Still recovering from my automotive disaster a few weeks ago, I have not spent more than a few minutes at a time online in the last 3 or so weeks. Today I'm feeling pretty 'ok', and with a super quiet house to (nearly) myself, I thought I would share some of the gems from my reader in recent weeks (and a few random links I've acquired along the way). I am hoping to be back to regular blogging soon, as my brain (the thing I hurt the most in said automotive disaster) heals and allows. Oh, and happy holidays!
If you're looking to boost your income in the new year, check out 5 Cent Nickel's top 36 suggestions for adding some extra cash to your budget at ... http://www.fivecentnickel.com/2008/12/15/33-money-making-ideas-ways-how-to-earn-extra-money/.
A really solid 12 step program can be good for anyone. If your vice is debt or overspending or even just paying less attention to your finances than you'd like to, then the 12 step written @ Being Frugal is for you. You can find it at ... http://beingfrugal.net/2008/12/12/finances-in-the-new-year/.
As the tuition bills arrive for yet another semester of college, I was particularly struck by the article at Tough Money Love about the part US colleges and universities play in the student loan/debt load racket. It points to a number of problems I see first hand at my own university, and likely links to some discussion about university corporatization that could be had. I like it, and anyone with or thinking of getting student loans should give it a read at ... http://toughmoneylove.com/2008/12/08/the-college-student-debt-machine-a-national-disgrace/#comment-1884.
I am a list maker by nature. I make lists about lists sometimes, and only those who are naturally compulsed to do the same will really understand that kind of organizational insanity. Since the recent demise of my favorite-est (not a word, for shame) technologically saavy list-o-matic, I have been searching for a new one. I've not reviewed this new possibility in its entirity, but it is showing some potential for sure. It's a new year soon ... don't you want to make a list about it? If so, check out Spring Pad at ... http://www.springpadit.com/.
Also for the list maker at heart, a few months ago the No Credit Needed Network posted a sweet list of free resources for financial planning and debt management. Having your debts, goals, budgets (and whatever else) on paper can be helpful for keeping everything on track. It is also quite motivating to check things off or strike through them as you complete them. If you haven't created your own personal finance materials yet, check out these freebies at ... http://www.ncnblog.com/2008/10/14/free-spreadsheets-tools-and-resources-for-managing-finances/
This time of year always inspires people to charitable giving. I won't fault anyone for being moved to charitable giving, but I will suggest that there is more room for generosity throughout the remainder of the year. Times are rough in our national economy, and I know that, but there is likely room to give something (if not money, time or skills or the like) regardless. Trent at the Simple Dollar has some solid ideas at ... http://www.thesimpledollar.com/2008/10/23/giving-outside-the-box-generosity-on-a-limited-budget/. Check it out.
On a similar note, JD at Get Rich Slowly did a piece in October about world poverty. Take a look and then try to convince me you aren't feeling ready to save the world ... or at least carve out a little more of your resources to do good for others. If nothing else, take it as a chance to reflect on your own privilege this holiday season. The piece can be seen at ... http://www.getrichslowly.org/blog/2008/10/15/faces-of-world-poverty-20-arresting-photographs/.
In the new year, I am going to try to improve my menu planning follow through. I make menus (sometimes ... well, a lot of the time), but they often fall by the way side because of poor planning or food-related moodiness amongst my family. We have this fancy schmancy 'smart' crockpot that I'm hoping will help remedy the menu failings we have been experiencing, and the fabulously creative blogging over at A Year of Crockpotting will hopefully help. You should check it out at ... http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/.
There are more fabulous articles and web resources to post about, not to mention all of the wonderful things I have fallen in love with on Etsy, but they will have to wait for another link-tastic post. I wish you and your families a happy, healthy, simple, frugal, and most wonderfully grateful holiday season. Check back for new features in the new year.