Katy at The Non-Consumer Advocate talks about what a travesty it is when your only home project is to figure out where to place your gorgeous perfect furniture - or the disservice of having everything at your fingertips. I find this so true. Our house was in great condition when we moved in, mechanically speaking. But it wasn't mine. It's becoming mine, as I deep clean appliances, make small repairs that could easily be ignored, as I make plans to paint. The curry I made last week wasn't all that great, but I made it out of leftovers that were already in my fridge, and I learned something for next time. Isn't that ultimately much more satisfying than ordering out for a quick meal that's forgotten as soon as the takeout containers are thrown away?
"I will be as gentle with myself as I am with other people" - a great reminder from Small Notebook.
How to donate your body to science - very timely! I mean, well, not that I'm hoping to do that soon, but Peanut and I are looking into creating wills and all that, and this is one of the options we wanted to look into.
Lifehacker on the stupid things you do online and how to fix them.
I had an ah-ha moment this week. When we moved in to the house I realized I hated all of our picture frames, because they're black and they look really bad against our blue living room walls. I hate buying frames, and I kept grumbling to myself about how I'd have to watch for a sale at Michael's and then I saw this post at Fiscally Chic. DUH - paint the frames!
I read a rumor a few weeks ago that JD had sold Get Rich Slowly for over a million dollars within the last few years, but I searched GRS and didn't find any mention of it so I figured it was just a rumor. Turns out, it was true (JD doesn't name the amount he was paid, but I'd say a million - or close to it - is reasonable). I understand why he didn't say anything at the time - I probably would have unsubscribed, expecting the content to turn into marketing-speak, but as a reader I do feel a little misled. I tend to prefer pf blogs written by real people writing honestly about their actual finances, so I was already on the fence about what GRS has turned into. It seems like it's going back to its roots a little, which is nice to see.
Another Non-Consumer post, about the daily frugality Katy takes advantage of. I have a ways to go (see the link above about my eureka moment regarding painted frames vs. new ones!) but I do things like take my lunch to work, not have cable, get books from the library, and try to remember my favorite line from that post: Frugality is about feeling empowered, not embittered by these hundreds of daily decisions.
Fortune Magazine and CNN says executives are lamenting the skills and attitudes that new graduates have in the workplace. I also recently read a book that mentioned that twenty and thirty-somethings are developing a reputation for being rude to real estate agents and other third-party sales people. Is this a casual-ization of our society or a sign that those of us accustomed to interacting online are losing valuable real-life skills?
I expected this post about unexpected uses for microwaves to be the same-old, same-old, but I learned something new: soften brown sugar! I also love the advice about using it to proof bread dough (or in our case, pizza dough).
I've been compiling a list of chores to do around our house that are things we've never had to face as renters - things like cleaning the furnace filter and dryer ducts, and watching for ice dams on the roof. I'm going to create an ongoing calendar of those tasks, so I was pleased to see a post by Money Beagle about what got done in January.
Well-Heeled posted about her monthly technology costs. Our costs run to about $150 per month. My iPhone (a low-priced voice and data package that no longer is offered by AT&T) is $66 per month. Peanut's Droid costs $45 per month (he's on his family's plan). Our internet service is around $30 per month (introductory rate for six months). We don't have cable, we don't have netflix, we don't have satellite radio, we don't buy ebooks or music or movies. Peanut buys videos games a few times a year during Steam sales, usually spending $20 each time. The video game I play was bought almost six years ago and has no monthly fee, so it's pennies per month at this point. I'm not sure we could cut our costs any more without cutting our standard of living, and we're a pretty plugged in family. What are your technology costs?
I've been thinking of converting my desk at work to a standing desk. I could benefit from the extra movement (although I'd probably have to downsize from my 3.5-inch heels to something a little lower!) and two of my coworkers regularly use standing desks so it wouldn't be weird, even in my open-floor-plan office. Hmm.
Two tips from Trent: air up all your tires and figure out what's really important. It occurs to me that I don't know if we actually own a tire gauge. Oops. In terms of figuring out what's really important, I've been trying to identify that element in my own hobbies. I tend to try to do too much at once, so figuring out whether there's a common denominator and if that common denominator can be met in a different way is allowing me to streamline the things that vie for my time.