Time for our monthly link love once again! Spring is upon us in Canada and the world around us is greening. I have enjoyed seeing wildlife return from the winter slumber – butterflies, a lot of different birds, squirrels and even the local cats are out and about more often. There were also a lot of great posts I enjoyed that touch on all things green and/or sustainable.
The format is the standard I like to do: 12 great reads, 3 editor picks and 1 editor choice (my favourite from the last month).
- Kevin @ Thousandaire attended a heckuva bachelor party recently. Thing is, Kevin doesn’t drink but he does weigh in on the costs of bachelor party drinking in a recent article. A while back I covered groomsman wedding expenses so Kevin’s post brought back some fuzzy memories. One of the groomsmen in my wedding bought a case of beer – thing is, it was $3 per beer so he paid out $75 for a case! Ouch.
- I am always interested in ETF analysis and when a comparison between products is done, even better! Canadian Couch Potato took a look at ING’s Streetwise Fund versus the TD E-Series. Nice to have a great analysis by one of my favourite sites.
- I love the power of blogging. Common Cents Mom was having an awful time getting a health card for her daughter who needed one ASAP. SO CCM wrote about it on her site and the Ministry of Health actually visited her site which ultimately led to the delivery of a health card! Awesome!
- Our friend Miss T looks at how to choose an ethical/green financial planner. While I don’t think we’ll ever use a FP ourselves (disdain for fees) if we were to do so we would investigate those who have some experience, knowledge and passion for socially responsible investing.
- Speaking of SRI, Retire by 40 had a guest post on the topic with a focus on SRI index funds.
- Natural gas is cheap and abundant. The oil sands can make a big dent in our oil imports. Financial God wonders why environmentalist in North America are against oil and gas produced on this continent. I think the energy industry is making strides to clean up the extraction and refinement of these necessary resources while providing employment and wealth in North America. As long as improvements continue this “tree hugger” is OK with supporting advances in producing our own energy.
- I found another site that is sooo worth reading: Mr. Money Moustache. He is featured twice this month, the first article is Nearly Free Kids Toys that Keep on Giving. Reminds me of my childhood and a time when imagination trumped all.
- So much useful content at Canadian Doomer. This time CD shares with us some compact and moveable med kits that meet many needs for parents on the go. Why should you read Canadian Doomer? With posts like “Chickens Don’t Like Hammers” you have to be intrigued.
- Earth and Money (another new site I really enjoy!) is getting married and is trying to leave a small carbon imprint while also saving money (a green frugal wedding). The recent posts are about invitations and food. Weddings are expensive! Mrs. SPF wrote about our Sustainable Wedding last year.
- When lil’ SPF was born we decided that we would help him, if so required, with his post-secondary education costs. Canada has a great program where the government matches contributions up to $2500 with a 20% top up. Big Cajun Man put a bit of a damper on just how useful the RESP is when he points out that the RESP contributions will likely only cover tuition! For lil’ SPF, who is 17+ years away from college/university it might not even cover tuition. Still, 20% guaranteed return is awesome.
- Want to reduce clutter, move! Money Beagle is dead on with his advice. We got rid of a ton of clutter when we moved in 2010.
- A bit of a sad note, especially for Canadian readers who have been reading PF blogs for a number of years. Thicken My Wallet is hanging it up. He has been wrapping up the site in grand fashion. Most recently TMW had a round table of sorts with 2 of Canada’s predominant bloggers in the PF sphere, Preet from www.wheredoesallmymoneygo.com and Ram from www.canadiancapitalist.com. It is a long read loaded with great insight on PF and the blogging world (and how it has changed).
Time for the Editor Picks! There 3 sites produced some great content that I want to highlight. Enjoy!
EP3: Including Miss T and Earth and Money (see above) there are other awesome Green / Eco PF blogs out there. Sustainable Life Blog included us (and our pictures – eek!) in a neat post that highlighted sustainability bloggers including the Jabs’ husband and wife duo (Matt and Betsy) who write at Do It Yourself Natural. I had not discovered their post on homemade dishwasher detergent soap until they followed up with a FAQ article. If you are looking for how-to’s on living a sustainable lifestyle check out DIY Natural.
EP2: When doing my taxes, and in conversations with Miss T, I think I need a business number. On the to-do list. Thankfully Invest It Wisely just posted (as of this writing) a sweet guide on how to register a Canadian corporation. While this site is a small side business for us I think we would have benefited from incorporating in 2011 as for the first time in my life I paid a tax bill, and it wasn’t a tiny sum as we were taxed based on our marginal tax rate and not the 11% IIW tells us we could have paid! Ugh. But thanks for this resource IIW – this is going to the top of my to-do list.
EP1: Got my socks blown off recently. Financial Uproar wrote about something green! He ponders Why Don’t More People Get a Metal Roof? Asphalt is a petroleum based product that deteriorates very quickly when compared to roofing metals. 30 year shingles last 20-23 years. A metal room lasts 60+ years – easy. A metal roof makes so much sense financially with sustainability in mind. In my opinion, the value of your house goes up too.
Back to Mr. Money Moustache. He had a reader question (not sure we’ve had one yet …). The answer is epic and so thoughtful. MMM takes the time to share is opinion, backed up with numbers and insight, to help his reader figure out how to deal with job the reader’s wife has. Over 200 comments (wow!). We see a lot of stay at home mom (SAHM) articles, if you read PF or Mom blogs – but I really liked MMM’s approach to the topic. Refreshing.