The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Camping Edition

My wife and kids and I went camping for four days this past weekend, starting on Thursday afternoon. We camped in a state park in rural western Illinois. The highlight was watching our kids enjoy campfire meals, then fall asleep in the flickering light of a campfire, dreaming happy dreams of running around in nature all day long. The rain was a bit intrusive at times, but we had an incredible amount of fun on the trip – and we can’t wait to do it again.

This is what summer is all about.

Anyway, on to some personal finance articles. Now that I’ve settled into a regular writing schedule at OPEN Forum (as I’ve mentioned in the past, I’m now contributing articles at OPENForum.com through the end of the year), I have three new articles to share with you (well, they’re new if you haven’t seen them on my Twitter feed).

What Does Your Business Really Need? Get the Basics Right First! discusses in detail my thought processes in deciding whether investing in mobile broadband was really a necessary expenditure for my work.

Six Ways to Improve Employee Morale Without Breaking the Bank details six methods that I’ve experienced that really work for keeping morale high in a workplace without spending a lot of money. My favorite boss (the aforementioned Carolyn) used most of these tactics at work and it made the workplace a lot more enjoyable, even when the road was bumpy at times.

Finally, Five Essential Reads for Small Businesspeople – And How to Get Them for Pennies mentions some of my favorite business books for modern workers and workplaces and then touches on some methods for getting that information to you for free or for pennies.

It’s rather fun for me to think about – and try to write for – a somewhat different audience than The Simple Dollar has, while still trying to cover many of the same basic principles.

Anyway, here are several interesting personal finance articles I found in the last week.

How to Tell if a Recipe is Cheap and Healthy Just By Looking at it This is a great set of rules of thumb to quickly figure out if a given food is going to be good for you or not. Apply these rules of thumb at the grocery store (along with your usual thriftiness) and you’ll wind up with a cart full of good stuff at good prices. (@ cheap healthy good)

Get Inspired by Breaking Out Of Your Routine Every time you break a tired routine, it’s like a fresh new awakening. There are opportunities abound. (@ pick the brain)

Where We’re Starting From Everybody starts from somewhere – but it’s a different place for almost everyone. Our paths are not the same, but there’s enough in common that we can learn from each other. (@ get rich slowly)

Spend Less Than YOU Make: Taking Responsibility If you constantly blame others for your problems … you’ll always have problems. Instead, focus on taking responsibility – what can you change to improve your situation? (@ saving for serenity)

Are You Taking Responsibility or Playing The Blame Game? Another excellent article on a similar topic. Putting blame on others is a sure route to failure. Put blame on yourself and figure out how to fix things and you’ll find success. (@ christian pf)

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