Saturday, February 21, 2009
The Crisis of Credit Visualized from Jonathan Jarvis on Vimeo.
Feel free to pass it on.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Thursday, February 19, 2009
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Here's a few from the DLM Blog:
Posted: 05 Feb 2009 06:33 AM PSTHow would you feel if you were given a tax-free pay raise of $12,410? I’d imagine you’d be pretty delighted – especially in the current economic climate. OK, so you're not getting that raise, but i am going to tell you how to save $12K over the next 12 months. Trust me, this will be simpler than begging for a raise anyway!
Yes, we're talking about spending cuts. Companies are doing it, schools doing it, and you must admit - the time has come for you to seriously consider cutting some 'extras' from your budget.
So get ready. If you do all of these (and they all won't apply to everyone) you will save $34 per day... that’s $12,410 in a year. (Note that figures are for illustrative purposes and have been rounded to the nearest 50c.)
- Brown-bag lunch – save $3 per day
Instead of buying your lunch out (and spending $4-$6 for an average sandwich), make sandwiches at home for $1-2 each. Alternatively, take leftovers from last night’s dinner, rather than leaving them to slowly turn to sludge in the fridge before you chuck them away.
- Go vegetarian – save $2 per day
Try having a vegetarian meal in the evening. The meat you eat at dinner is often more expensive than everything else on your plate: switch to a veggie protein source like quorn, tofu, beans or pulses, and you can easily save $2 or more per person. (A pound of cheap beef is about $3. According to MSN Money, a pound of non-meat protein is typically well under $1.)
- Switch to store brands / house brands – save $2.50 per day
Are you a brand addict? Do all your food products come emblazoned with logos and company names? Try switching to non-branded goods; you probably won’t even notice the difference. You may even find you prefer them! On a typical weekly shop, you’ll save at least 30% of your usual bill – for an average US household bill of over $3,000 on groceries per year, that’s a saving of about $2.50 per day.
- Take a thermos – save $3.50 per day
Instead of spending $4 for a latte on the way to work, take a thermos of coffee with you instead. It might cost you $10 for the thermos, but after that, your daily coffee will cost you pennies. You’ll also avoid the line at Starbucks.
- Leave your gym – save $2 per day
Did you join a gym at the start of January? Are you still on a membership plan from last year? Be honest with yourself about how often you go to the gym. If it’s once a week or less, it’ll almost certainly work out cheaper to pay by the session. And, of course, walking or jogging outside is completely free. The average annual gym membership is $775, so you’ll be saving $2 per day.
- Don’t buy greetings cards – save 50c per day
The average person buys over 50 greetings cards every year – at an average of $4-$5 per card, that works out to over 50c per day. By making your own cards (save ones you’re sent and cut out motifs, or buy a pack of cheap craft papers), you’ll be spending a few cents instead of a few dollars on each card. If you’re not the crafty type, why not send e-cards instead – they won’t cost you anything, and you’ll be doing your bit for the environment. Check out 123 Greetings for some free e-cards.
- Bulk-buy non-perishable goods – save $4 per day
Stock up on non-perishable goods when they’re on offer at your local store – or join a warehouse club to get bulk deals. You’ll typically save 30% - 60% on everything, about $4 per day on the average shopping bill. Canned, bottled, dried and frozen groceries will all keep for weeks or months, and cleaning supplies can last for years. Just don’t make the mistake of spending money on something which you’d not otherwise have bought.
- Switch off the lights and television – save 50c per day
Get yourself – and your family – into the habit of switching off lights and electrical appliances. Not only will you be improving your green credentials, you’ll be saving money on your electric bill. Make sure computers and televisions are turned off rather than left on standby. If you’re leaving your computer for a short period of time, switch off the monitor. Don’t leave rooms lit if you’re not in them.
- Get your home insulated – save 50c per day
Although you’ll be paying for the initial work, you could easily save 50c per day by making sure that your home’s properly insulated – for the average American home, 50% - 70% of the energy bill is spent on heating and cooling. Don’t let the heat or cool air you’re paying for leak straight out of your roof and walls – keep it inside where you want it!
- Buy clothes on ebay – save $2.50 per day
The average American family spends over $1,700 on clothes each year - $4.65 per day. Use ebay to look for clothing: you can find new and unworn items there, as well as second-hand bargains. If you like big-name brands like Levi or Nike, you could make big savings by buying on ebay: easily saving 60% or more on many garments.
- Use your local library – save $2 per day
Instead of buying books and DVDs, use your local library. Books are free to borrow, and DVDs will typically only cost a couple of dollars to rent. If you’d otherwise buy two books (at $10.99 each) and two DVDs (at $29.99), you’d be saving over $2 per day, even allowing for DVD renting costs.
- Read newspapers online – save $1.50 per day
A typical daily newspaper costs $1.50 – but most newspapers make the bulk of their content freely available online:
- Host a weekly get together – save $4 per day
Many of us have a favorite bar where we hang out with friends. But if you switch your weekly get-together from a bar to someone’s house, you could easily save $30 each in a single night of drinks and dinner: that comes to $4 per day.
