The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Resolution Updates Edition

I thought I’d update you on my progress with my 2010 resolutions.

Resolution #1: Lose 40 pounds I lost three pounds in January, so I’m more or less on pace with this one. My biggest challenge here is the weather, which makes it very difficult to just get outside and take a long walk, something I love to do every day when the weather is nice.

Resolution #2: Pay cash for a replacement for my truck I have an adequate amount of cash ready to go. I’m just merely waiting for the right replacement vehicle to come along. Oh, and I’ve had additional truck troubles in the last month, so I have even more incentive to switch.

Resolution #3: Learn to play the piano After testing out two piano teachers, I’ve been taking weekly hour-long lessons from a teacher for the past three weeks. I’ve also been practicing a lot at home. So far, I can read most simple sheet music if I go slowly and I can play a few simple songs at a reasonable tempo.

Resolution #4: Reduce my entertainment and hobby spending by 50% This is going really well so far, as I spent just a few dollars on entertainment in January. If the rest of the year goes anywhere near this well, this one will be easy to do.

So, to put it simply, #2, #3, and #4 are very much on pace, and #1 arguably is. I’m pretty happy with that.

Here are some personal finance posts to enjoy.

Star Trek and The Time Well Spent Continuum In the last Reader Mailbag, I argued that MMORPGs like World of Warcraft and Star Trek Online could be potentially good ways to reduce your entertainment spending. This article actually makes the opposite argument. (@ debt free adventure)

The Hypocrite Test: Should Rich People Pay More? As with many such fundamental political issues, I think there are valid arguments on both sides of the coin and that some reasonable compromises can be reached. The only problem is that people don’t sit down at the table and rationally discuss such issues today – instead, they resort to arguing, insulting, and “straw man” representations of the opposition. I have little interest in that, whether it’s Keith Olbermann or Glenn Beck – I wish they’d both shut up. Whatever happened to the Lincoln-Douglas debates? Such thoughtful coverage of the issues of the day went away with the advent of fifteen second news blips. (@ awake @ the wheel)

Does Renting Make Sense? J.D. pulls out the P/R ratio to take a look at whether renting is more worthwhile financially than buying. The problem, though, is that it doesn’t really take into account individual financial situations. (@ get rich slowly)

How is disorganization and clutter affecting your job performance? In my own case, I notice a serious downturn in productivity when my office gets disorganized and messy. I’m far better off just stopping for a bit to get things in better order than I am just charging ahead. (@ unclutterer)

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