Last fall, I attempted to fertilize the yard with fine dried compost – that seemed to work very well for making things grow. The only problem is it made a ton of broadleaf grow as well all over the yard this spring. I talked to a friend of mine who takes care of yards and he suggested that I try some “weed and feed.” I found some organic weed and feed and attempted to apply it myself using a push spreader. I didn’t know exactly how far apart the rows should be when I pushed it, so I leaned down and watched it spray out of the bottom of the spreader and estimated the rows based on that. I estimated far too wide, and now we have strips of dark, luscious green grass next to strips of light green (still healthy, but not as thriving) grass with broadleaf in it. So, now I have to go get a second bag of the organic feed and weed and on the next dew-heavy morning I’ll go out and spread that on the light green areas.
I had no idea the gamesmanship it took to get a yard looking decent. I now understand why people hire lawn care specialists, though I’ve learned quite a bit doing it myself. Doing it yourself is worthwhile, though – once you’ve learned how to do it, you’re almost always better off doing these things yourself, because the money you save compared to paying someone to do it is usually tremendous. Twenty minutes’ worth of spreading is worth about $35 in labor, it seems.
Anyway, on with some personal finance posts.
Twelve Top Personal Finance Podcasts Many readers have asked me to start a podcast. I’ve been hesitant to do so, mostly because I don’t like the “norms” of most podcasts. I think most of them run on far too long – with the exception of the handful of highly polished professional podcasts I listen to from NPR and American Public Media, I usually grow bored before the end and turn them off. My ideal podcast length would be about three to five minutes unless you have something highly compelling and specific to get through – any more than that and it seems to devolve quickly into rambling. (@ get rich slowly)
Increase Your Salary Without Increasing Your Work Most of these are pretty sensible ideas, actually. I found that knowing market rates helped some of my friends in their job hunt (my old job paid more than going market rates but had a few quirky requirements to fill, too). (@ the digerati life)
A Good Budget Is Not An Iron-Clad Contract When you break a budget – particularly on things that are fairly out of your control (meaning not entertainment or hobby spending) – that means your budget needs to evolve a little, not that you’re a failure. A budget is a tool. (@ paid twice)
One Bag Travel This is a tactic that reduces financial risk and also saves a lot of time when traveling. If I’m traveling for four days or less, I do this every time – I just unfold everything and do ironing when I get there. This enables me to not have to wait on the luggage carousel when I arrive, usually getting me at my destination much quicker and also reduces the financial risk of lost luggage. (via unclutterer)
Falling Off the Dave Ramsey Diet This is a decent criticism of Dave Ramsey. I agree with the vast majority of what Dave Says, but no financial writer is absolutely correct and if you believe one is, I have some bridges I’d like to sell you. (@ personal finance advice)