Updated on 08.31.10

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Making It All Work Edition

Trent Hamm

After the universal positive response to my idea of doing a chapter-by-chapter discussion of David Allen’s Making It All Work, I’ve decided to go ahead with it. Expect it to begin in a few weeks (I usually like to have several posts already in the bag for series like that before I start posting them).

Meanwhile, here are some interesting articles I’ve read from around the web this week.

Professionals, Amateurs, and the Great Unwashed Which are you? And which one would you be most likely to hire? I think it depends on the job, but I agree that enthusiasm and passion make up for a lot. (@ seth godin)

How To Get Hired & Get The Job You Want By Volunteering The people that do this kind of thing are the people that stand out from the crowd and get hired. At the same time, the people who do this kind of thing are people who have enough financial stability in their life to pull it off. (@ the digerati life)

Can’t stand the heat? Get into the kitchen — but only long enough to make iced tea. My wife and I are enormous fans of tea. We almost constantly have a sun tea jar sitting out on our deck during the summer. It’s incredibly inexpensive and tasty. It’s just our beverage of choice, hands down, and it has a lot of health benefits, too. (@ surviving and thriving)

Preparing for a Baby – What Do You Really Need? I’m linking to this because it’s a great example of how two frugal people think differently. She thinks that a changing table “is the single most important piece of furniture in the nursery.” I thought it was basically useless – we just have a “portable changing table” with a towel and the stuff we needed in a bag, meaning you can change the baby pretty much anywhere. (@ cool to be frugal)

Big Difference Between Average and Median Net Worths “Average” means you add up all of the net worth in America and divide it by the number of people. “Median” means you line everybody up in order of their net worth and ask the person in the middle what their net worth is. The two numbers are vastly different. (@ free money finance)

Advice from Financial Planners for Members of Generation Y I’ve never been quite able to determine whether I’m part of Generation X or Generation Y – or why it really matters. (@ gen y wealth)

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  1. Amanda B. says:

    My second baby is 6 weeks old and I’m with you: changing tables are useless. Also, diaper pails encourage you to store poop in your house, poop smells. Thus we just put dirty diapers in the regular trash and takes it put when it is full (which is way less time than it takes for a diaper pail to get full).
    The only thing that didn’t make the list was a bouncer, which usurps the swing when the baby gets a bit older.

  2. Diana says:

    Did you know that sun tea is basically botulism in a glass? I love iced tea but will not drink anything that is allowed to sit at 130 degrees for 10 hours and grow a huge amount of bacteria.

  3. valleycat1 says:

    Baby supplies – We used the top of a low dresser as a changing table. We didn’t have a mobile or swing & managed to keep the baby amused. On bedding, we needed more than 2 sheets due to reflux issues; I would make the bed with a waterproof mattress protector & a sheet, then at least one more set of layers – in the middle of the night all I had to do was remove the top 2 layers & put the baby back down!

  4. Mrs. Frugal says:

    Thanks for the mention and excellent point. To me frugality is about spending consciously and spending wisely. Since 95% of what we got for baby was used or repurposed, we had the leeway to buy something that was important to me. And I believe when I’m done with it in a couple years I’ll be able to recoupe 40% of the cost when I sell it on Craigslist.

    Thanks again for including my post!

    Amanda – We’re getting a bouncer from a family member so I’ll get to see how he likes it. It will be nice to have something that is more mobile than our bulky swing.

  5. RJ Weiss says:


    Thank you so much for including my post in your weekly roundup. It means a lot for someone who is just getting started.

    Enjoyed the others as well.

    Have a great Labor Day Weekend.


  6. Courtney says:

    We didn’t even consider getting a changing table, as it seemed like a needless expense. We made it through several thousand diaper changes without once wishing that we had one. The baby swing was not a hit with any of our kids, but all of them loved the exersaucer – it was great for keeping little ones busy and safely contained for a few minutes while you took a shower.

  7. I didn’t use a changing table, either, but just changed my daughter on the floor or on top of the dresser. If it makes you happy, fine, but to me it always seemed like one more piece of furniture in a room that is already crowded.
    Thanks for including the link to my post. Right now a family medical crisis has me in rural New Jersey. I’ve been hitting the iced tea steadily, especially after helping my dad with tasks on his Christmas tree farm on 95-degree, high-humidity days. I am *earning* the use of that spare room.

  8. valleycat1 says:

    About volunteering to get a paying job – the examples in the article don’t match up with the advice or premise. She suggests cold-calling companies you want to work for & creating your own volunteer job with an eye to turning it into a paid position. (Is that realistic in today’s economy or in the real world in general?)

    However, her story is how she met one of the department heads at an event & the department head pursued her to take a volunteer position, which then she parlayed into a job. The second is how she used her contacts on the job to get her son’s foot in the door there as well.

  9. Molly says:

    @valleycat1 – That’s a great idea!

  10. Molly says:

    (I meant the 2 layer crib sheet idea.)

  11. Angie says:

    I found our changing table to be enormously useful for one particular reason: I had a c-section (medically necessary, not elective) and not having to get up and down from the floor to change diapers was helpful for recovery.

  12. Jimbone says:

    Lot of changing table hate going on here. We loved ours and found it very handy. Different strokes for different folks, but I would have never guessed what a hot topic it would be.

  13. Systemizer says:

    “After the universal positive response to my idea …”

    Kim Jong Il everybody.

  14. Amanda B. says:

    I had C-sections for both of my kids (both required)and I still never used a changing table. I will change her on any flat surface I can find (floor, couch, floating platform). I think the best thing about Mrs. Frugal is the advice to get everything used. Seriously. I know there is a desire to get “only the best” for your baby, but it is completely unnecessary for everything to be new. In fact, used furniture has already off gassed, so they are better for the baby. Also, I would recommend not buying anything beyond the bare necessities until you have actually had a need for it. For example, high chair. Until you actually say, I could really use a high chair, wait. I just used a bumbo seat (used they are half as much).

  15. Portable changing tables make a lot of sense, and I had one fairly functional but low cost one that I used. It was one of those fold up canvas types. Used it for both my kids and it worked really well. I didn’t have to pick up a piece of furniture to make this work. But to each his/her own.

    And thanks for the shout out!

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