I am sitting here, having a relaxing weekend after an exciting week.
Have I mentioned that at the beginning of January this year I took on new responsibilities at work?
Universities today are keen on management, efficiency and performance measurement. Perversely, the effects of this are that efficiency is killing effectiveness and the focus on performance is hindering achievement.
As to management, I believe any willing academic manager knows little about universities or management.
I am the un-willing kind. It took my colleagues a good four months to convince me to become the Head of four departments (yes we are so big we need layers of ‘leadership’).
People still congratulate me on my new job.
I don’t see it like that.
I see it as a position of service, as my chance to make a difference and mobilise my colleague to make academic life a bit more meaningful, useful and enjoyable for all concerned – staff, students and research partners.
Some may call me idealistic and naïve. I’ve never had a problem with realistic idealism and I’d rather be naïve than jaded.
Long story short, the job goes with a large office. Huge. Take a look:
Last week I moved into my new office. Who said that good girls don’t get the corner office? What I’d like to do is get some new white office furniture to replace the faux wood and make everything match up, giving it a really nice modern look.
Enough about that. Now let me tell you about some great articles I’ve been reading.
I’d like to start with the relative newcomer, Mister Squirrel. I’ve been reading this blog for several weeks now and what I find impressive is how different and fresh this blog is. Don’t believe me? Have a look at his latest article that uses Maslow’s hierarchy of needs to summarise the stages of personal finance. I don’t think much of Maslow (never did) but I did like what Mister Squirrel has done with high hierarchy. Go check it out! Even if you don’t agree with it, you’ll get some ideas.
Another blog I’ve been enjoying lately is the SkintDad. Now any guy who stays at home to look after his three daughters has my attention. Apart from that, Ricky is the smartest shopper in the UK (he has an award to show for it) and he is creating a wonderful blog. SkintDad looks good, reads like a fairy tale and offers many sensible and practical examples of how to make your money go further. Check out some of Ricky’s Fakeaways! Now there is a frugal artist if I ever knew one.
Couple of days ago I read the amazing story of fellow personal finance blogger Neal Frankle. Neal blogs at TheWealthPilgrim and I’ve read his blog for at least couple of years now; I have been reading about pensions, investing and building wealth. What I missed is the wonderful, smart and resourceful person behind the blog. Read Neal’s story here and we’ll talk about opportunities again.
When we think about opportunities we tend to think about saying ‘yes’. Jackie Beck from MoneyCrush published a post about the power of ‘no’. I agree with what she said: learning to say ‘no’ is about being selective of what we do and thinking about consequences. Apart from that, saying ‘yes’ to everything all the time is the way to disappoint all concerned.
Now, let me tell you about the adventures of The Money Principle around the vast blogosphere.
My friend Graham from the Moneystepper dropped me an e-mail saying that he’s read my ‘About’ page many times and he still can’t figure out how we paid so much debt in so little time. So, I told him how we did it in an interview that he published on his blog: reading it again, I particularly like the way I said it feels to become debt free. What to check it out?
Jackie Beck from TheDebtMyth asked me a similar question; so I wrote a guest post for her site. I did talk about the five conditions for paying off debt; I also mentioned that debt doesn’t feel like running a marathon, it feels like being on a steep mountain and feeling sick with vertigo. At least this is how I felt at first.
I was also invited to write a post for DebtFreeDirect. Can you guess what the post is about? Yes, paying off debt. It is a post with a difference, though, and if you’d like to know how ‘you can’t go wrong with the ERR strategy’ go read it. You can also tell others about it and leave some feedback while you are at it (gosh, I’m getting bold; of course, you don’t have to do any of these things).
Last but not least, I was very brave…or foolish; I’d leave this one for you to judge. Couple of weeks ago I submitted one of the posts I wrote for The Money Principle for critique to the Writing Clinic on DailyBlogTips. You can read the comments if you’d like: the verdict is that I can write great posts but need to stop ignoring the indefinite articles. Editing more will do my work good as well. Still, very pleased I did it: it is enough that after ‘Maria Nedeva’s post’ is Firepole Marketing. Anchoring, my friends, anchoring…
The Money Principle hosted two personal finance carnivals and was included in the following:
Carnival of Retirement at Your PF Pro
Lifestyle Carnival at PF Carny
Fin. Carn. for Young Adults at Lisa Vs. The Loans
Carn. of Fin. Camaraderie at Save and Conquer
Yakezie Carnival at Personal Finance Utopia
Carn of MoneyPros at Money Pros
Carn. of Fin. Camaraderie at Tuition Assist
Carnival of Retirement at Finance with Reason
Lifestyle Carnival at Prepping Is Sexy
Carn of MoneyPros at Money Pros
Fin. Carn. for Young Adults at Debt Free Tejana
Thanks to all who hosted and included our posts.
This is it for today, my friends; speak soon.