Essays

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Nature Exploration in Winter Edition

Suddenly, my three year old son is very interested in nature and the outdoors. He’s started noticing tons of things outside (even in the Iowa winter) and has started requesting that we watch nature documentaries when we watch television, instead of his usual previous standbys of various PBS shows.

This makes me even more anxious for spring. I simply can’t wait for a nice spring day when I can take my kids (both my son and my one year old daughter) out into the woods to wander around and discover whatever we may find.

We’ve gone outside a bit during the winter, but with literally feet of snow on the ground here and a temperature that’s rarely above 20 degrees or so, exploration is limited for a three year old.

Our solution? So far, it’s revolved around nature documentaries. We’ve been DVRing a few nature-oriented series, and we’re thinking of picking up a copy of the BBC’s Planet Earth documentary series and watching them together. It’s not an ideal substitute for outdoor exploration, but when the snow outside is almost as tall as he is and the temperature rarely breaks above twenty degrees, we’ll do what we can to keep him interested.

As always, any suggestions are welcomed.

Six Options If You’re Underwater in Your Mortgage I’ve actually considered a post like this, considering I’ve sent a list much like this one to several people who have written in. (@ wise bread)

Positives from Downsizing Our Home Most people want to upgrade their homes to something larger. Matt found great joy in downsizing – it saves money and needs less maintenance, providing more “life space” for other pursuits. I’d like to … “go sideways” with our home. The square footage is right, I think, but I’d really like to rearrange the rooms. (@ unclutterer)

5 Credit Card Company Tricks — and How to Thwart Them If you’re struggling with your credit cards, this is an excellent post to read – it’s got a lot of insights into how credit card companies manipulate people. (@ get rich slowly)

15 Uses for Coffee Filters We have a big pile of coffee filters that rarely get used – they’re for the big coffee pot that we only get out when there are guests (my wife drinks coffee, I do not – so we use a tiny pot most of the time). Most of these ideas are great uses for those filters that are just sitting there gathering dust. (@ gather little by little)

Depression, Here It Comes I thought I’d link to an article by someone who is predicting that the economy gets much, much worse before it gets better – a very different perspective than my own. (@ first million at 33)