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Weekend Reads: the Don’t Forget Mother’s Day is One Week Away Edition

Filed in Administration , Personal Finance 5 comments

That’s right!  Mother’s Day is just around the corner (May 10, 2009).  So for all of you clueless ingrates who will likely forget about dear ol’ Mom again this year… don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Personally, I go through my Google Calendar every year and setup email alerts for what I like to call “important dates that will bite you on the arse if you forget them” days.  It’s just one more lifehack I’ve implemented to idiot proof my Home Depot loving, play in the mud, manly ways.

If you find yourself coming up short on ideas, here are a few frugal — but thoughtful — suggestions:

  1. Fix Mom’s Computer.  If your parents are like mine, they’re clueless when it comes to computer maintenance.  Several years ago, I found my folks had let their antiviral subscription expire so it would behoove you to checkup on their computer because you just know you’ll be the first phone call should their computer crash.
  2. Anything Related to Spring/Early Summer.  My grandma is a huge baseball fan, and when Spring rolls around, most of my family begins to talk baseball.  She’s a Dodgers fan — Brooklyn Dodgers to be specific — so I found a decent deal on vintage baseball hats thanks to BeatMyPrice.com and will be hand delivering it to her next weekend.  If you’re a bargain hunter, this site will rapidly become your best friend.
  3. Potted Flowers.  I loathe buying flowers from a florist since they only last a week or two, so when I choose to buy flowers for Mother’s Day, I always give a real life plant she can enjoy for many years to come.  Plus, it’s kinda sad to see a gift intended to show love and appreciation wither up and die a few days later.
  4. Wash Mom’s Car.  Just like the old days, get out the sponge and bucket and do a good deed without her asking.  Doing an unexpected good deed that requires even a minor amount of trivial effort is sure to impress.
  5. Show Up for Sunday Dinner.  Family gatherings seem to be a rarity these days with my family, and most others so the news says, so if you live a few miles away make the effort to have dinner with the folks.  If you live too far for a drive, at least give a call before noon so she can go about her day knowing her sons and daughters keep her in mind.

Moral of the story is pretty simple… a little effort can go a long way when it comes to Moms and Mother’s Day!

Favorite Reads from the Personal Finance Blogosphere

Sometimes the best articles are the ones that take a simple message and conveys it in a way you don’t often think about.  Behavior Gap captured the consequences of saving for retirement without owning stocks, but also mentions when you pull the equities lever down to zero, you have to readjust several other levers… like retirement age, how much you save, etc.

Darwin’s Finance gives some great 20s Something Advice and you’ll be hard pressed to find a better reason to invest than this great quote:

“If you started investing at age 25 and put the same amount of money into stocks until age 35, you’d have more money at retirement than if you started saving at 35 and invested the same amount of money in stocks EVERY YEAR until retirement”

Bargaineering outlines a few psychological money games if you want additional motivation to save more money or paying down your debt.  We humans are funny creatures, so if you’re one of those folks that can’t get yourself on working budget or can never seem to make a dent in your debts, one of these clever mind games might put you over the hump.

How would you like to be a college grad with $265,000 in student loan debt, living way beyond your means, and get a job as a state trooper?  While I feel bad for this guy since he got injured on the job, it’s hard to feel sorry for him considering he majored in business and got a job that really isn’t that business heavy.  College students should really consider what they’re going to use their degree for, as well as what their salaries will likely be after they graduate before racking up even 2% of what this guy has hanging over his head.

Not surprisingly, the geographic location you call home will have a strong impact on your own personal views about the recession.  But for those who live quiet, simple lives in Smallville, USA, you might not see that much of an impact.  Or even see one at all.

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Posted by CJ   @   3 May 2009 5 comments
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5 Comments

Comments
May 3, 2009
10:23 pm
#1 David :

Smallville…isn’t that where Superboy lives or something? ;-) Thanks for the mention…

May 3, 2009
10:40 pm
#2 Matt :

Hey you’re Superman and don’t let anyone tell you different!

Although, your costume would have a TGH imprint and a big green cape. haha!

May 4, 2009
12:44 pm
#3 Kate :

These are great tips. I’ve never heard of BeatmyPrice.com, but I am definitely going to check it out. At least when it comes to my mom, she would rather I not spend money on her and so instead I like to do something nice for her like make brunch or give her a manicure. We often underestimate the meaning of these little gestures, but they are a true example of the Power of Small. It’s the little ways in which we show people we care that really makes the difference.

May 4, 2009
1:27 pm
#4 Matt :

Thanks Kate! Definitely agree with your points on the “Power of Small”.

Must have some sort of correlation with giving people our most valuable commodity… our time!

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