-flight evacuation taught me that!) but I haven't made the same arrangements here.

Things truly have changed in the workforce in the last twenty or thirty years, and I agree - you do now have to act like you're a consultant rather than an employee. The tips in that post will help you hone the skills that allow you to do so.

I love this! 13 pieces make 31 outfits - amazing! I've been feeling the "woe is me, I've got nothing to wear"s lately, but I might need to take a closer look because I've definitely got more than 13 pieces, so I can probably make enough outfits to last until Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

"We are not consumers, and we are not puppets on a string"

The message I like best about this post is "We are not consumers, and we are not puppets on a string, so let's lobby our politicians and the companies we do business with to stop referring to us that way." (from matt about money via the simple dollar)

If you don't call yourself a consumer, what do you call yourself?

I'm not a book consumer, I'm a reader.

I'm not an electronics consumer, I'm a family member who wants to be connected to loved ones.

I'm not an auto consumer, I'm a driver who wants to get to work and to the grocery store.

I'm not a grocery consumer, I'm an adult who wants to eat healthy and delicious food that's made in my own kitchen.

I'm not a clothing consumer, I'm a professional who wants to be clothed appropriately but not ostentatiously.

I'm not a yoga or gym consumer, I'm a person who wants to be fit, strong and flexible.

I'm a dancer.

I'm a wife.

I'm a sister, a daughter, a cousin, an aunt, a niece.

I'm a friend.

I'm a human being who wants to make my stay on the planet as enjoyable as possible - and it turns out, I don't need to buy stuff to make that happen.

Since you're not a consumer, what are YOU?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Junk Mail Woes

I hate junk mail. Instead of immediately recycling it, I take two minutes per piece, call the 1-800 number listed on the mailer, select the option to place an order (which seems to get you to a person faster) and politely ask them to take me off their list. So far, 100% of the time, the person I speak with has been helpful, pleasant, and apologetic, and immediately removes my name. So far, so good!

But last week, Peanut and I got two pieces of junk mail that were so...offensive that we went a step further and actually complained to the Better Business Bureau about the company.

These pieces were not pornographic. They were not salacious. They had no profanity on them or anything else. Instead, they were so outrageously misleading that they probably give slightly less observant people palpitations.

They were from a warranty company, writing to tell us that our manufacturer's warranty was about to expire and that we needed to act quickly to re-instate it. Ok, that's lame, especially considering that we bought our care used and the warranty long-since expired (like three years ago). But what really got me was that they were designed to look like official Department of Motor Vehicle communications, with a seal and that three-sided perforated edge thing you see on checks, and with a threat of a fine and imprisonment for anyone tampering with delivery* printed on the front of it, and a bunch of other things that really made it look like a big deal, maybe a red-light ticket or something like that. But nope. Someone just wanted to "extend our warranty" with no other information than that the title had changed hands (turns out: our REAL DMV sells our information to this company. Lovely.)

Anyway, I was so pissed off about the deceitfulness of the ads that I saved them (we got two on the same day) and showed them to Peanut. Somewhat to my surprise, he agreed with me about how much they appeared to prey on people who would call thinking there was a big problem and then get a heavy sell to sign up for this useless warranty (I wouldn't trust anyone who would give my car a warranty without seeing it as far as I could throw them!).

A quick Google search turned up a lot of complaints about this company and their advertising - in fact, they were sued for it two years ago. They must have lost or settled, since they're still up to it. We filed an advertising complaint with the BBB complaining about the misleading nature of the ads. I don't know if anything will come of it, and in some ways it may seem like a little bit of an extreme reaction, but on the other hand, the only way companies will be stopped from sending out ads like this is if consumers complain and make noise about not liking it. I hate to think about anyone who might have been duped by it, and since we realized what it was before falling for it, I feel an urge to do my part.

Have you complained about advertising? How do you get off junk mail lists? 

* This threat applies to all federal mail, but when was the last time you saw it printed on anything you received?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Apologies to email subscribers!

I don't know WHAT Blogger sent you earlier today, but it was ugly. As you can see, the post went up fine  - it seems something was wrong with the email feed. Many apologies! I'm looking into it so hopefully that doesn't happen again!

Weekly Money Check-Up: First Week of Fall edition

Weekly Money Check-Up is a weekly series on My Pretty Pennies. To see more of this week's check-ups,
visit MPP's weekly money check-up post for this week!

1. The most I've spent this last week was on… student loans, yet again. I feel like I'm going to be paying on them forEVER.

2. Today I am thankful for Peanut! Today is our anniversary - I can't believe it's been a whole year already. It seems like it's just flown by.

3. Money can't buy happiness. One free thing I did last week that made me happy was Peanut's parents taking us to brunch and a football game. I'd never been to a professional football game before (well, I'd been to a Superbowl, but I was working in the arena, so I didn't get to actually see any of the game).

4. I will consider this week a success if I get the pantry stocked up again - we seem to have become very lax in our grocery shopping lately!

5. A talent I wish I had would be singing. I couldn't carry a tune if it had a handle, and I'd love to not be too embarrassed to participate in karaoke.