Updated on 12.12.07

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Ice Storm Edition

Trent Hamm

One of the big disadvantages of living and working in Iowa is the winter weather. Quite often, it can be wonderful – I love the chill in the air, I love sledding down the hill in our backyard with my two year old son, and I love running inside to sit in front of the fireplace and drink hot chocolate. There are times, though, when it’s not much fun at all – when your town is hit by an inch and a half of freezing rain, leaving a four centimeter thick coating of ice on everything. Getting up an hour before you have to leave to start your vehicle and chip away at the ice? Not fun. Not fun at all.

Creating a Special Needs Trust Several readers had mentioned this topic and I had been wondering exactly how to address it. Thankfully, Madison over at My Dollar Plan wrote a very nice overview of what a special needs trust is and why someone who needs to care for a person may want to look at one. (@ my dollar plan)

Simple Tips for Grocery Shopping That Will Pad Your Pocket, Guaranteed This is a very nice collection of grocery shopping tips. The best tip? Don’t be afraid to try the generics. I know people who look upon them with disdain, but quite often they’re identical to the name brand except for the label. (@ the digerati life)

What Are We Saving For, Anyways? Our Life Goals and “Retirement” Plans This article makes the argument that having retirement as a financial goal may not be the best move. Many people actually seek far different goals, and thus it may make more sense to focus on those goals instead. (@ my money blog)

Five Cool DIY Christmas Gifts For The “Under 6” Crowd I’ve actually done two of these already for my two year old son – homemade Play Doh (it’s actually safe to eat, so I don’t worry about it if he takes a nibble) and homemade Crayolas. (@ wise bread)

The Simple Dollar Retro: A Guide to Setting and Reaching a Net Worth Goal One great personal finance goal that anyone can shoot for is a certain level of net worth. Here’s how to define that goal, make it tangible and reachable, and then shoot for the stars.

The Pros and Cons of Gift Cards I actually like gift cards as a gift in some ways – I usually end up using them pretty quickly. I do recognize, though, that a well thought out gift is the best option of all. (@ get rich slowly)

The Generosity of a Stranger Shhh… I’m thinking of doing something like this for a particular family this Christmas. (@ blogging away debt)

Math Anxiety Could Hurt Your Finances: 5 Ways to Get Over It I’ve never had this problem because I dearly love math, almost majoring in it in college. However, I have witnessed some of my closest friends become almost panicked at the thought of facing numbers. (@ consumerism commentary)

Ten Things I Hate About Monster.com’s Job Search I generally feel like searching for jobs via sites like Monster is a gigantic waste of time. The two times I’ve looked for a job using it, I’ve found a bunch of garbage and ended much like this experience – with a bad taste in my mouth. (@ lazy man and money)

The Simple Dollar Retro: The New Person At Work Is Getting Paid More Than I Am! How Can I Handle It? This is a fascinating – and very sticky – workplace situation. I offered some advice, but the readers just ran with it, offering tons of interesting comments.

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  1. MegB says:

    Trent, for what it’s worth, I am really enjoying the new weekly roundup format. I find that I am taking more time to read the post in detail, click on the links, and read the comments. This was a positive change for the blog, in my opinion.

  2. I feel fortunate to leave in a four season but temperate weather area like the Washington D.C./Maryland area.

    When forecasters predict any upcoming snow here (1-2 inches), people freak out and start buying toilet paper and bread like you wouldn’t believe. I can’t imagine living in a place where a foot of snow was a normal occurrence.

  3. Experience my first “wintery mix” in 5 years this past week and I can honestly say it feels good to see snow again. I may have a different opinion in a month (lol), but for now the beauty of it all is refreshing. That being said, I completely understand how it can be a pain in Iowa and such.

  4. Ben says:

    I too live in Iowa and experienced the full weight of the wintry mix that came down all day yesterday. I work in tech support and our support lines have to be manned – most of our workers live out of town and commute in each day. Not so much yesterday.

    I manned the phones all day with one other guy. Ugh.

  5. Upstate SC. Snows about once a year. Right now it is 73 degrees and beautiful!

  6. I thought of you Trent when I saw the ice storm headline last night. Good luck on the roads and take some pictures of the ice!

  7. guinness416 says:

    My husband has a degree in mathematics and loves pure maths. He’s also absolutely terrible with money (only contributes to savings when I poke him, pays bills late, bad investments – the usual sins). Which proves to me that personal finance is more about psychology and willpower than mathematics.

  8. MVP says:

    Thanks for digging up “The New Person At Work Is Getting Paid More Than I Am! How Can I Handle It?” post. I must have missed it in August, and it’s an intriguing and relevant read.

  9. Michael says:

    True story about generics: I temped in a lot of factories during college, and one week my job was to cut the labels off of generic peaches and replace them with Dole labels. I guess there was a mix-up at the factory that cans both.

    In other words – for many items, generic and name brand are identical. Same manufacturer, same distributor, same product. The only difference is the label and the price.

  10. Thanks for linking to my guest post at Blogging Away Debt! I hope the family that you bless remembers your generosity for years to come. :)

  11. It couldn’t have come at a better time: cool DIY gifts for the under 6 crowd. :) I have two I’ve been working on these last few days as well!

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