Around the web

This Week Around The Web

1. 7 Frugal Ways to Prepare for Baby

Color Me Frugal — Mr. and Mrs. CMF adopted a baby recently and they have some common-sense advice on saving money. It comes just in time too, since we recently reported it now costs more than $245,000 to raise a child. Advice such as “borrow baby clothing” and stockpile diapers is cool, but what I found interesting — and what my wife and I didn’t do — is “stock your freezer.”

As this new mother says, “In those early days and weeks you will likely be tired and sleep deprived and most likely not feel like cooking or even leaving the house much. Having a stocked freezer will keep you from ordering pizza every night, which will help your waistline AND your budget!” It’s true.

2. The Value of an Arts Major

The Broke and Beautiful Life — Stefanie is here to say that an arts degree isn’t as bad as all those “worst college majors” lists say: “When employers are asked what skills they value most in prospective job candidates, it’s not the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics that top the list- it’s the ‘soft skills’ — communication, cooperation, creativity…”

She argues most arts majors have those skills and that “the poor return on investment” from these degrees may not be the fault of the programs or the graduates but from “the extremely limited value placed on the arts in our society.” Stop giggling, engineering majors.

3. How to Stiff Your Undertaker

Frugal Fringe —  With some advanced planning you can avoid those costly funeral expenses. There won’t be any long good-byes to your loved ones, but you will get their remains back eventually. That’s what A. Noonan Moose found out when his mother and father-in-law decided to donate their bodies to science.

His in-laws explained before their deaths “that their donation would eliminate all expense of burial because after their bodies had been used, their remains would be cremated and returned to us at absolutely no cost.” Moose says Science Care, the outfit running the operation, has been in operation since 2000 and has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

4. Chinese Money-Saving Tips

Saving the Crumbs — This blogger starts with an interesting admission: “Chinese are often accused of being cheapskates.” But he says he’s proud of it, at least now. His parents often embarrassed him while he was young, but he’s “grown to appreciate some of the wise ways of the East when it comes to financial management.” For instance, “haggle ’til it hurts” — and he means everywhere, even department stores.

Check out this gem about air conditioning: “Never turn on the A/C until you are about to pass out from heat stroke…” Matching living room furniture or bedroom furniture doesn’t matter — buy what’s on sale, he says. You may not agree with those tidbits, but the moral of the blog is, “Take care of your stuff to keep them new, learn to reuse and reduce waste, don’t worry as much about aesthetics and luxury as much as function and quality…” Sounds like sage advice.

5. Can You Go Car-Free this Weekend?

Mr. Money Mustache — “The headline of this article sounds like just another meaningless personal finance tip.” That’s not me talking, that’s Mr. Money Mustache himself — but he’s right. So why read it? Because he’s funny and makes you think a bit.

Mr. Money Mustache believes many of us fall prey to the “Poisonous Pitfall of Piss Poor Lifestyle Planning.” Instead of jamming your weekends with “errands, shopping trips, drives to the mountains or the beach, horseback riding lessons or Harley cruises,” live locally and save money. He thinks there’s too much to do, and we try to do it all for fear of “missing out” on something — which is how we miss out on things. It’s worth a try.

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