Weekly Round-Up: Big Changes Ahead

I’ve been doing much thinking, about my life, about this blog, and about the world in general.  I suppose this is what you do when you reach a turning point in your life, much like I have; in just over the past month and a half, I have gotten married, found out my wife is pregnant, had a seizure that will greatly affect my life from this point on, and gotten within one month of my last day of classes to complete my Master’s degree.  By the time this year is over, I will be a father, a graduate school graduate, a (hopefully) gainfully employed chemist, and loving husband.  In short, nothing will be the same for me (not that things ever really stay the same, I suppose, but you get my point).

With all of this going on, I’ve barely had a chance to stop and think., as I’ve tried to figure out how to spend the rest of my life.  I realize that I’m not going to be able to plot out the rest of my life right this moment, but there are some things I’ve been meaning to change for a long time, and these events could be just what I need to get up and actually do them.

More than a few of these changes are going to occur right on this very blog.  With how much time and effort I put into making things flow around here, if I’m going to change my life for the better, my blog will have to change with me.

If you’re a regular reader and are starting to think I’m planning to quit, or at least severely cut down how many articles I publish, don’t worry, I have no intention of stopping my blogging work; I have too much fun sharing these posts with everyone, after all.  But over the next month or two, there will likely be more than a few changes, from the strictly cosmetic to the functional (one thing I’ve been meaning to do is speed up how quickly my blog loads for everyone, myself included).  You might even see a few new staff members, as I try to put some of the effort required to keep this blog running (and build it into a substantial site) onto other, more experienced shoulders.  Still, if there’s one thing you can count on, it’s that I’ll keep spending all the time I am able writing these posts, and sharing some of the other great posts from around the web, such as:

Good Yakezie Posts

 The Act of Writing and Saying What We Don’t Understand – Given that I’m a biochemist, not an economist or financial adviser, I sometimes wonder if I’ve picked the right area to cover with my blog.  In this Yakezie.com post, the Financial Samurai discusses whether those people who aren’t experts  in the areas they’re discussing should, well, actually discuss it.  There’s lots of interesting discussion (check it out; my response is long enough to be a post itself).

My Cola Taste Test: Is Coke Really Better Than Pepsi?Len Penzo is always an entertaining writer, and never more so than when he puts common products to the test.  Here, he and some family members test cola products to see which one is deserving of the title ‘best cola’.  (Hint: It’s not Coke…)

Baby Proofing the House – With a baby of my own on the way, Sondra and I will need to get the house in appropriate baby shape sooner rather than later.  Elle of Couple Money shares some of the things she and her hubby are doing to get their place in order.

How Reading My Mail Saved Me $1,566.87 – Joe Plemon of Personal Finance By The Book shares an incident where his insurance company tried to raise his rates using a plain envelope letter of notification.  A good reminder to always open your letters, even the seemingly innocuous ones.

Why Car Loans Are Making You Poor – While ‘poor’ is probably an overstatement, car loans definitely don’t help your bottom line, and as Derek of Life And My Finances points out, taking out car loans (or worse yet, leases) can end up hurting your finances more than you know.

Is Annual Credit Report a Scam? – Short version: no, you’re thinking of FREECreditReport.com (Yes, I know their jingles are catchy, that doesn’t make them any more trustworthy).  For the longer version, check out this article from Tim of Faith and Finance.

Cut Out That Middleman!  Buying Local Saves You Money – Probably not too much of a surprise to most of my readers, but the fewer people who take possession of a good between its initial production and your final use, the less you will end up paying.  Here, 101 Centavos shares an example of this from Greece, involving potatoes and people trying to avoid a 450% markup.

Where the Amateur Financier Was Featured

The always fun and increasingly large Yakezie Carnival, hosted this week by Khaleef of Faithful with a Few, hosted my article discussing how much information you should share.

My post on Celebrating the End of Tax Season (which I’m sure most people spent much of last week doing) was included in the Totally Money Blog Carnival hosted by My Personal Finance Journey.

My review of The Psychology of Wealth was included in the Carnival of Wealth: Adopt-A-Pet Edition hosted by Control Your Cash, who also attempted to summarize my summary (with interesting results).

Speaking of book reviews, the Carnival of Financial Camaraderie #30, hosted by My University Money, included my review of Eat That Frog! (still one of the oddest titled books I’ve ever read).

My discussion of whether you should set some money aside for your children’s education was included in the Carnival of Financial Simplicity – The Journey, which is a very impressive title, that was hosted by Kim of Money and Risk.

As part of my attempt to catch up on all the carnivals I missed in the past several months, here is the Yakezie Carnival – Mighty Ducks Edition hosted by 20’s Finances, featuring my article Mixed Bag Monday – Reaching Retirement

Alright, that’s it for this week; here’s hoping everyone has a wonderful week, and if you make any big changes yourself, that they are all for the good.

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