Here are some of the articles that I came across this past week that peaked my interest:
The Gospel of Consumption: This is an interesting read about how companies figured out how to make us the consumers that we are. “By the late 1920s, America’s business and political elite had found a way to defuse the dual threat of stagnating economic growth and a radicalized working class in what one industrial consultant called ‘the gospel of consumption’ — the notion that people could be convinced that however much they have, it isn’t enough.” I think this, along with the dual premise that consumption somehow makes us happy, are two assumptions to get rid of if you want to get your finances in better shape.
The Magic Bullet Blender You Already Have: I love learning new and interesting tricks, and it’s a bonus if the trick also saves money along the way. I came across this article and tried it with my blender at home and it worked without a hitch.
The Zuckerberg Tax This is an interesting read about how the rich who have a large number of stock options are able to avoid paying tax on their gains: “If Mr. Zuckerberg never sells his shares, he can avoid all income tax and then, on his death, pass on his shares to his heirs. When they sell them, they will be taxed only on any appreciation in value since his death.”
Warren Buffett: Why stocks beat gold and bonds This quote sums it up best: “Gold has two significant shortcomings, being neither of much use nor procreative. If you own one ounce of gold for an eternity, you will still own one ounce at its end”
Questions to Ask Before Marriage at Married with Debt. I liked this quote in the article: “Just as I believe you shouldn’t marry someone for their money, you also shouldn’t avoid marrying someone for their debt.” That being said, if you’re looking to get married with someone that has debt, you really need to look at how they got there, and if the habits that have been formed are likely to continue. People always have the best intentions (who of us ever planned to gain any of the extra weight that we have?), but intentions aren’t enough to break poor financial habits. I believe that you really need to feel confident that whoever you marry acknowledges that the debt they have compiled was a mistake and they have come up with a plan on their own plan to pay it off. If you were the one that came up with the plan, your partner is not owning his/her debt and that is a sign that they have good intentions, but may never change.
Teaching Money to Preschoolers through Play at Money Trail. My advice is to teach your kids about money at every opportunity. The more you prepare them in this area, the less problems they will have in many aspects of their life. The post has a number of wonderful ideas how you can begin teaching your preschooler about money.
I Cured My Migraines with Magnesium at The Single Saver. While I don’t personally have migraines, I have an number of people close to me that do and it’s something that I’m truly thankful that I don’t have to suffer through. I thought I’d pass this along for anyone that might also be suffering from migraine headaches since this could be a simple fix to a terribly painful problem (and quality of life).
Quit Letting People Talk All Over You at Cordelia Calls It Quits. It’s so important to know yourself and stand up for yourself when needed. This stood out in the article: “But it was my fault. I didn’t say anything to her. I agreed, knowing that it wasn’t going to work out. She knew I had no spine. She knew she could take advantage of me, to her gain and my loss. She’s not a bad person, but it’s human nature to take advantage when possible, and I made that possible for her.” Sometimes being able to say “no” is the best move that you can make.
CSA Boxes at Meal Plan Rescue. Community supported agriculture boxes are something that I would like to utilize more (it doesn’t help that I am on the road all the time) and this article gives a few good tips. First, it’s upfront stating that not all CSA boxes are well put together and so it can take some time to find a company that is right for you. Their suggestion is to utilize Groupon or Living Social deals in your area until you find one that you like.
The Idea of Collecting Things is Collecting Dust at See Debt Run. I have always collected things and baseball cards paid for a fair amount of my college expenses. I also sold Japanese antiques on eBay for a few years as my sole income. The one key that I have learned that regarding collecting is that you should never become too attached to the things that you collect. If you can enjoy collecting and be willing to give up pieces of your collection (for the right price) then you have yourself a great money making business model. The fact is that most collectors become to attached to what they collect to ever make a business viable.
For those looking for more reading, here is a list of some recent money related carnivals:
Carnival of Financial Camaraderie at Newlyweds on a Budget
Yakezie carnival hosted by Stead Fast Finances.
Festival of Frugality at My Personal Financial Journey
Canadian Finance Carnival hosted at Canadian Finance Blog.
(Photo courtesy of roland)