The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Philosophy Edition

Over the weekend, I wrote a post on how to get a free iPhone that caused a bit of … consternation with a few regular readers because the post included a number of money-saving ideas that I’d written about before. The purpose of the post was actually many-fold, but the biggest one comes back to the central reason for The Simple Dollar. The big reason I write The Simple Dollar is to change lives – and often that means finding creative ways to reach people. I usually try to write one or two posts a week that have great potential to get the attention of someone who may be digging themselves into debt but haven’t reached rock bottom yet. They’re not out there searching the internet for debt solutions, but perhaps looking for sexy consumer goods like the iPhone. I wrote that post for them – people out there who might have never even thought to look at financially sound methods for paying for such an item. If I occasionally sound a bit repetitive, it’s because every once in a while I am – and it’s worth it to me to vaguely annoy one regular reader (who is already financially savvy) once in a while if I can maybe change the thinking and spending habits of another person.

My Car Gets 15 Miles Per Chicken Great title, interesting article (even if it’s not heavily personal finance related). I personally think that the best intermediate-term energy source for vehicles is hydrogen, probably in the form of water, but why not chickens in the short term? (@ consumerism commentary)

Hooked On Credit! Five Ways The Credit Card Companies Get Our Kids To Sign Up I’ve thought that a World of Warcraft card would be utterly genius – I’m betting the only reason it hasn’t happened yet is the potential for lawsuits by angry parents. (@ the digerati life)

Bottled Water: Healthy Indulgence or Marketing Ploy? Nina says marketing ploy. I agree. I used to drink water drawn from a well as a kid and I think it was the best thing I drank in my entire life. Even though there was a faint sulfur smell, it was wonderful. (@ queercents)

The Simple Dollar Retro: Personal Productivity and Personal Finance: Ten Techniques I Use To Juggle This Blog, My Money, My Work, and My Life I have been pushing these techniques almost to the brink over the last month, with moving, working a full time job, being a parent and a husband, maintaining the level of content on this blog, and still having a minute or two to read for fun and occasionally play a game on my Wii. Those ten techniques pretty much sum up how I do it.

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  1. Chris says:

    They’ve actually already got a World Of Warcraft Credit Card

    it uses gametime as the reward, and of course they will give you free stuff for signing up.

  2. R Kyles says:

    I agree with you Trent. I read your blog daily because the suggestions are practical, and I actually feel that I have a chance at digging out of debt because these are things I can try myself. Sometimes repeated ideas are necessary to drive home a point, and to simply get back down to basics. Keep doing what you do.

  3. Corey says:

    There is a World of Warcraft rewards Visa. 1% of your purchases are credited directly towards your account. Blizzard and the creditors are ahead of you on this one :)

  4. Kimberly says:

    While they -do- have a World of Warcraft visa, you only earn money towards your subscription fees, not any in-game currency or items.

    For the best, really. I’m sure there are a lot of gamers out there (myself included, when I was playing regularly)who would be tempted if it helped your game.

  5. Paula says:

    I am using a Visa with rewards to save for a lamp that will make me very happy, but that I can’t justify spending money on. I only use that Visa when our Discover card (which gives us cash back) isn’t accepted. (we pay all cards when due. We make money on credit cards, because we use them when we could use cash, save the cash, and get the rewards)It will take me another six months at least to get that lamp, but I will get it!

  6. Amy says:

    Hydrogen? I understand the appeal of the concept – it certainly is elegant – but seriously. Even if you could get over the serious inefficiencies of the electrolysis process, you’ve still got the fundamental problem that hydrogen just isn’t that dense of an energy storage matrix.

  7. Amit says:

    The next big thing that be commercialized in the US is pocket sized oxygen cylinders…breathe better air..i foresee that coming..” we have the right amount of oxygen..but that cylider as a bag pack and breathe fresh air” …and there will be people that would buy that as well…

  8. theCase says:

    Yea the idea of using Hydrogen as a fuel for autos is so utterly bogus. Anyone can do a bit of research can find out there are no easy answers for a replacement fuel for automobiles.

    The problem is that hydrogen is an energy CARRIER not an Energy SOURCE,. i.e. where, oh where, do you get the hydrogen? Use expensive solar cells to create electricity to electrolyze water, then use a compressor to jam it in into a reasonable sized storage container? oh please. Why not run a car on batteries then??

    How about hydrogen from natural gas as it is done for commercial uses? Well then, why not just have a natural gas powered car?

    Not wanting to sound like a nut-case, I’ll leave it here. In summary there are no easy answers when one is looking for a “drop-in” fuel replacement for gasoline. I’ll get off my soap-box now.

  9. Ian says:

    Hydrogen isn’t an energy source. It’s an energy storage medium – and not a particularly good one, at that. It’s not very energy dense, it’s corrosive as hell, and it tends to explode when it’s released under pressure, which it often is when used as an energy storage medium.

  10. !wanda says:

    I wasn’t bothered by the fact that you had mentioned those ideas before. I was bothered by the fact that you wrote it from a first person POV when I know for a fact that you can’t trim the fat from your budget in the ways you’ve mentioned because you’ve done those things already. I was also bothered because you’ve placed a lot of emphasis in this blog on spending in alignment with your values, which is more sustainable way to spend money, and this post on the iPhone was in direct contradiction with that philosophy. The way I’ve read your blog, buying an iPhone would be far less in accord with your values than spending nothing or even than buying a Wii (which at least can be used with family and friends). The whole post was jarring and felt inauthentic, because it was written in the first person but it didn’t sound like it was coming from you. If it were written slightly differently, the post wouldn’t have bothered me nearly as much.

  11. Brad says:

    We wouldn’t drink nearly as much water if not for the filtered whatever we get 5 gallons per jug. The local water tastes horrible to us.

    Yes, I am too picky, but I also know that reality is reality. :)


  12. Thanks for the mention again Trent! :) I need to seriously check out how you juggle your life as you’ve written up. I am a very harried person and am always at my wits end by end of day. I need to commiserate here…!

  13. pam says:

    “If I occasionally sound a bit repetitive, it’s because every once in a while I am – and it’s worth it to me to vaguely annoy one regular reader (who is already financially savvy) once in a while if I can maybe change the thinking and spending habits of another person.”

    Good post Trent. I think regular readers forget that new people stumble onto these sites all the time. I’ve been reading for only two months and before that, I had NO IDEA how many personal finances sites are available.

    As a person who is in the beginning phase of crawling out of debt, a daily dose of info helps keep me motivated and repetition helps drive home the point. I may not pick up on something the first time around, or someone else’s comment gives a new perspective.

  14. thribble says:

    I shouldn’t be saying this, but your comment about well water made me nostalgic. I work in the water industry, and one of my jobs was on site for upgrading 5 water treatment plants in the south of England. The water here is so good all they do is pump it out of the ground and stick some chlorine in. Except I used to fill my water bottle from the raw water sample tap. I’d have probably got shot if anyone found out, but for 8 months I had the best supply of fresh, fantastic tasting water I’d ever had! I don’t miss the job, but I do miss the water. Where I live now, it’s not as easy to get nice water!

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