Thursday, March 29, 2007

Going On Hiatus

I just wanted to let you all know that Money and Values is going on a temporary hiatus. I haven't been producing either the quantity or quality of posts here recently that I'm capable of and that you as readers deserve. It's a combination of moving halfway across the country and some other personal issues, so I expect it to be temporary, but in the meantime I figured I should make things official so that y'all don't have to keep checking back and wondering where the heck the posts are and why on earth I've become so flaky.

Like I said, I don't expect this to be a long break, probably just a month or two, just until I have a little more time and some refreshed creativity (stress and panic about "oh goodness I haven't posted in a week and what can I write about and when will I have a few minutes to do it?" is not conducive to quality thinking or writing.) If you don't want to keep checking in to see when I'm back, you should sign up on FeedBlitz to get my posts by e-mail (or add my feed to your favorite reader):

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I'll still be administering the Carnival of Ethics, Values, and Personal Finance, and you can still definitely e-mail me to sign up to host, or leave a comment (they go through to my e-mail so I'll still see it right away.)

Thanks, all, for bearing with me, and I hope you'll stick it out and come back when I'm back. In the meantime please visit all the awesome blogs I have linked on my sidebar, keep checking out the Carnival of Ethics, Values, and Personal Finance, and dig around through my old posts
(some highlights, tagged with "money and values", tagged with "frugality")!

Check out the new Carnival of Ethics, Values and Personal Finance!

The sixth edition is up at The Weight of Money, so go visit and check out all the great submissions!   Use this link to submit for next time, and leave me a comment or send me an e-mail if you'd like to sign up to host...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Time to submit to the Carnival of EV&PF!

Last chance to submit to the Carnival of Ethics, Values and Personal Finance! It's going up on Thursday at The Weight of Money, so use this form to get your posts to Donna Jean before 5pm tomorrow (Wednesday).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

One Year of Money and Values!

Has it really been a whole year since I started Money and Values? It doesn't feel like it, but the calendar doesn't lie. I have really enjoyed my first year of blogging. It's been fun and thought-provoking to research, ponder, and write about so many different topics. I've gotten terrific comments from so many people. I'm so glad we've gotten the Carnival of Ethics, Values, and Personal Finance up and running. I love that many of my posts on topics I care about show up high in search engine results. And although I know it's small potatoes to most bloggers, I'm so excited and honored to have had almost 30,000 visitors in the past year-- thank you for being part of that!

Here are some of my favorite posts from the last year...

On Money and Values issues:

  • Community Development Banking what it is and why I love it!
  • Locally-Owned Business vs. Corporate Chains the laundry list of why I try to avoid shopping at chains
  • All about fair trade just what it sounds like-- chock full of info and links
  • Eating Less or No Meat the many many reasons I think being vegetarian is a good move
  • Socially responsible investing/socially conscious personal finances:
  • What is Socially Responsible Investing (and banking) all about?
  • Guide to SRI options
  • The diverse motivations for socially conscious financial decisions
  • Tough questions... and (my) answers
  • Socially Conscious Finances: Spotlight on GLBT what companies to patronize to support fairness and justice for GLBT people
  • followup: Why GLBT-friendly policies are smart for businesses and investors
  • Picking money over time-- are we working too much? this societal trend is pretty damaging, in my opinion... take back your time!

  • Work, Retirement, and Financial Independence retiring early/financial independance-- how does it fit with my values?
  • Save for tomorrow or live for today? how do you balance the present and the future?
  • Salary negotiations and the gender gap I'll add to this series soon, really!

  • Frugal tips and ideas:
  • Cable TV for -$7
  • Frugal Vacations ...and Free Souvenirs
  • Gas mileage tips for cheaper road trips
  • Tips for choosing and using frequent flyer programs
  • How to Enjoy Baseball Games Cheaply
  • Could you walk (or bike) to more places?
  • Fight restaurant cravings by making restaurant meals at home
  • Slay your energy vampires
  • Friday, March 16, 2007

    The Carnival's Up!

    The Carnival of Ethics, Values, and Personal Finance is up at Stingy Students, so hurry over to check out this fortnight's offerings. The next edition will be hosted in two weeks at The Weight of Money. Submit here!

    Thursday, March 15, 2007

    Updates About Me

    I've just passed the one year anniversary of Money and Values-- my first post was March 13, 2006-- and I'm planning a proper anniversary post soon, hopefully tomorrow. But first, a couple bits of information. I've concealed the exact date of some changes for reasons of anonymity (which in retrospect seems a little unnecessary; I mostly just don't want this page to be searchable based on my real name), but now seems like as good a time as any to mention them.

    The first is pretty obvious. When I started this blog a year ago, I was 24. Sometime in the last year, I turned 25.

    The other? I recently moved from Chicago to Washington, DC. I won't mention the specific date, but suffice it to say that it at least partially explains my difficulty in posting as frequently over the last few months as I was previously.

    So what's new with you?

    Wednesday, March 14, 2007

    Submit to the Carnival of Ethics, Values, and Personal Finance!

    The next edition Carnival of Ethics, Values, and Personal Finance will be up tomorrow, so get your submissions in today!  It will be hosted at Stingy Students

    Saturday, March 10, 2007

    Financial/Net Worth Update

    Well, this time it's only been two months in-between instead of three... that's progress, right?

    Savings = $31,210 (up $972 or 3.2% since January 5th)
    Retirement = $17,594 (up $1,437 or 8.9%)
    Debt = $13,045 (down $600 or 4.4%)
    Net worth = $35,759 (up $3,009 or 9.2%)

    Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    Ethics and the extra-person charge at hotels

    Vacation costs, even for frugal vacations, add up. One way I'm often tempted to save money is by sneaking around the extra-person charge at hotels. It's not like it's hard to convince the hotel staff you have one person when you really have two.

    On the one hand, it would save $5-$10 or sometimes more a night.

    On the other hand, it involves flat-out lying and unambigious deceit.

    But is it actually hurting the hotel? Does it really cost them any more to have two people in a room instead of one? An extra towel to launder? A little more toilet paper to replace? I'm inclined to think their extra expenses are measurable in pennies, if there even are any. (If anyone knows something I'm missing here, let me know.)

    Yet even if their policies are a rip-off, even if sneaking in an extra person doesn't cost them anything, isn't it unethical to save money by breaking the rules?

    In the end, I've never been personally comfortable looking the hotel staff in the eye and saying "It's only me tonight" when that's not true. But I often think about it a heck of a lot.

    How about you? Do any of you sometimes (or always) try to get around the extra-person charge? Do you think about it? Or is it something you'd never consider? Do you think it's totally unethical, perfectly fine, or something inbetween?

    Tuesday, March 06, 2007

    I'm back; go visit the Ethics, Values & Personal Finance Week!

    I'm back! The vacation was wonderful, a great mix of fun, sun, and much-needed relaxation, but alas, it is over.

    All sorts of interesting things have happened on while I was gone-- the start of the Free Money Finance March Madness tournament, for one-- but my favorite is the Ethics, Values & Personal Finance Week at Grad Money [Matters]. ISPF interviewed a whole bunch of personal finance bloggers, asking some fantastic questions and getting all sorts of interesting and wide-ranging answers, and then presented a great edition of the Carnival of Ethics, Values, & Personal Finance (complete with Calvin and Hobbes!) Some of my favorite posts from the Carnival are Tempus Fugit: Less Time With The Family?, Environmental Ethics: Corporate Culture and Giving on the street (including the comments).

    Still catching up on things that piled up while I was away... I'll have more for you tomorrow!