- Car-pool with a neighbour or colleague – save $3 per day
Work out a schedule with a neighbour or colleague so that each of you drives half the time. You could easily end up saving over $1,100 per year - $3 per day.
For example, a person with a 25-miles-per-gallon car who drives 20 miles round-trip five days a week spends about $229 a month to drive alone. That's $2,748 per year. Car pooling with one person who drives half the time could cut costs in half, to $1,374. (Ventura County Star)
- Buy multipacks of chips/cookies – save 50c per day
Do you always buy a candy bar mid-afternoon? It probably costs $1 from the vending machine – but $2 could get you a multi-pack of six or eight candy bars. You’ll be saving about 50c per day, which soon adds up.
- Buy from Amazon – and use supersaver delivery – save $1
As most of us know, Amazon.com doesn’t just do books. Laptops, DVDs, kitchen equipment, homeware, exercise gear ... prices on all of these are often cheaper on Amazon than in other stores. (This newspaper report in the UK found that Amazon was the cheapest source of a number of popular goods.) Your savings will vary depending how what you buy, but you could easily save at least $1 per day.
- Carry a water bottle – save $1 per day
A one liter bottle of water costs about $1. Instead of buying a bottle of water every day, carry your own bottle with you whenever you go out. You can fill it up from drinking fountains or drinking water taps in your workplace – saving $1 per day.
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Monday, February 16, 2009
Sunday, February 15, 2009
Beware.... I'm going to ramble for a few moments.
It was nearly 9 years ago that I met my wife, Kathy. A year later, we married. I believe a year, maybe 2 is all you need to determine if that person should be your mate. Kathy and I are, in her words, "2nd-time-arounders".
We met online and lived less than two miles from each other. It was mid-March, 2000. In October, I proposed. Did it in a non-romantic way. That's one of my regrets. Fortunately, She has forgiven me over time and we married in March of 2001.
Yesterday was a fun Valentines Day. It was filled with Roses, Chocolate (she gave me), and coffee. Wrapped it up with dinner at Chili's due to the fact I had a $50 gift card. We are being more frugal than previous years and have made a game out of it. Altogether I spent less than $50 cash and gave her a dozen roses (Fresh Market), 1 pound of Chocolate/Raspberry Coffee (Fresh Market), a card (Walgreens), 5 free McCafe coffee cards, (from my client McDonalds), Morning Coffee at Starbucks, created a Valentines Picture Collage (about 3 hours work), Church, and then dinner out using a gift card I received for participating in a market research study last year.
She had asked for just a couple of things, a single rose instead of 12, the morning coffee experience at Starbucks, and the pound of coffee. It's always good to give more and to be creative about it.
Recently I have been focusing on the blessings in my life that I take for granted. Which has increased my awe at life and God, and made the annoyances less annoying.
I also found a blog that can help all of us to become better. It's called the Art of Manliness. Here's one of their latest posts:
Posted: 14 Feb 2009 10:59 AM PST
Here’s some interesting links I found while surfing the interwebs this week that might be of interest to AoM readers:
Specialization and Decline (@ financial sense) An interesting essay that compares today’s Western economies and culture to ancient Rome’s. The author argues that the more complex an economy becomes and the more decadent a culture becomes, the more susceptible it is to collapse.
25 Ways To Earn Money When You’re Broke On The Road (@ brave new traveler) If you plan on taking the great American road trip or going backpacking in Europe, here are some ideas on how you can make some scratch while you’re on the road. I actually have a friend who did number 8- farm work- while he was traveling in Europe. He picked strawberries to make some money and he said it was one of his best memories of his trip.
Walden, and 99 other Free Online Books Every Student of Humanity Should Read (@ universities and college) A great resource where you can read some literary classics for free. Many of the books on the 100 Books Every Man Should Read list are actually available for free online.
GlennSacks.com Glen Sacks is the Executive Director of Fathers and Families, a non-profit father’s rights organization. Glenn has been fighting for family court reform that will undo the bias the system has against men. Needless to say, he has stirred up some controversy with his social commentary on the way men are treated in family courts or portrayed in the media.
Joseph Palmer: Persecuted For Wearing The Beard (@ jon dyer’s blog) In 1830, Joseph Palmer of Fitchburg, MA was persecuted for wearing a beard. Here is his story.
ManHelper The Folks at Womopo are re-launching their site as ManHelper. It’s an online men’s magazine that provides tips and tricks for life, relationships, and money.
Classic Art of Manliness
If you’re new to the site, you may not have seen all our posts. Here’s a few classics from the archives.
In case you blew it on Valentines Day, maybe this place has what she wants. Based in Huntertown, which is sort of Fort Wayne in my book. Click here to go there. Thanks to Tom for alerting me to this site.