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Productivity 501

By Mark Shead

The High Cost of Having Children

Because my wife I do not have children, I feel that it’s important to bring in outside voices to talk about money and kids. This is a guest post from Cathy, who writes about family finances, parenting, and cooking at Chief Family Officer.

Gorm and the wash basin

Thye Foo from Malaysia (yay!) completes his first Ikea hack. And it's the first time I've seen the Gorm used with a sink unit. That said, the Gorm is untreated wood, so it would be advisable to coat it with varnish to avoid water damage.

50 Freelance Follows on Twitter

Since freelancers tend to spend long hours hunched in front of a computer, it makes sense that many of them have also congregated on Twitter. Think of it as a virtual watercolor where you can chat about new projects, catch up on industry news, or just take a quick break. Some freelancers are also using the microblogging platform to find new clients and promote their business.

10 First Date Tips for the Modern Gentleman

Courting a lady isn't as straight forward as it used to be. Back in the day, dating etiquette was well-established and everybody played by the same rules. Men would open doors for women, help them with their coats, and have them home by nine.

A few of my brothers and sisters

My little girl Isabella is four and she is an only child. But when she goes to the playground and a stranger asks her if she has any brothers and sisters she says yes. She says she has one brother and one sister.

Outsourcing Ideas

Sid Savara has some excellent suggestions for hiring a cook/chef via Craigslist. Sacha Chau has a review of TimeSvr and oDesk for Virtual Assistant work and a list of tasks she has assigned to TimeSvr.

Dead Simple Guide to Beating Procrastination

Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on Twitter. I’ve been procrastinating a lot lately. I actually love procrastinating and have nothing against it. But for those of you who want to beat procrastination, here are 10 simple steps: 1. First make sure you really want to do it. 2. Keep things simple - don’t mess with tools, just start.

Could you profit from Obama and Geithner's toxic assets plan?

By Xin LuThis week the United States Treasury announced the Legacy Loans Program.  The program is meant to be a partnership between the government and private investors to clear "toxic" assets off the books of banks.  Some large financial firms have expressed that they may set up  mutual funds to buy these assets.

Daily Links: Free Money Edition

Too many open browser tabs! I’ve found a lot of good stuff lately, and I can’t devote full blog posts to all of it. All the same, I have to close some of these tabs. Here then are a few of the most interesting articles I’ve been collecting on my computer:

I Challenge You To Beat My Price.

By Paul MichaelStateless Systems are at it again. I’m a huge fan of their two biggest sites, BugMeNot (a way to bypass compulsory website registrations) and RetailMeNot (a vast coupon codes site). Now with BeatMyPrice, they’re turning competitive shopping and price comparison searches into a game. And we’re all winners.

Happiness Interview with Julie Morgenstern.

As I’ve worked on my happiness project, I’ve been very surprised by how energizing and cheering I find it to clear clutter. In fact, when I’m jonesing for a happiness boost, I’ve been known to beg my friends to let me help them clean out their closets.

Fruitful Time Business Edition

Fruitful Time makes a free Productivity Meter that we’ve mentioned before.  It tracks how your computer is being used and gives you a good idea how your time is being spent.  They now have a paid Business Edition that lets you do the same thing for a group of employees.  I have used some tools like this in the past so my staff could tell where they are spending their time.  It looks like

Starting Your Career Right: Finding a Great Mentor in College

When I first went to college, I was lost. I had grown up in a tiny town where virtually everyone around me had started factory jobs straight out of high school. I literally knew no one (other than my teachers) who had attended college at any level. I more or less guessed at a major based on the advice of people around me who, quite honestly, had very little idea, either.

Oversaving Does Not Lead to Happiness

I love frugality. Frugality helped me to dig out of debt, begin to build wealth, and find more meaning in the things I already own. But at some point I crossed the line from frugal to cheap. I’ve spent the past few months seeking balance: allowing myself permission to spend on a few indulgences while choosing to cut back in other areas.

Should The AIG Bonuses Be Taken Away Or Not?

By WC PorterEveryone's making a huge stink about the $165 million in AIG bonuses that were recently paid out. It seems everyone is trying to figure out a way to take that money away from the people that were meant to receive them. The latest idea is to tax the bonuses at a 90% rate, which basically reduces them to nothing. Or for reference—closer to my bonus (just kidding, day job!).