The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Chain Factor Edition

I, along with several of my friends, have been playing the free web game Chain Factor almost obsessively for the last week or so. It’s apparently connected to the television series Numb3rs, but it’s an incredibly fun and addictive little puzzle game itself. Try it out for a nice free diversion.

Also, one quick note on the “downloadables.” Remember those three downloadable files I mentioned a while back? I repriced all three of them – 31 Days to Fix Your Finances, Building a Better Blog, and Twenty Big Ideas: A Collection of Book Reviews – down to $2. These files are collections of posts reformatted in a book-like style – they can be downloaded, read on your computer, or printed off and easily read offline.

And now… some personal finance posts. This week, I’m mostly focusing on posts about self-employment, something I’m really looking at seriously at the moment.

Your Prep Card: Don’t Leave Home Without It This is a brilliant little technique for staying on focus, particularly when you have a meeting. I use a very similar technique when I’m trying to stay on task while working on my laptop – I make a huge image in Photoshop with the three or four tasks I need to do and a thing or two NOT to do, then set that as my background image. Works quite well, actually. (@ lifeclever)

The Power of Positive Cash Flow What happens if you subscribe to the “spend less than you earn” philosophy over an extended period of time? Good things, that’s what. (@ get rich slowly)

How to Work Effectively for 24 Consecutive Hours At various times, I’ve done this working on The Simple Dollar. I’ve stayed up through the night to get a certain amount of writing done. Tactics like these have made all the difference. (@ cranking widgets)

Tips for Perimeter Perusing at Target Target is actually the most dangerous store for me. More than anywhere else, I tend to discover that the item I want is on the far side of the store, always taking me by things that tempt me. (@ wisebread)

The Simple Dollar Retro: Is The Value Menu Really A Value? Comparing The Homemade Double Cheeseburger To The McDonald’s $1 Version A nice photo journal documenting the purchase of a McDonald’s $1 double cheeseburger and my attempt to replicate it (or improve upon it) at home for a similar cost.

A Simple Guide to Being Present for the Overworked and Overwhelmed Whenever I find that I have just too much on my plate, I find that withdrawing for a bit, doing some stretching and yoga, and just meditating for a while does a whole lot to clear my mind. This post is loaded with other tips. (@ zen habits)

Is Your Work/Life Balance Killing Your Chances of Freelancing Success? I have so many projects I’d love to get started on that this type of situation really worries me. I can see myself easily overloading my day with all of the ideas floating in my head. (@ freelance switch)

Building Businesses and Blogs With Extreme Value This is some brilliant advice for anyone considering starting a side business. Chief among them: what are you going to offer that’s unique? If you can’t answer that, why would the world beat a path to your door? (@ jonathan fields / awake at the wheel)

The Simple Dollar Retro: The Backlash Against Frugality A lot of people seem to think that frugality is stupid or a waste of time. Here’s my response to those folks.