Saturday, April 11

Blog Directory Updates

Grokodile BlogIt has been quite a while since I've mentioned Grokodile. This is the blog directory that I've been slowly working on over the last couple of years.

Anyway, since I have recently started to participate on Twitter I've found that it can be very useful for discovering useful information. For example, if you follow TechCrunch you'll be kept up to date on what is happening the tech community.

I've added a local twist to this when integrating Twitter into Grokodile.

First, you can add your Twitter ID to your Grokodile entry. People viewing your community can follow your tweets in a few simple clicks. Second, in each community that has people who have identified themselves as being local, there will be a short list of local tweople in the sidebar. For example, take a look at Toronto.

Perhaps the best example I can think of for why this is useful involves traveling. This makes it easy to find local blogs and tweople so that you can talk to real people about places to stay and things to do.

I've added a post about this to the Grokodile blog as well. Please let me know if you have any ideas how I can make the directory more useful -- as I know a plain old directory isn't that exciting anymore.

P.S. Yes, entrepreneurial pursuits are related to personal finance issues... ;)

Saturday, April 4

Frugality vs Utility

Live a little!While a lot of us would agree that frugality is good, and a lot of people need to be frugal during periods of economic risk, there are still good reasons to spend a little bit more than you absolutely have to.

I'm talking about utility. What is the value of the item that you purchase? What is it going to contribute to your lifestyle?

Here are some examples to consider:

Purchase Alternatives

TunaNo Name: Save two or three cents per can. Pungent odor.Brand: Costs a few extra cents. Normal odor.
TableSkip It: No workspace. Continue to use coffee table. Inconvenient.Buy It: Convenient workspace. Extends budget.
TiresAll Season: Save money on winter tires. Less traction. Mediocre on snow. Risk.Snow Tires: Significant expense. Great on snow and ice. Safety.
BoozeAbstain: Save money. Deal with life au naturel.Drink Responsibly: Costs money. Relaxing. Promote enjoyable conversations.
VitaminsSkip It: Eat healty food. Save money. Miss potential benefits.Buy It: Additional nutrients and antioxidants. Potential health benefits.

If you can't unclench the wallet (thought I was going to say something else?) and appreciate some added utility from time to time then maybe you are letting frugality get the best of you. I know my frugal nature was born of hard times, but when those times pass you have to take the foot off the brakes and start to think about utility, value for money and even enjoyment of life. I've seen this problem in myself and I've seen it in some of the visitors to my blog.

I'm not advocating wastefulness, but at the same time we aren't here on the planet to spend as little as absolutely possible during our stay. Nobody is going to give you a prize at the end for being too cheap to enjoy life.