Updated on 04.11.11

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Outside Writing Edition

Trent Hamm

Sometimes, companies and media organizations will hire me to write articles for them. I had a long stint writing at OPEN Forum, for example, and I’ve had shorter stints writing for HP and so on.

When I’m hired to do such things, they’re hiring me to write about what I usually write about: simplifying personal finance, entrepreneurship, and so on, often by describing examples from my own life. If they want me to write about something else, I usually just turn them down. I basically look at it as “somebody wants to pay me directly for writing an extra Simple Dollar post this week,” since I’m usually paid indirectly for the stuff I write here.

Anyway, one of the things that I was indecisive about with my previous articles was whether or not to include them on The Simple Dollar. I would link to them during roundups, but sometimes I’d find that a piece I’d written for HP or for OPEN Forum was particularly good and I’d love to have shared it with all of you guys.

After some thinking (and another great writing side-gig popping up), I’ve decided to do just that. If I write a good article for another site, I’m just going to cross-post it here on The Simple Dollar, along with a note indicating who “bought” the post. I’d like to, if at all possible, have them pop up here first, but we’ll see.

Sometimes, people don’t want me to cross-post my “side gig” writings here (which makes complete sense, since they want the traffic at their own site). If that’s the case, I’ll just link to them in my roundups.

Creating an Action Plan for the Future of Children with Special Needs We have several personal connections to children with special needs, so I felt like this was a particularly valuable article, one that I hope several people I personally know who read The Simple Dollar will click through and read. (@ pt money)

Disordered environments promote stereotypes and discrimination It also promotes antisocial behavior. In other words, if your home or office is a mess, it’s probably connecting more deeply to other elements of your life than you might expect. It’s strange, but it might just be that one valuable step to improving your social skills is to simply clean up your home or office. (@ discover via unclutterer)

24 Quick Actions You Can Do Today That Can Change Your Financial Life Forever This is a very thorough compilation of ideas. Almost everyone can find something worthwhile to try from this list. (@ man vs. debt)

15 Things Our Grandparents Lived Without (and We Probably Could, Too) Mostly, this article made me think about the quality of life that my grandparents had. They did just fine without so many of the things I have today. Do I really need them? (@ frugal dad)

How to Fail Failure isn’t a bad thing. (@ seth godin)

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  1. valleycat1 says:

    We live happily without most of the items FrugalDad lists – but I completely disagree with his including health insurance on the list (as something we could probably do without). Lack of health insurance is a major cause of bankruptcy and losing one’s home, and these days even a minor surgery can cost more than $10k, and a 2-3 day hospital stay starts at $30K.

  2. Marilyn says:

    Hi Trent. Thanks for the articles. I found the unclutterer one really thought provoking. So much so I’m inspired to go clean my bathroom right now.

  3. Justin says:

    Loving the post on how to fail. Most people are taught that failing is a bad thing. Instead we should all be taught that failure is just a stepping stone to success.

  4. Pat S. says:

    I always like these roundups. They definitely get at a lot of different issues, and introduce some new and excellent bloggers that some of us haven’t had a chance to read.

  5. Nicole says:

    Although, valleycat, consider this: A few weeks ago I went to a walk-in clinic to be treated for a sinus infection. Been there once about a year before. I had my checkbook out, ready to self-pay, when they told me I couldn’t. What? Did I hear that right? Apparently there’s a state law that if you have insurance at all, they are required to bill it. But I have a $500 deductible! I protested — it wouldn’t even come close. Didn’t matter. I’m still waiting for a bill and wondering what the cost of extra red tape amounts to, if not for me, then for the company, the clinic, or the state of Connecticut.

  6. valleycat1 says:

    re #5 – Nicole, I wasn’t commenting on whether the US health insurance system is necessary (or a good thing), but rather than within the system as it exists these days, individuals need health insurance.

  7. Nicole says:

    But that’s exactly my point. I am speculating that if we didn’t need health insurance, we wouldn’t need health insurance (I know that sounds stupid, but do you get what I am saying? That it may contribute to the higher cost in and of itself?).

  8. Nicole says:

    I think the term I’m struggling to come up with is “vicious cycle.” (I’m a bit slow today, however, I did finish my taxes! Or maybe that’s why my brain is a mass of Jell-O.)

  9. Karen says:

    Nicole, you are correct. In a macro-economic sense, the widespread use of health insurance raises the cost of health care and creates an upward spiral.

    You can watch this live and in slow motion in the pet insurance realm.

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