There's a great birthday edition of the Carnival of Personal Finance at Consumerism Commentary, including not just the best posts of the week but some of the best of the last year! Here's some favorites...
Check out Nicole (the Budgeting Babe)'s post A Rewarding Life about volunteering:
How does this all fit into personal finance? Well, for me, the quest for smart money management is not only the search for security, it's the journey to find balance. If I can fill my life with unforgettable, fulfilling experiences, I don't think material goods will matter as much to me. Sometimes the search for the perfect pair of jeans, the latest make-up, the most extravagant furnishings, is less about what we have than what we're missing.
Then there's a post called Are we doing enough about poverty? at a blog called Clay and Wattles (subtitle: Sustainable Living in Northern Canada):
Like many of the issues I have considered here, the problem of poverty is so complicated that I am tempted to throw up my hands and do nothing - go back to distracting my better self with TV, music, and sugar. Yet I know that would be wrong. I have an obligation to find a compromise between my own interests and those of, for instance, hungry children... Sorry, no answers today - just questions.
Third, you should have a few things in your budget that bring you peace, love and joy. For some, it is the morning latte that gives them joy. They may find it relaxing to drink their coffee at the park or just walking to work. It is about the moment of peace that they get before entering their non-stop job. So, if a cup of coffee gives you happiness, do not deprive yourself of it, as long as it fits into your budget... Sixth, look at what really gives you peace, love and joy. You may think that the cup of coffee brings you peace, love and joy. However, it may be the few minutes of peace that you spend before going to work. Instead of buying a cup of coffee and reading the paper for your few minutes of peace, you may be able to get the same experience by sitting out on your deck. We sometimes think that the material object we buy brings us peace, love and joy versus the experience itself.