Three little items of interest.
1. I will be attending the SXSW Interactive conference in Austin, TX on March 12-16 (or some subset of those days). I hope to have copies of my upcoming book there to give to a few people. If you’re going to be there as well and want to meet up, let me know!
2. Starting next Friday (or possibly the Friday after that), I am going to be writing a series of weekly food posts on frugal meals and food preparation, ones that are kind of similar to the “How Low Can You Go” series from this summer. These will be heavy on the photography, but I do not want the typical over-the-top food photography – I want it to look like a realistic kitchen where real people prepare food and serve it to their families. Please, take extra effort in commenting on these posts, as these are “warm-ups” for an eventual blog that I hope to write dedicated to food and cooking.
3. Over the years, many readers have been kind enough to send me gifts of all kinds, and I really appreciate it. But after receiving some (very) awkward gifts in the mail, I’ve changed that policy. If you wish to send me a gift, please choose an item from my wishlist at Funagain Games. We play a lot of board games here as a family and with friends, and Funagain is a great game retailer with great prices and a very easy ordering system (you can even pay via PayPal). Alternately, please make a donation to Jump for Joel (my favorite charity) on my behalf. This change in attitude about such generosity was a difficult decision to come to and I puzzled over how to handle it (and write about it) for a long while.
Here are some interesting personal finance writings I found in the past week.
Little Known Secret to Buying Cookbooks at Insanely Cheap Prices Library book sales are a great way to find “timeless reference” books – like cookbooks. After all, recipes from the 1950s still work, don’t they? The cookbook section is the first place I hit during library sales, actually. (@ pay less for food)
5 Ways Self Storage Units Are More Sad Museums Than Savvy Solutions Before our financial meltdown, we had a self-storage unit to hold the stuff that wouldn’t fit in our apartment. It was an incredibly stupid mistake. Instead of throwing more money away storing stuff that we’re not using, we should have gotten rid of a lot of stuff. (@ wise bread)
Goals Are the Gateway to Financial Success This is the second in J.D.’s list of thirteen guiding principles. I’m a huge believer in personal goals for success, not only in finances, but in any area of life. (@ get rich slowly)
A Secret to Happiness? Don’t Get Organized. This seems counterintuitive at first, but it actually makes a lot of sense. If you have so much stuff that it’s difficult to keep it organized, you have too much stuff and should consider getting rid of some of it. A lack of organization is a sign of being overwhelmed – and that means it’s time to step back a little. (@ happiness project)
The Death of Multitasking and Rebirth of Unitasking If you do any sort of work that requires deep focus, multitasking won’t help you get it done. I find time and time again that I work better if I close off as many distractions as possible. (@ dumb little man)
The Neutral Fallacy: There is No Sideways in Life A thought-provoking article. I tend to agree, for the most part – everything you do in life is either a step forward or a step back. I don’t really think “sideways steps” exist – they’re usually steps back. (@ jonathan fields)