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Productivity 501

By Mark Shead

Record Every Penny You Spend in a Month (5/365)

One of the most generic personal finance suggestions is to “create a budget.” The advice usually revolves around setting aside money from your paycheck for all of your known expenses, then making smarter choices with what’s left over. Here’s the problem with that suggestion: a lot of people who are in financial trouble have no idea where their money is going from month to

How to Tackle Your Clutter

Post written by Leo Babauta. So you’ve been putting off tackling your clutter for months, maybe even years.

Happy fifth birthday to Unclutterer!

On this day in 2007, lawyer and clutter-despiser Jerry Brito published the very first Unclutterer post: “A manifesto on simple living.” Since that day, there have been more than 2,775 uncluttering and organizing posts on the site written by more than 45 simple living enthusiasts.

IKEA Micke Cabinet Revamp

Materials: MICKE IKEA Cabinet , map, 1/4 cup white glue, 3 tbs water (mix in a container), foam brush, scissors, pencil and something to smooth the paper (I used a lid form a tin) Description: I needed extra storage on a budget so I purchased this boring MICKE IKEA cabinet for $59.99.

Be Ready When Someone Asks, “What Do You Do?”

I really like the 60-Second Solutions videos on Entrepreneur.com. I thought that the recent video by communications coach Carmine Gallo on creating a 60 second strategy to tell your story was especially useful. Sometimes it’s hard to explain to people what it is you really do.

Kassett Decoupage

Materials: Kassett, pictures, Mod Podge Description: I had a couple calendars sacrificed by friends at the end of the year and a need to dress up the Kassett boxes for our Expedit TV stand for use as toy storage boxes. I cut out the best images from the calendars (in this case Curious George and Dr. Seuss), and used the Mod Podge to glue one to each side of the box, facing the top.

Finding Good Information for Your Situation

One of the biggest challenges I have when writing articles for The Simple Dollar is finding a balance of usefulness and audience. What do I mean by that? Well, if I tried to write a personal finance article that would reach out to everyone who read it, it would be completely devoid of content.

Specialist or Generalist: What’s Your Route to Success?

At the end of last year, a fellow freelancer and I were discussing how 2011 panned out for each of us. “It was overall successful, but when I reviewed where my income came from, I realized I’d become too focused on just one market,” she told me.

Portable Drumset made from IKEA JAMKA Bowls

Materials: JAMKA, PVC Pipe & Fittings, Drumkit electronics kit Description: Drilled 7/8" holes in JAMKA bowls, then connected together with 1/2" PVC pipe and fittings. Using a fitting on either side of the bowl allows for a pressfit connection. I then mounted aluminum plate with piezo sensors to each JAMKA lid, and ran the wiring through the PVC pipe to the drum kit controller.

Ask the Readers: When Is It Okay to Use Your Emergency Fund?

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a person in want of a good fortune must be in possession of an emergency fund. Hilarious literary allusions aside, the emergency fund — or rainy-day savings, or whatever you want to call it — is one of the bedrocks of basic personal finance.

6 Tips For Writing Better Emails

If you’re reading this, there’s a good chance that you have an email account. You may well have several – perhaps separate accounts for professional and personal contacts. It’s easy to assume that we know how to use email effectively: it’s been around for long enough.

So You Want My Job: Public Speaker

Photo by Alex Harris Once again we return to our So You Want My Job series, in which we interview men who are employed in desirable jobs and ask them about the reality of their work and for advice on how men can live their dream. Do you love to listen to yourself talk?

Lindmon mosaic tiles

Materials: Lindmon natural, wood stain, grater Description: This hack is using Lindmon blinds to make decorative mosaic tiles. The blinds used in these pictures are natural coloured ones and this is probably your best bet as these are minimally treated and the wood stain is sticking to them well. Even with one set of blinds you will get more than 1 m2 of tiles.

Calculate How Much You Really Make (4/365)

One of the most painful realizations I had when I started getting my financial life in order was that my job didn’t really earn me as much money as it seemed. My salary at the time of this realization was about $40,000 a year, so let’s use that as a baseline. Now, on the surface, that’s really good money.

Themed placemats for Antilop

Materials: Silicon, Antilop Description I am a father of two and a graphic designer as a profession. Like most of families we own a Antilop highchair from Ikea. But to me it seemed a bit dull. So I came up with placemats that fits this highchair. The placemats are made out of silicon and you can wash it either by hand or in the dishwasher.