The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Ice Storm Edition

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’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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