The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Twitter and Media Appearances Edition

Two things worth noting that are somewhat interconnected.

First, last Saturday I was on Darla Shine’s nationally syndicated Happy Housewives radio program – you can catch the old episode in podcast form Darla’s podcast feed, and I’m on the April 26, 2008 edition smack in the middle of the show. It was a lot of fun – well, more than anything, it helped me break through my radio nervousness – and I got to spread around some good money-saving advice to listeners on several hundred radio stations.

Second, and somewhat connected to this, I’ve begun to use Twitter to let people know about things like the radio appearance and also little random thoughts and interesting URLs I find throughout the day. If you’re interested, take a peek at my recent twitters and keep it bookmarked – I added a link to it on the main site’s sidebar so you can jump in on it in the future. If you’re a regular Twitter user, by all means follow me – I tend not to fill mine up with much blather.

Anyway, unless something truly big happens, I’ll announce any radio or television or public speaking engagements from now on via Twitter. That way, if you happen to be nearby or have a radio or television handy, you can tune in or even meet up with me.

Here are some articles of interest from the last week.

Series I Bonds Look Attractive Right Now Want to know how to get a 6% return on your cash right now? Buy some Series I savings bonds. If you buy right now, the fixed rate is 1.2% which, coupled with the upcoming increase in inflation numbers, will give Series I bonds an estimated return of 6.06% return annually. For a bond issued by the federal government, which is about as safe as can be, that’s a sweet return. (@ blueprint for financial prosperity)

How to Be a Good Partner to a Stay-At-Home Spouse Some of these apply to a spouse working from home as well, which is what our situation more or less is. For example, I usually stop working for about half an hour before my wife gets home so that when she comes in the door (often with kids in tow), I’m in “parenting” mode and she can go decompress for a while (usually in on the couch feeding our infant daughter). Find a routine that works for both of you and talk about anything that makes either one of you uncomfortable. (@ brip blap)

25 Great Coupon Tricks That Can Cut Your Grocery Bill By 80% This is a really strong collection of tips that add up to a huge amount of grocery savings. My favorite is matching the high-dollar coupon with the cheapest version of the item. For a long time, my wife and I were getting Luvs diapers almost for free by doing this – we found their smallest packs on sale for $4.39 and had a bunch of $3 off coupons, so we just kept hitting that sale day in and day out. (@ the digerati life)

Recycling Jeans: Things to Do with Denim When It’s Dead I tend to wear jeans into oblivion by yanking out really ratty pairs for yard work and such, but these are still good tips. (@ personal finance advice)

Allowance Versus Commissions for Kids My parents tried a commissions-based system for me for a while. I was smart when negotiating – I got them to list about fifty tasks that were optional that paid a specific commission. Then I went obsessive for a week, did a whole ton of stuff, and got my parents to keep initialing. At the end of the week, I was due $36 in commissions. I got the cash, but the commissions plan went out the window. (@ frugal dad)

Enabling the Perpetually Poor This is something of a follow-up to last week’s article about the language that some people use as an excuse to not become self-reliant. Often, they reach this point because they were enabled – people “helped” them along the way by giving them undue assistance, and when that crutch isn’t there, they blame “the man.” (@ gather little by little)

Maybe Higher Food Prices Are Actually Good For Us as a Society If the fear of financial meltdown pushes people towards this kind of behavior instead of fear-based food shopping, then it really can be helpful. (@ generation x finance)

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  1. Andy says:

    I’ve never used twitter but it seems to be getting quite popular. Maybe I’ll give it a shot.

  2. Frugal Dad says:

    Thanks for the mention, Trent. I worry that my daughter may rack up some serious money in bonus chores! She’s been going around looking for projects to work on. If you do implement a commission schedule I would recommend putting a cap on weekly earnings to save your budget!

  3. Sheila says:

    We’ve used commission for our daughter for a while now, and it definitely gets better results with her. Having that list lets her know without any doubt what is expected and what she will receive. And, other than birthday and holiday gifts, any toy she gets, she buys for herself with her earnings.

  4. Jesse says:

    Though I don’t have kids yet, I like the idea of the commission based system. The idea of working hard to get ahead in the world seems to be getting lost lately in our era of government handouts.

  5. smurfett says:

    someone wrote over at My Money Blog asking why we don’t just wait and buy the bonds in May. Even if the fixed rate were 0%, you’d get 4.86% (CPI portion of bond), that’s still higher than the 4.38% you’ll be getting for 6 months if you bought in April.

  6. Andre Kibbe says:

    You might want to consider putting your Twitter updates in $imple’s sidebar. There’s a terrific WordPress Sidebar Widget that matches the CSS of your sidebar, so it’s not as cheesy at Twitter’s default badges.

  7. Brip Blap says:

    Thanks for the mention, Trent. It’s funny that you mention a radio appearance and Twitter in the same post – talk about old media and new media! – Steve

  8. Katie says:

    2 things, mostly unrelated. First re: coupons–so many are for packaged “food” that I find fewer and fewer to use now that I cook almost exclusively from scratch. Second re: hiring household cleaning help–I clean houses for a living and unless the market is very different in IA than MN good luck finding someone to clean for $10- an hour! I too need to pay the bills!

  9. Lisa says:

    The Darla Shine radio show was 2 hours 45 mins long…It took me a while to find Trent in there. His segment goes from about the 30 minute mark to 42 .5 minute mark.

    …Lisa

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