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Soul Shelter

By Tim Clark and Mark Cunningham

The new normal economy

By Philip Brewer The economy is way short of full employment, so naturally, consumer spending is down. Sooner or later employment, I think, will return to normal levels.

Poll: How Has Economic Downturn Affected Your Business?

In our last Linkswitch, we had a look at a NY Times article on the “self-employed depression.” While it’s true that recent events have made making a living harder for many people who put themselves in the self-employed or freelance category, many freelancers are finding that business is as good as ever.

Why Pursue Financial Freedom?

Your financial choices do not stand in isolation. They have a cumulative effect. As you pay off debt, as you save for retirement, as you reduce your spending, you are creating a snowball of right action. Or, to use a better metaphor, each smart choice you make creates ripples throughout your life.

The portable sandbox

As a young child, I had a sandbox in my backyard. I didn’t like our specific sandbox very much because the neighborhood cats often used it as a community litter box, and my parents didn’t like it because they had to kill off a plot of grass to build it.

Cheers, it's a Kegerator!

Gill pulls a perfect pint with this hack. "My husband and I took an old commercial fridge, and refinished it, to become a kegerator. We hit the As-is section of Ikea for the counter top (paid $30), and the rails are actually Enhit curtain rods (not on website), marked down to $4.99. Works perfectly!"

Staying Productive When You’re Working From Home

You always thought working from home would be great. You could work in your PJs, listen to whatever music you wanted, drink your favorite brand of coffee, and, of course, get up at 7:55 and be at your desk before 8.00...So when your boss agreed to let you work from home part of the time (or when you left to start your own business), you were excited.

Want to help get people engaged in the environment?

That's the goal of the new No Impact Project that we've launched.

30 Days to a Better Man Day 30: Get a Straight Razor Shave

Image from the Wisconsin Historical Society At last! We’ve finally made it to the last day of the 30 Days to a Better Man Challenge. It’s been a tough 30 days. Hopefully, the tasks we came up with helped you stretch, grow, and become a better man. Today’s final task will both complete this process and reward your efforts during the past month.

Why You (Almost) Never See a Fat Japanese (or, How I Lost 5 lbs. in Tokyo)

Post written by Leo Babauta. Follow me on Twitter. One of the most striking things about my trip to Japan was how thin everyone was. I kept saying to my family, “There are no fat Japanese!” That’s not entirely true, of course.

Americans' savings rate up to almost 7% - who benefits?

By Xin Lu According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the personal savings rate in May 2009 was 6.9%.    This a 15 year high and a far cry from the negative savings rates of just a few years ago.   Although a part of the increase in savings comes from the large stimulus bills passed recently, most of the increase seems to come from changes in Americans' spending habits.

The Personal Finance Hour, Episode 14: Home Improvement

Summer’s here, and for many homeowners that means it’s time for projects around the house. Since we bought our current home, Kris and I have spent a lot of money to make improvements. (At this very moment, contractors are painting the house!) Join Jim and me this afternoon for the 14th episode of The Personal Finance Hour.

Blending Work and Family: How We Do It

One common question I’m asked a lot is how we actually balance our work lives and our family lives. Barb sums it up best: How do you do it? You write tons and tons of stuff for The Simple Dollar, your wife works a full time job, you seem to have tons of time available for your kids, you read quite a bit, and you also seem to have a somewhat active social life. How do you do it?

The Cheap Garbage Bag Dilemma

The things that stick in your head after reading a book are often interesting. For example, just yesterday I posted a detailed review of Miserly Moms that outlined a ton of useful tips for cutting domestic spending. Yet, the thing that stuck in my head for days after reading the book was an offhand comment she made about buying garbage bags.

Jung, Buffy, Twilight, Virginia Woolf -- and Happiness.

I love Carl Jung (the bits of his work that I understand, which isn’t much), and one of my favorite Jung quotations is, “The creative mind plays with the objects it loves.” This video clip is a perfect example – found on my friend Lev Grossman’s excellent blog, Nerd World.

Fewer Financial Institutions

Last year I finally got fed up with all the statements I was getting from various financial institutions.  I had retirement accounts with 4 or 5 different companies and stock accounts with 2 or 3 others.