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Stick to items you're knowledgeable about.

By Karen Datko Oct 11, 2009 2:18AM

This post comes from J.D. Roth at partner blog Get Rich Slowly.

I recently attended a party with some of my former high school classmates. Many of the other guests were artists. I don't know many artists, so it was fascinating to listen to their stories, especially about the economics of selling art during a recession. I learned a lot.

Later in the evening, I spent some time chatting with my friend Jonathan. He asked me about the blog. "What are you going to write about tomorrow?" he said.

"Well, I'd like to write about earning extra money," I said.

"That's the topic for the podcast I'm doing Monday afternoon, and I think it would be fun to also post an article related to the subject. I've been picking the brains of these artists, hoping to find a story, but I haven't found one yet."

"I've got one," Jonathan said. "Let me tell you how my mother earns extra money."


Some of the hardest jobs pay the least.

By Karen Datko Oct 11, 2009 2:12AM

This guest post comes from J. Money at Budgets Are Sexy.

And you thought today was going to be boring. This all started the other day when my girl MoneyMate Kate posted about some crazy jobs she's taken in the past (Italian ice truck driver, bone counter, substitute mommy). I was dying.

Once I began to compose myself, it got me thinking. I've done some pretty whacked-out stuff, too. But as I started writing this post, another thing occurred to me: If she's a frugal person with a frugal blog, and I'm a frugal person with a frugal blog, wouldn't it make sense that other personal-finance bloggers would have similar experiences, too?

So I reached out to my PF friends and readers on e-mail, Twitter and the Money Blog Network Forum (a great resource, by the way) and hit them up for the weirdest jobs they've ever done -- and holy cow, did i get some whammies.


Don't be fooled by common sales tactics.

By Karen Datko Oct 11, 2009 1:44AM

This post comes from partner blog Blueprint for Financial Prosperity.

It's been said that we Americans live in a world of instant gratification. We want the coolest gadgets and gizmos, the best food, the best cars, the best everything -- right this very second. We are impulsive, we are impatient and, most important of all, we fund our impulsiveness and impatience with lots and lots of spending.

You know who else knows this? Stores. There's a very good and profitable reason why tabloids and candy bars are at the checkout aisles. (One of the reasons self-checkout kiosks haven't become ubiquitous is that you can't sell someone high-margin items like magazines and candy if they're busy checking themselves out. Plus, the machines always break for some reason.) Anywhere you go, you'll also likely see small items by the register like  trinkets or votive candles or whatever. 


Blogger finds preparing has some fringe benefits.

By Karen Datko Oct 11, 2009 1:29AM

"Rutgerskevin" at The Red Stapler Chronicles coined a new term that's apropos for our collective economic situation. It's the "layoff drill," which, much like a fire drill, will help prepare you for an emergency situation.

Basically, you pretend you just lost your job and figure out how you're going to get by. "Sound like just a stupid game of make believe?" he writes. Tell that to the millions of Americans that lost their jobs this year.

Kevin designed and executed a layoff drill just in case, and found that it was incredibly productive. While Kevin is usually one of the funniest bloggers we read, this was no joke.


Depending on the subject, debt might outweigh benefits.

By Karen Datko Oct 11, 2009 1:14AM

This guest post comes from "vh" at Funny about Money.

Tina, my associate editor on the day job and my moonlight business partner, sent a link to this interesting discussion. The main post itself has several links to relevant, equally interesting posts and conversations.

Given the astonishing burden of student loans that too many young people are saddled with -- my son's roommate's girlfriend, for example, remarked that she will graduate from a top-quality institution with a master's degree in international business and $1,400-a-month student loan payments -- assessing the "value" of graduate education is not a crass or pointless exercise.


Make sure you use the cheap stuff, though.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 10:58PM

Three cheers for vodka, an excellent jewelry cleaner, stain remover, glue dissolver, wasp killer, fever reliever, and cure for poison ivy and stinky feet.

We had no idea that vodka has so many uses, other than the obvious. And if you've indulged in too much of that, here's another tip from "The many uses of vodka" at Divine Caroline that may come in handy: "Spray vodka on vomit stains, scrub with a brush, then blot dry."

If you employ any of the 19 tips on Divine Caroline's list, common sense dictates that you use the cheap stuff.


Socializing with co-workers worth more than what you'd save.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 10:49PM

This devil's advocate post comes from Jim Wang at partner blog Bargaineering.

This devil's advocate post attacks one of the hallmark money-saving ideas for the working professional: Bring in your own lunch. The money you save by not buying a $5 to $10 lunch every day amounts to more than $1,000 a year in savings ($5 x 48 weeks x five days = $1,200).

It's hardly bad advice and practically unassailable from a financial standpoint. But there are many reasons why you shouldn't bring in your lunch every day and eat it at your desk.


Blogger complied the best tips found on the Web.

By Karen Datko Oct 10, 2009 10:33PM

David at My Two Dollars has prepared what has to be the granddaddy of all how-to-save lists. His post is called, appropriately, "The big list: 1,019 different ways to save money."

OK, there is some repetition. (Believe it or not, brown-bagging your lunch for work comes up a number of times.) But David has gathered the best money-saving tips from the personal-finance blogosphere and assembled them in one place. We dare you to come up with one that's not included.

Savings tips are broken down by spending categories, including utilities, cars, food and health care. Among the links:



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