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For your reading pleasure

It’s one of my weekends off from the cab company and I have been enjoying it to its fullest. Yesterday my hubby and I spent most of the morning cleaning since we were having friends over that afternoon … even though it’s a pain at the time, it’s nice to only have to pick up this morning and not feel guilty about sitting around and blogging instead of being upstairs and cleaning. 🙂 My Saturday night consisted of a movie with some friends and then dinner.

Today’s all about relaxation – the only thing on my agenda was to return a dress to a store and maybe clean out my car of the debris it seems to accumulate because I’m its owner – otherwise, I’m going through the number of emails that have accumulated over the past week and thought I’d share some of my findings with you:

I am unabashed in my love of the New York Times – I found a couple great articles there today that I thought were incredibly interesting and relevant. The first one is entitled “The New Poor – In Hard Times, Lured Into Trade School and Debt.” This one was particularly interesting to me because every once in awhile, I fantasize about snubbing my incredibly practical English major and going to culinary school. Because I really need $40,000 in school loans tacked onto the $40,000 I already have, right? The basic gist of this article is that these for-profit schools are being deceitful in their claims of job placement for potential students and for making a killing in what they are charging these students – some of whom have been affected by recent layoffs and are depending on this trade education to get back into the work place. After reading this article, I’m very happy to be schooled by the teachers on Food Network. What I’ve learned through watching TV, traversing food blogs and reading cookbooks is enough knowledge to make me a proficient cook. Basically, its the best $40,000 I haven’t spent.

The second article doesn’t really pertain to me, but I’m adding it for all of you lucky ducks who have dishwashers in your house. The message in this article? If you have a newer dishwasher, chances are really good that you might be using too much soap and are putting that lovely machine at risk. Two frugal things to get out of this one – you’re going to save more money by using less soap and by using less soap you’re probably going to save money by not needing to shell out for repairs.

This one comes from the blog world – have I told you lately that I love Katy Wolk-Stanley? She is the Blogess responsible for “The Non-Consumer Advocate,” a frugal-living blog that I adore because it’s relevant, practical and well-written. She gave me some food for thought today when I read her latest article about living with The Compact. The Compact is a movement of people who resolve to buy nothing new and rely on the resources that are around them. I am going to do some more research about this that I will share with you guys, but I think it’s a very interesting idea and would be curious to see if I could pull it off.

And finally – remember my whole nattering about a social media detox? Apparently this is something that professors are teaching in their college classes. The Star Tribune featured this article today called “Toughest college test: No cell phone, no Facebook” and its about a group of professors who are challenging their students to give up their cell phones, social media sites, iPods – or as one professor put it “any piece of technology you couldn’t find before 1984” – and see what kind of realizations they come to. A lot of students couldn’t do it, it really put them out of their comfort zone and in some cases, cut off the only type of communication that they have with their loved ones.

In my own world, the latter half of this past week found me on my best behavior at my new job. Unlike the old job where I was hooked up to the Internet throughout the work day, checking my CNN, emailing my hubby and basically being distracted by all of the things that were keeping me from real work, I was pretty limited as to what I was looking at online. Did I feel deprived? Actually, I was feeling kind of liberated. Not being as hooked in as I usually am is kind of nice. I think its a change I can get used to.

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3 thoughts on “For your reading pleasure

  1. Thanks for the nice words. The Non-Consumer Advocate is a labor of love for me, so it’s nice to know that it’s connecting out there in the big wide world.

    Katy Wolk-Stanley
    “Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.”

  2. I read the last two articles – the one on “The Compact” is an interesting idea, I’m just curious what would happen if everyone did this, there would be no used stuff for everyone to get 🙂

    The other one though about college kids giving up their technology stuff – I have to disagree with some of that, especially cell phones. For most people under the age of 30, or people like me, that has replace all sorts of other stuff – I no longer pay the huge amount I had to pay for a land line and long distance, and I’m now seeing people using that as their primary or only source of internet, dropping the need for a cable modem or DSL (I still have that because of my job, but more and more people don’t). For me, I know I’ve saved a ton of money over the past 8 years not having a land line, and am freed from worrying about being home all the time when I am expecting a phone call. Sure you can argue we shouldn’t be so “tied” to communication, but it doesn’t mean it’s all bad either.

  3. I think college students not being able to give up internet and cell phones is quite funny. I choose not to give up my internet but I can if need be. In fact, this week I have been turning off my computer for several hours in the morning and again in the afternoon. My productivity has sky rocketed! It’s nice not being distracted by emails/IM/RSS.

    My cell phone gets left at home a lot and people complain that that’s not the point of having a cell phone. I tell them that just because I have a cell phone doesn’t mean I have to be tied to it 24 hours a day. Besides, if it’s an emergency, most people have my husband’s cell number and he has his all the time (work).

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