thLately it’s been all about holiday shopping, both here and elsewhere. Thank goodness the holidays are almost over.

Here’s my favorite gift suggestion: Breathing room.

Christmas gifts that keep on giving,” my recent post at Get Rich Slowly, suggests presents that can free up money in someone’s budget.


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thA recent study from the NerdWallet consumer blog — love that name — indicates that men still pick up the tab way too automatically.

(Yes, I’m aware that men still tend to out-earn women; I’ll address that in a minute)

But seriously? I thought this kind of thing was supposed to have gone out after the 1970s:

77.4 percent of those surveyed thought men should pay for the first date.

Even in a relationship, 56.1 percent of men still pay for date nights.

Almost 40 percent of men cover all household bills; just 14.3 percent of women do.

Remind me: In which century are we living? I just don’t see how this is fair.


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thA blog post over at Get Rich Slowly asks readers which cooking  utensils/equipment they couldn’t live without. “In the kitchen: When less is more” posits that plenty of the things marketed as necessities end up as just so much culinary clutter.

“How much do you need to have a working kitchen?” asks writer Lisa Aberle.

Good question.

My comment on the post became pretty lengthy – so lengthy, in fact, that I realized I feel pretty strongly about the subject. While I understand that foodies and gadgeteers love their avocado slicers and their cheese straighteners*, I’d like to point out that:

  • More isn’t necessarily better, and
  • Specialization is the last refuge of marketers.

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swagcodeOn Thursday, March 6, the Swagbucks rewards program is offering a “Solar Vortex” Swag Code Extravaganza – and from now until April 5 new Swagbucks members have the chance to earn a 500-point bonus.

From 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. PST the site will offer a sun-and-sand-themed giveaway of games and codes totaling 36 points. I’ll post any that I find on Surviving and Thriving’s Facebook page

Those of you who haven’t joined yet should consider joining through the above link, because it gives you a shot at that bonus. If you earn 1,500 Swag Bucks between now and April 19, you’ll automatically get 500 extra SBs.

Those 1,500 points can be earned through searching, watching video, shopping, answering surveys or any way you like. And the points can be used to buy gift cards, electronics or the various other items in the Swag Store. You can even donate them to charity if you like.


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thLast week I participated in a Tweetchat with Liz Weston, J.D. Roth, MP Dunleavey and other personal finance geeks. One of the questions was, “I’m in my 40s and just started saving. What advice would you give beginners to make the most and try to catch up?”

A flood of 140-character advice poured in, but J.D. Roth summed it up best of all: “The best thing when starting to save late in life is to just DO it. Don’t worry about lost time. Just save.”

Easier said than done, to be sure. But necessary nonetheless.


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