"A library book, I imagine, is a happy book." Cornelia Funke

"Everything puts me in mind of a story." Ben Franklin

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Thing 44: The Economy

Cool piggy bank from: http://www.flickr.com/photos/endlessstudio/

I have to admit it, this topic is the most unappealing one yet. Reality...ugh.

Educational Tools:

My Money is a government site that has all types of financial information, on topics from retirement to starting a small business to home ownership and lots more. It has a credit card repayment calculator, among other types, a mortgage help line, and a "My Money" orderable tool kit. Dry, but useful.

Banking 2.0:

I've got this covered and don't care to join anything or blog about it. For the sake of this Thing, I looked at What Bills and it looks promising as an organizational tool.

Ways to Save:

Feed the Pig : To begin with, I think Benjamin the Talking Pig is terrifying. I don't like pig/people mutations. It's something about the eyes.

That aside, I looked at the "Me, save?" section and it was kind of fun. I chose the personality "Not So Frugal Foodie," listed my bad spending habits (lunch out, dining out in general, bottled beverages, and makeup) and it showed me how much I'm spending and what I could have if I saved it over 5 years. I also got 9 out of 12 on the "Beat Your Brain Quiz." It was interesting to learn that there is also a "Feed the Pig for Tweens."


Gas Buddy looks good because you can compare gas prices in your area. Now I can see whether it's cheaper to buy gas by my home or work.

E ride Share is a great idea; it finds you local carpools. Sadly, it turned up nothing for me for a ride share to work.

Fuel Economy is a government site that lets you find out your car's energy impact score, among other things. It tells you the car's air pollution score and carbon footprint. This could be a good tool if you're car shopping and want to compare vehicles.

Cell Phones:

My Rate Plan lets you compare cell phone plans. You can type in a phone type, or filter by phone features and compare the results side by side. I'm not looking for a phone or plan, so I don't have much of an opinion on this.

General Penny Pinching:

Seems like I'm seeing more and more articles like this in my magazines at home.

Frugal Dad has 75 money saving tips. He is so right about meeting friends after dinner. We spend money like crazy eating out with friends. We already do thirteen of his tips. There's lots of room for improvement, but some of them didn't apply, since I'm a non-smoking, non-meat eating, child free person.

Yay for tip # 56:
"Rediscover a local library. To replace the time previously spent watching television develop a reading habit, and support your local library while you are at it. Can’t find the book you are looking for? Don’t rush out and buy it. Many times libraries are networked and can request a copy of a book from another library. "

Also helpful is Top 50 Frugality Bloggers . This is divided into subcategories such as "Family Life," "Home and Garden," "Fashion and Shopping," etc. Some that I find interesting are: Ask the Frugal Decorating Diva (though it apparently hasn't been updated since 2007), Frugal Cuisine, and A Frugal Living Blog By a Frugal Guy .

Sell Your Stuff:

I have a membership pending in the local Freecycle group. It's awaiting monitor approval. It seems like great idea though; if you have something that you don't want anymore, you post it and then someone else takes it. Free.


Ooh, I love a good estate sale and I bet I'll use Weekend Treasure sometime. I just entered my zip code and it listed some upcoming sales. Also, The Thrift Shopper brings up local thrift stores, including library book sales!


Okay, I know that not everybody has a mom like mine who sends me grocery coupons through the mail. So, I looked at Retail Me Not . You can search by store and also by item category. In the areas I saw, it looked like the coupons are mostly for online shopping, although I did see some printable grocery coupons. I pretty much struck out on the things I looked for: Red Lobster, Oil of Olay, Dress Barn, and Ikea.


Raising Chickens:
I'd love to do this, but my daschund, Zoe, would be a danger to them. I don't eat meat (only fish), but I do like eggs. Plus, I'd like to have pet chickens, if it was a small number of hens. Maybe Ruby Lavender has rubbed off on me (see Love, Ruby Lavender).

ChickiWicki is a how-to guide for raising the feathery friends. It helps you choose a breed, build a coop, eat up the eggs in yummy recipes and provides a photo gallery of chicken beauties.

Here's an article on Raising Chickens in Minneapolis .

I love gardening, as you can see in Thing 39. I prefer flowers, but we are also trying a number of vegetables this year.

Revive the Victory Garden speaks of planting a backyard or container garden to reduce global warming. Food is right at home and doesn't need to travel to you, nor do you need to go out of your way to get it. :)
Minnesota Gardening is a forum covering many gardening issues.

University of Minnesota Extension Center Gardening Information offers yard and garden news, information on Master gardening, information on plants, trees and wildlife and diagnostics: What's wrong with my plant?, What insect is this? and Is this plant a weed? It's a great site!

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