How to Make Homemade Winter Accessories My wife, Sarah, loves to make homemade functional items, particularly ones that give her hands busywork when she’s doing something like watching a movie or rocking a baby. Thus, it’s not surprising that crocheting is a natural match for her. This year, she elected to make a crocheted hat and scarf set for one particular relative (and is considering making a second set). Below, you can see our daughter modeling the output of this …

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This is the eighth entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. For me, the single most important part of keeping my life on track and headed in the direction I want is the time I spend reviewing what I’ve done, what I need to do, and whether I still want …

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I just finished reading a wonderful article on procrastination by James Surowiecki in the October 11 issue of The New Yorker. The money quote: [I]t might be useful to think about two kinds of procrastination: the kind that is genuinely akratic and the kind that’s telling you that what you’re supposed to be doing has, deep down, no real point. The procrastinator’s challenge, and perhaps the philosopher’s, too, is to figure out which is which. “Akratic” is a term defined …

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What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Sharing too much information online 2. How do ARMs work? 3. World Series prediction 4. First time apartment hunting 5. Saving for a wedding 6. Workbook for missions/goals 7. In-person insurance agent? 8. Moving up at difficult workplace 9. Trying board games 10. Roth IRA as emergency fund In our neighborhood, …

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On page 227 of my book, I recount a short tale of a woman dreaming a negative dream: “Someday, things will change for me and my ship will come in,” Helen said. Helen and I had each just gone through a trial by fire at our respective new jobs. Since we were old friends from our college days, we agreed to eat lunch together and effectively allow each other to vent about the difficult and sometimes seemingly unfair challenges we …

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I’ve been experimenting with photo printing at home (related to an upcoming post). I’ve lost quite a bit of money simply mis-printing photos and trying new things. My conclusion? If you’re printing a wide variety of stuff, you’re probably better off using a service. A one-off photo is fine. A bunch of photos? Find a service. Cheap Things You Never Use Are No Bargain Excellent article. I have a follow-up post that I want to write, but it needs to …

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I have lots of readers here in the central Iowa area, so it came as no surprise to me that when I began hearing an ad frequently on local radio advertising a particular mortgage product in terms that were a bit on the confusing side, I received an email about it. Jim writes in: I just heard an ad on the radio offering a 3.99% mortgage. That makes sense to me. Where I’m confused is when the ad then mentions …

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This is the seventh entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. So, you’ve dumped all of the stuff out of your brain and you’ve put it into appropriate places, but how do you use those places? What makes for a functional to-do list you can use? What about a calendar? …

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Making a Change Feel Normal

October 26 2010

A long time ago, I wrote about the idea of a money free weekend – two days spent doing stuff that’s free or extremely close to it. At that time, the idea of a money-free weekend was a bit of a challenge for my family – we almost always spent money doing something each weekend. Now, the opposite is true – most weekends are spent doing things that don’t cost anything at all. This past weekend, we carved pumpkins, roasted …

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What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Making good credit better 2. Dealing with hostile coworker 3. Roth switch after job move 4. Capturing and bipolarity 5. Waiting for a pension 6. Top five personal finance books 7. Deciding between goals 8. Making your own deodorant 9. FHA and non-FHA mortgages 10. Handling an inherited car For me, …

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