While I hate that ee musings has experienced being burgled, but her post on what to do if it happens to you (plus some things to do now to make it easier if it ever does happen) is fabulous.
There's a lot in this Get Rich Slowly post that I agree with. Spend less than you earn probably is the overarching theory for financial independence, but it's not enough. Dave Ramsey is fantastic for dealing with emergencies and almost-emergencies, but a fundamentalist approach doesn't work as well for most people once the emergency has passed. I think if I had to come up with a financial theory of everything it would be: Spend less than you earn, and remember you can't take it with you. What's your financial theory of everything?
I found this interesting Wall Street Journal article about The Stuff of Families via Small Notebook. I've been on a decluttering spree myself lately! Particularly interesting to me was that clutter and messiness correlates with high stress hormones in women, but not in men. This totally corresponds with my own experience - Peanut literally doesn't get bothered by things, whereas I cannot get them out of my head until they're done. Once the idea "declutter the white cabinet" popped into my head, it would not leave until it was done.
I identify with a lot of what Revanche says in this post about her shifting money attitude. We are also in wealth nurturing mode. It's not survival mode anymore. We're not desparately saving for that big thing we want - to move across the country or to buy a house - and we're not even saving like mad for something unknown. I'm working on building up a larger emergency fund and sinking funds for the expenses that we know will come, like taxes and car replacements and health insurance deductibles. None of that is an emergency, and while I still feel an urgency about it, I also feel more comfortable spending money on non-necessities, and that's okay.
As usual with posts from A Practical Wedding: OMG YES. You don't need all the things but sometimes the things help. Some things (for which we spend money) really make a big difference in our lives. The trick to responsible finances, in my opinion, is figuring out which ones really make a difference, and not feeling bad for spending money on those, while cutting out the ones that don't make that much of a difference. The Things that make a difference for me: High speed internet. Smart phone. Washing machine. Detached house. Books.
Important: Protect your digital stuff. Separate user log-ins, strong and unique (even generated!) passwords, two-step verification, and secure back-ups are basically beginners' level computing nowadays. How are you doing? (Full disclosure: I think I give myself a C right now. Some of my passwords need to be cleaned up, along with old accounts, and while we have cloned drives, we don't have an offsite backup. Going on the to-do list!)
Wow - it is hard to think about holiday gifts already, but yes - if you're thinking of homemade gifts, now's the time to start planning for it so you don't get swamped right after Thanksgiving! Are you planning to do some homemade stuff? I might this year, since I got a reminder early enough in the year to do something about it!
Best things to buy in August - awesome! We've been needing a dehumidifier and Peanut wants a grill, so it's probably time to go shopping....