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The Simple Dollar

By Trent Hamm

Why A Hurricane Filled Me With Gratitude.

Like much of the East Coast, New York City was hit by Hurricane Irene. On Saturday, we checked our flashlights, loaded up on food, filled the bathtub, and hoped for the best. We were extremely lucky. The hurricane didn’t affect us much -- we didn’t even lose power. And I’m very, very grateful for that. The hurricane was a good reminder about gratitude.

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Dishwasher Detergent

Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money.

How to Write a Novel

Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Mark D. Niehus. Ever since our ancestors first scratched on a dark cave wall a tale of great conquest or success on a hunt, man has strived to write.

Skurar Pendant lamps

Materials: Skurar potsDescription: I've made two pendant lamps of two tin-pots named Skurar. I drilled a hole in the bottom and put a small lampholder with a cord through the hole. Then a connection-box to connect the two cords.

Pretty Frame Turned Chalkboard

Materials: Ung Drill frame, primer, paint, Rub n Buff, chalk board paint Description: I took a black Ung Drill frame, primed it then painted it in Ben Moore's Tranquil Blue. I used Rub n Buff to give it an antiqued look, then painted the glass with chalkboard paint. See more of the Ung Drill chalkboard. ~ Lizzie, Chicago

Questions to ask of your things when uncluttering

The earthquake and hurricane this past week on the east coast have left me glad I made August’s resolution to update my “In case of …” file. Mother Nature sure knows how to drive home a point in a really big way. In addition to creating the file, I’ve also started to take a new approach to how I see the items in my home.


Materials: JANSJÖ, FÖRHÖJA Description: The IKEA Bedside-Table-Cabinet. Amazing in itself, but somewhat lacking functionality when darkness falls. What we do is take the IKEA JANSJÖ worklamp, and combine it with the FÖRHÖJA wall cabinet to create the amazing Bedside-Table-Cabinet-Lamp.

Reader Mailbag: Long Weekend

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Move in together 2. The crossover point for cars 3. Freelancer feeling desperate 4. Retirement and wedding 5. Basics of prepaid credit cards 6. Debt repayment planning 7. Teenage kids and cars 8. Zucchini bread 9.

Top Freelance Jobs from Job Board – Week 5, August

Looking for a new client? The FreelanceSwitch job board is a great resource of freelance gigs and opportunities. These opportunities are in various fields, from development to writing to design, and come from a wide range of potential clients.

How Resistance Kills our Flow

When we don’t like the circumstances of our lives our natural tendency is to resist or fight them. The irony of this is that when we fight against the things that we don’t want or don’t like in our lives we tend to perpetuate their existence. It doesn’t really make logical sense, but then again nothing about this journey through life seems to until we’re past our current obstacle.

Best Procrastination Tip Ever

Post written by Leo Babauta. Your first thought as you look at this article will be, “I’ll read this later.” But don’t. Let the urge to switch to a new task pass. Read this now. It’ll take you two minutes.

It's Black It's White - Pimping Up Ikea Basic Stools

Materials: 2 Marius black Ikea Stools , 2 Ikea Cilla Cushions , 1 Meter Sara Lisa Black and White Ikea Fabric, Hot Glue Gun Description: We have 2 basic Ikea stools in our home and they are at the entrance. We use them to sit on and put on shoes etc. They were annoying me simply because of their lack of any aesthetic value they added to the area.

Discrimination Against the Unemployed

A reader named Susan left an interesting comment on Never Hire an MBA.

Social Capital and the Neighborhood Exchange

It’s been a while since I’ve raved about the joys of social capital. For those who haven’t been exposed to the concept, social capital is the mutual goodwill generated whenever you volunteer at a soup kitchen, help your neighbor move a piano, have your Sunday School class over for a barbecue, or join a softball league.