Updated on 07.30.14

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Pure Imagination Edition

Trent Hamm

One of the fun things about being a parent is introducing your child to some of the things that built your own fondest memories of a child. Sometimes they react with indifference. Sometimes with a smile.

And sometimes, like with the old Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie, they react with pure delight.

Busting the Myths: Why Coupons Are a Valuable Part of Your Financial Arsenal I’m a big believer in food coupons, particularly non-food ones. They really help with saving money, particularly if you hold onto them and make them overlap with store sales. (@ get rich slowly)

Focus and self control at the heart of uncluttering and productivity A few days ago on Twitter, I said “Only one thing really determines success at anything in life: control over your thoughts and impulses.” The more control and focus you have, the more likely you are to succeed at anything. (@ unclutterer)

Four Huge Pitfalls of “Lifestyle Design” I think the idea of “lifestyle design” as it is commonly bandied about is a bit over the top. The life that’s really worth designing isn’t one where you have some vague business that mints money for you – that almost never happens. Instead, just find things in your work and in your life that bring you joy regardless of the “rules” others put out for you. That’s lifestyle design. (@ erica douglass)

Suggestions For Women Seeking a Raise This is another problem that will gradually go by the wayside as more and more people enter the workforce and see that gender doesn’t really mean too much when it comes to doing pretty much anything in the modern workplace. (@ consumerism commentary)

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  1. George says:

    non-food food coupons?!? Wow.

  2. brad says:

    i find fault with “Only one thing really determines success at anything in life: control over your thoughts and impulses.”. doesnt that statement completely ignore the outside influences we have no control over that ultimately (and more times than not) have a greater influence over things that we do?

  3. Kat says:

    If you are an African woman in Darfur, for example, thinking positive thoughts won’t get you far. This positive thinking idea only works if your basic needs are met, including the need for safety. Maslow’s hierarchy and all. Positive thoughts are probably only useful at the self-actualization stage. While negative thoughts will definitely hurt your abilities no matter where you are, positive thoughts kind of have a limit based on external circumstances.

  4. Shannon says:

    “pop up everyon once in a while” – Trent, might I suggest running a spell-check before posting.

  5. Crystal says:

    @George, I too laughed at the “food coupons, particularly non-food ones”. :-)

  6. Thanks for featuring my guest post on Get Rich Slowly, Trent!

  7. Johanna says:

    “gender doesn’t really mean too much when it comes to doing pretty much anything in the modern workplace”

    I disagree. Gender certainly means less than it did 50 or 100 years ago, but it still means a lot.

  8. Andi says:

    @#6 Agreed. It easy to comment that gender doesn’t mean much in the workplace when you’re male. Like Johanna said it’s better but it’s still an issue.

  9. Maureen says:

    I agree with Johanna and Andi. It isn’t fair, but gender does make a difference.

  10. reulte says:

    Maybe the non-food coupons are for the non-food food items … like pop-tarts or chicken nuggets. :-)

  11. Susan F says:

    Please note that Trent is saying that the issue of gender WILL go away as more and more people come to realize that gender makes no difference in ability to perform well in the workplace. Alas, it’s a slow process, but it’s certainly better than it was when I entered the workplace 40+ years ago.

  12. rhymeswithlibrarian says:

    Trent, every now and then you post something that reveals your privilege (as a man, a white person, a heterosexual, a Christian, an American, and a healthy/able-bodied person) and naivete about the experiences of people who don’t share these privileges. Two examples in this post are the comments about attitude being the only determinant of success, and about sexism in the workplace.

    It’s ludicrous to think that people will just move beyond misogyny, on rational grounds, once they make the discovery that women are competent employees. If rationality had anything to do with it, there’d be no sexism/racism/homophobia/etc. in the first place.

    As a woman, I don’t appreciate having a man “inform” me that sexism in the workplace is a minor or fading problem. It would be more appropriate for you to post the link, then ask if your female readers had any other tips or anecdotes to add.

  13. deRuiter says:

    Sexism in the work place will never disappear as long as women behave differently from men on the job. The woman is more likely to go home at the scheduled time while the man will stay and work until the job is done. The woman stops work to have a baby, interrrupting her company by her absence. Women are more moody than men which makes for friction in the workplace. Men and women are different, even Time magazine noticed and did a cover story. Men are more “goal oriented” and women are more “process oriented” which means men are more interested in the end result and women are more interested in what comes before. Companies are also more interested in the end result. Men have different muscles from women and are physically stronger. When I’m in a burning building needing a rescue, I don’t want to see some puny female fire fighter who is unable to handle the ladder, I want a strong male firefighter who is big enough and capable of moving the ladder to get me to safety. The workplace does no good for females by watering down the test for women compared to the harder test for males, including the fire department where there are token women who do not have to pass the same strict physical test as the men to get the job. This sort of thing fosters resentment against women, or any minority group which does not compete equally, for jobs. It’s not going away.

  14. Steffie says:

    Gender inequality will never go away as long as there are men and women in the world. We are different, no getting around it. It is naive to think that it is no longer a problem in the work world. If you are not directly affected by something you tend not to see it as a problem as much as someone who deals with it on a daily basis. A man in our office had a baby with his unmarried girl friend and I heard the manager say to the asst manager ‘We’ll have to give him a raise now that he has a family’ And yes he was completely serious. There were at least 6 mothers, including one who had left an abusive husband, working in the office. None of them got a raise just because they had a family.

  15. walkamungus says:

    Men and women are not all that different, except where it counts: Study after study has shown that, when study populations are controlled for education, experience, etc., women continue to earn 78 cents for every dollar men earn *for doing the same job*. This number has proved remarkably resilient for thirty years now.

  16. deRuiter says:

    “I’m a big believer in food coupons, particularly non-food ones” Trent, suggest editing and spell check! The combination gives a piece of work a professinal finish.

  17. Karen says:

    Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory with Gene Wilder is one of my all time favorites. Hated the remake with Johnny Depp.

  18. Kat says:

    Having just quit a job because of the sexism going on and looking into filing a sexual discrimination suit against the company, I can tell you gender does matter and it matters a whole lot.

    It matters in job placement, pay and how and when you get to advance in the company.

    I love how men say it isn’t a big deal these days. Commentator #11 comments proves why it still is.

    @Steffie, I worked in a place right after college and overheard the bosses saying someone who had less experience than me needed more money because he was getting married and having a baby. I quit that place too after they refused to give me a raise because I quote, “I am a female and in a few years won’t need to work after I get married.” They ended up being sued by several women for sexual discrimination and sexual harassment.

  19. Andi says:

    I will never argue that men and women are identical – I would agree that we are created/designed, whatever differently. Instead of listing how women are inferior to men and should be treated differently in the work place, it might be helpful to find some of those differences and put them to good use – i.e. I have more connective tissue between the two hemispheres of my brain (check out the science here) and this allows me to multi-task more effectively than the males I used to work with – I can switch between more tasks effectively than a man because of this phisiological difference. I have a great deal of anecdotal evidence here. Because I’m more process oriented, I’m the one in our business that deals with customers – I’m more interested in building a relationship with our customers than my husband is. Doesn’t much matter if we have a great product to sell if there aren’t any customers. . . .

  20. Chris Dunn says:

    Wow, awesome post… I agree with (most) of your points.

    Foucs and control and the catalyst for all things good or bad. I don’t think we can do anything of value without both.

    I’m not so sure about the coupon thing. I’d rather take the 10 minutes it takes to save $.50 and use it to generate $50.51.

    – Chris Dunn

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