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Pick the Brain

By John Wesley

Reader Mailbag: Disastrous Day

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. Student loans or savings? 2. Best use for tax refund 3. Jumping into entrepreneurship 4. Replacing a car after accident 5. On radio or television? 6. Are FHA loans dangerous? 7. Future Simple Dollar plans 8.

5 Things You Never Want to Hear Your Client Say

credit: yoshiffles on flickr You know what you call a client that knows exactly what they want, does not require revisions, always pays you on time and loves colored eggs? You call them the Easter Bunny because they do not exist. In a perfect world all client relationships would go this smoothly. Unfortunately, it’s not a perfect world.

Puppy Proofing for Small Spaces

Materials: Ikea Hol Storage Bench Description: First things first, I must give full credit to the original version of this in 2008, but who completed the answer for my dog crate situation in 2011. My partner were awaiting our new arrival (a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy), and we knew from the very beginning that we wanted to crate train him.

Five DIY Valentine’s Day Ideas for Frugal Sweethearts

This post is from staff writer April Dykman. Valentine’s Day is a commercialized holiday, but I say, “So what!” Sure, you don’t need a holiday to show appreciation for your significant other, but why miss out on the extra chance to do it?

Why Nothing Is Scarier Than Change

This post is inspired by another blog post – by Catherine Caine at Cash and Joy. In that post, an (imaginary) therapist and client are having a conversation, which goes in part like this: ‘And what’s the worst thing that could happen if you don’t follow that dream?’ ‘Nothing.’ ‘Which is scarier?’ ‘The nothing.’ And

From Mud Sprints to Zip Lines: Adventure Racing Near You

“The very greatest things – great thoughts, discoveries, inventions – have usually been nurtured in hardship, often pondered over in sorrow, and at length established with difficulty.” -Samuel Smiles, Scottish Author (1812-1904) No outside assistance except in designated areas, no motorized travel, no “civilized” pathways, and no GPS equipment.

List: False Choices. Do Any of These False Choices Sound Familiar?

Every Wednesday is Quiz Day, or List Day. This Wednesday: A list of false choices. The more I’ve thought about happiness, the more wary I’ve become of false choices. It’s so easy to frame choices or attitudes in an either/or way, and yet, so often, that choice is misleading. Often, there are other options; or the choice is overly reductionist; or no choice is necessary at all.

How to Live The Sweet Life

By John Hollandsworth Given a choice, wouldn’t you choose to live the sweet life instead of a bitter life? But how do we change our thinking such that life becomes sweet? This article takes a look at this topic of create the sweet life using a simple analogy with candy flavors. Think about this: 98% of the ingredients of a sweet orange skittle and a sour apple skittle are the same.

Dead fridge goes Rationell (retrofitting old cabinet)

Materials: Rationell drawers, old cabinet, various tools Description: After my built in fridge died we (me and my wife) bought a new one with no built in. The cabinet of the fridge was a very interesting place for an Ikea hack. I was inspired by this but mine was a little bigger. We bought 5 rationell drawers.

The Tax Protestor FAQ

Every so often (especially this time of year), someone writes to let me in on a secret. “J.D., did you know you don’t have to pay income taxes?” they’ll say. “It’s true! Income tax is illegal!” I’ve never known how to respond to these folks. Now, I can just point them to the Tax Protester FAQ.

Pleasing Someone Else or Pleasing Yourself

I originally intended to include this email in tomorrow’s reader mailbag, but my response to this woman went on for so long that I felt it deserved a post of its own. Julie writes in: I’m 26 years old, single, and I have an entry level graphic design job that I love.

Another Edland bathroom vanity

Materials: Edland Description: I used an Edland Chest of 2 drawers ~ Ferdy, Brescia, Italy

Wisdom of a Crowded Rink

Over the weekend, the weather finally broke a a bit in NYC and the sun came back out.Perfect day to go ice-skating, so we all headed off to the rink. It was packed, mad skaters of all ages whizzing, whirling twirling, crashing, smashing, plodding, screaming, zipping. Total mayhem.

Unitasker Wednesday: Shoe Bibs

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness. Enjoy! Are you a messy eater? I mean, a really messy eater? Are you constantly having to replace your shoes because you can’t find your mouth?

A year ago on Unclutterer

2010 Why we hold on to sentimental clutterSentimental clutter plagues our attics, basements, closets, garages, and desks. These sentimental trinkets can keep us from moving forward with our lives physically and emotionally.