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April 2009 Roundup: Finances, Food & Fun

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Stack of TextbooksStarting this month I’ll be doing a monthly roundup of some posts I found particular entertaining, interesting, or informative. I won’t inundate you with a list of posts, each one will be carefully selected and given some context.

This month I’ve been doing a lot of food blog reading since I’ve been writing about a variety of cooking topics, like making bread crumbs and pizza crusts, so I found a couple foodie blogs to share with you all. I hope you like this new monthly feature!

Personal Finance

Now that we’re in a recession, one of the best things you can do for yourself is to get additional training. Jeremy at GenXFinance had a fantastic article in March outlining 20 Free Online Finance Courses worth checking out. You can do them at your own pace and they’re offered by very well known schools like Yale and MIT. Remember, the key is to augment yourself, not your resume; but do so now!

Dave Ramsey is a pretty big name in the personal finance world, having penned a few books, built up a large following, and helped many a person out of debt and onto the right personal finance track. In March, Pinyo of Moolanomy broke down his Dave Ramsey’s Baby Steps. There are 7+1 steps (7 listed by Dave Ramsey and then Step 0), and Pinyo does a great job discussing them all.

Haggling. So many people thinking haggling is a dirty word, fortunately I wasn’t born with that particular disability! :) Haggling is like a sport, it’s where you pit your wits against the vendor and may the best man or woman win. In other countries, haggling is expected. Prices start high to catch the tourists who don’t haggle. If you aren’t good at haggling, I recommend you read a post by my friend SVB that contains some haggling tips.

Finally, Liz Pulliam Weston listed her top hundred most useful websites and I’m very honored to have made the list.

Food

Omnomicon is a great foodie blog and Aleta posted a great story early in the month on where you can buy spices and herbs on the cheap. She found that going to a local organic store netted huge savings over the grocery store. My wife and I go to a local Asian grocer to get some of our spices because the prices there are ridiculously lower. Ever buy sesame seeds? If you get it from spice aisle at your local grocery store, it’ll be a fortune. You can get it for a fraction of the price (and a much larger quantity) from an Asian grocery if you can find one nearby.

Laith Hassan at BrokeAssGourmet, another one of my favorite foodie blogs, posted a shopping list if you wanted to put together a budget bar for around seventy bucks. He doesn’t recommend brands of spirit but a $11 750mL of vodka can’t be all that great. :) Either way, still a good article.

Fun

I tweeted this when I found it (please follow me if you want them as I find them), but if you’re a fan of The Wire then you’ll really enjoy these episode scripts and David Simon’s show pitch to HBO.

Tim Ferriss, author of the Four Hour Work Week, recently published a copy of Seneca’s On The Shortness of Life, including a bolded “abridged” edition. If all you know about Ferriss is that he wrote the book, then you’ll might be surprised to learn that he’s a walking, talking liifehacker. The value of the FHWW isn’t in doing your 40 hours in four, it’s in nurturing the parts of your brain that let you turn your 40 hours of work into four, so you can enjoy the difference… because life is too short.

(Photo: wohnai)

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3 Responses to “April 2009 Roundup: Finances, Food & Fun”

  1. Very cool. I actually found that spices post on Omnomicon earlier this month and really liked the article as well. I’ll have to read the other roundup articles, Thanks.

  2. Pinyo says:

    Jim, thank you for sharing my article with your readers — it’s an honor. As far as haggling, it’s not common here but in many countries, it’s the way of life.

  3. Yo Prinzel says:

    This is a great run down. Thanks for putting the time into it. I’ve been to some of these blogs (like GenXFinance), but many are new to me.


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