This day in history—I think it was today some 7 years ago—I went skiing for the first time. I made it through the lesson. Except for the final bit…the part where we were supposed to ski down the “bunny” slope with our instructor. I hit ice, spun, fell, hit my head, blacked out, and ended up with a concussion. I couldn’t speak French for about a week (which was awful, because I was acing the class and thought I’d lost it!!!). Adding insult to injury, my tiny 11-year-old friend was zooming down black diamonds with no ski poles.
Compared to that ski run, this last month was really successful. But then again, most things are.
And speaking of successes, here are some good posts from the last week (or in one case, that I just read this last week):
Randall at Credit Withdrawal posted this back in November, but it’s such a good post I had to highlight it. I’m not sure how I missed it the first time around. He does a little math to prove that you’re not contributing as much to your 401(k) as you think. You’re contributing more! And it’s good. So if you elect for a $500 deduction, you’ll see less than $500 missing from your take-home pay. Because 401(k)s aren’t taxed until withdrawal and so part of the money you’re contributing is those pesky taxes. Makes you feel all warm and fuzzy.
Paid Twice did a great post on why so many PF bloggers are fixated on eliminating debt. It’s because the less debt we have, the more freedom we have. Plus, the faster we pay it off, the less we’ll pay in interest. Oh, and Dave Ramsey fans, she yells “CHEETAH” every time she shreds a credit card app. In-joke. Must destroy cheetah.
Speaking of cheetahs and gazelles, Ana at DebtFREE-Revolution is out to set the blogosphere straight on the origin and meaning of those phrases. After all, lots of people have heard Dave Ramsey’s terms without having ever read or listened to him. If you’re one of them and looking for a brief but thorough explanation, this may save you some confusion in the long run.
Lynnae of Being Frugal wrote an excellent list of ways to clean your house and stuff using nothing more than baking soda, vinegar, and Dawn*. Compared to some cleaners, this is really good for the environment. And affordable and simple. Check it out. It inspired me. And if you’re in the list mood, she also came up with 75 ways to save money around the house. 75. Count ’em.
*No, not Dawn of Frugal for Life, nor Dawn of IowaHippieChick. That’d be silly. And apparently I’m silly because I thought “She uses Dawn? That can’t be right.” Proof that this post was written in the wee hours.
Patrick at Cash Money Life wrote about delaying gratification. Great way to save—instant gratification often doesn’t taking our long-term plans into account. Delayed gratification probably makes us happier on the whole. I saved for a trip to Europe for example. Very happy. Much better than a bunch of clothes or whatever it is teenage girls spend their money on.
Speaking of delayed gratification, one of the most interesting posts this week was by plonkee, who wrote about working on feeling poor. What attitude do you have to cultivate in order to be frugal? Plonkee has the advantage of not being in any credit card debt, or in a mortgage well beyond her means (that is to say, it’s within her means), or with oppressive student loans (though she has some). So unlike those of us with lots of debt towering over us, she’s fairly comfortable. Which makes it harder not to spend.
Ciaran from Chance Favors has some fun facts about the Roth IRA. I’m planning to post more about them today or tomorrow, so this is to soften you up.
Over at Moolanomy, there’s a handy list of 50+ frugal tips, ideas, etc. For those of you constantly looking for more ways to be frugal (it’s like a game!).
And this made me smile–10 things that aren’t too good to be true from Millionaire Money Habits. Lots of things are too good to be true, but these are the real deal.
scary slope by foshie