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Cranking Widgets Blog

By Brett Kelly

How the Traditional “Rules” of Frugal Living Often Vastly Undervalue Time

A few weeks ago, I met up with an old friend of mine who reads The Simple Dollar. After a bit of catching up, he started criticizing me on my purchase of a Prius. “You’re basically throwing your money away there,” he told me.

Ten Simple Ways to Spend Less Money

There are two ways to get ahead financially. The first is to make more money; perhaps that is the obvious one. The other is to spend less money.Out of the two options, saving money is actually more valuable. If you make an extra $1 you will need to pay taxes, say 25%, so you would then have $0.75 left. Certainly that is more than you had before but you don’t get to keep the full dollar.

Managing Electricity (and everything else)

You can’t manage what you can’t measure.

Eliminate collaboration clutter with Subversion

Collaborating on files with a group presents a unique set of challenges. Where do you store the files? Who has the latest version? What changed? Let’s say you’re composing a song about Jessica Fletcher from Murder, She Wrote. You get your band together, you lay down the tracks, and there they are on one computer.

Organizing the events after a loss of life

No one likes to think about losing loved ones, but unfortunately it can be a reality.

3 Alternative "Investments" for Long Term Enjoyment and Appreciation

By Xin Lu When it comes to investments, the most popular asset classes are stocks, bonds, and real estate. However, in the recent economic turmoil many people are looking for alternative investments to maintain the value of their assets.

So You Want My Job: Red Bus Jammer

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. If you’ve been watching Ken Burn’s new documentary about the history of our National Park system, you’ll probably be envious of this week’s job.

New Data: The 10 Worst Airlines in the US

“I see you. I’ll get your water when I have a minute. Jesus Christ.” Um, did… that… really just happen? Strike three for Delta Airlines. More like strike 37. The bad service had reached the “Orbitz threshold”, where I would no longer purchase tickets from Delta, even if cheaper than the competition.

How Does The Simple Dollar Earn Money? Some Notes on Do-It-Yourself Self-Employment

After some positive response to yesterday’s comments about an article explaining how I earn an income from The Simple Dollar, I decided to follow up and give the process a thorough description. Enjoy! Quite often, when I tell people that I’m a full time writer, they’re surprised.

5 Ways to Live Better Without Spending More

By Philip Brewer The most simple-minded measure of your standard of living is how much money you spend: spending more equals living better. Reality is more complex.

To Share or Not to Share, That is the Question

Copyright is as old as printing and as new as today.


“Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.” — Aristotle For a long time, I was unhappy. I used to think that this was because of my overwhelming debt. I believed that if I were debt-free, happiness would come to me. It didn’t. After I paid off my consumer debt, I was still unhappy.

DJ turntable setup out Ikea media center

David salvages an old Ikea media unit and whips it into a DJ desk. "I was looking for a desk to house a pair of Technics 1200 turntables. They're fairly wide, so most desks don't accommodate them. DJ desks can come in at around $600, which is far more than I wanted to spend. I had this Ikea media center I bought in 2006 that almost fit, but not quite.

The Death of Multitasking and Rebirth of Unitasking

How many times have you heard someone say, "I get so much done because I am able to multitask"? Usually said with a smug little grin.

Michael Merzenich on Re-Wiring the Brain

In this TED talk, we are reminded that the brain is molded for change; our habits, skills, and abilities are completely flexible.