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Pick the Brain

By John Wesley

High Goals and Expectations

Everyone has a different idea about success. Many times our expectations are determined by the way we were raised and our interaction with our peers. These expectations can cause us to set artificially low goals. I know a man whose goal is to get his GED so he can get a job and make payments on a car.

Should Your Child Be Learning Mandarin?

Reports in the NY Times and elsewhere point to the rise of Chinese language instruction in our schools, against the backdrop of the demise of language learning in general. People justify this rush to Chinese by referring to the growth of the Chinese economy. The US government has declared Chinese a “critical language.” How realistic is this Chinese boom, and will it last?

Unitasker Wednesday: Calendar 2010 Rolling Pin

All Unitasker Wednesday posts are jokes — we don’t want you to buy these items, we want you to laugh at their ridiculousness.

A year ago on Unclutterer

2009 Seeing springBefore most people realize that spring is on the horizon, now is a great time to get ahead of the curve and start making appointments for all of your spring cleaning activities. Compulsive clutter in New York CityWhile readers of Unclutterer may be familiar with hoarding, it is a psychological ailment that still isn’t understood by much of the general public.

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.

Comparing Savings Rates: U.S. vs Japan

By Silicon Valley ... Over the past 3 years, we Americans have seen an interesting shift in our economic and social patterns. First, we’ve seen credit card use decline, not by any conscious choice made by spenders, in a lot of cases.

Setting limits with a Super Simple Month

I’ve declared February as a Super Simple Month in our house. To me, a Super Simple Month is defined as no travel for work, one social engagement a week or less, no shopping except for necessities, and no new large projects (craft, writing, organizations, etc.).

7 Elements of a Successful Freelancer’s Website

“The shoemaker’s children go barefoot.”You’re not a shoemaker but the saying still fits. Between client projects, conferences, and social obligations (okay, okay, WOW clan meetings may count as social obligations), your site has been sorely neglected. A neglected website might not seem like a big deal if you’re flush with work.

Molger Cabinet and Bygel rail for the bathroom

Here is another two from Jari B. This time it's his bathroom. Molger Cabinet: Two pieces for the price of one. "I purchased this now discontinued Molger cabinet, for the sole purpose of removing the sliding mirror from it and using it as my bathroom mirror.

When to Replace Your Car

This is a guest post from Robert Brokamp of The Motley Fool. Robert is a Certified Financial Planner and the advisor for The Motley Fool’s Rule Your Retirement service. He contributes one new article to Get Rich Slowly every two weeks. Over the holidays, we said good-bye to an old family member. It was definitely her time to go. She leaked, she conked out at odd times, and she stank.

Becoming Friends with Your Nemesis: Time

There was a time when technology seemed to promise more freedom – freedom to enjoy ourselves more, freedom from the drudgery of mundane and repetitive chores. In short, we were promised more time.

Boosting Your Resiliency-Part 2: Avoiding Learned Helplessness and Changing Your Explanatory Style

This is the second part in a new series designed to help you boost your resiliency. For an introduction, see here. Starting in 1967, Dr. Martin Seligman began a series of experiments involving 3 groups of dogs. The first group of dogs were given electric shocks, but were able to press a panel with their nose to make the shocks stop.

In a Happiness-Project Group Near Westchester? NY Times Reporter Is Interested...

Are you in a happiness-project group in the New York City/Westchester area? A New York Times reporter is investigating for a possible article and would be interested in getting in touch with you, if so. If you'd be willing to speak about your experience, please email me at grubin@gretchenrubin.com, and I'll pass along your email address. I really appreciate it.

My Discretionary Spending for January 2010

For a personal finance blog, Get Rich Slowly hasn’t been very personal in recent months. That’s partly because of the book project, but also partly because I’ve moved to a stage in my financial life where not a lot happens.

Debt Reduction and Elimination Ads: The Real Scoop

Iris writes in: I was wondering if you could comment on the debt reduction/elimination ads I keep seeing on tv. Are these companies reputable? Are they doing anything that I can’t do myself? I would hate to pay a huge fee for something I could do myself. I would really like to reduce our debt load so I can free up more funds in our budget every month for, say, groceries.