Don’t be too surprised that financial writers don’t follow all of their own advice

Horror of horrors–a financial writer confessed to Lifehacker that he or she doesn’t track every penny of every expense. The hypocrisy!

Not really. There are two things you need to understand: The end goal, and how to get there. The end goal of every financial writer is to get people living within their means. The majority of their advice are ways to get to that goal. If they’re already at that goal, then they’ve outgrown some of their own advice.

So if they don’t follow all of their own advice, that could be a positive sign.

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Don’t build a drill press out of PVC pipe

This past weekend, Lifehacker posted instructions for building a makeshift drill press out of PVC pipe. Although the finished contraption looks kind of cool, it’s not something you want to build yourself.

My drill press cost me $40. It’s far better and far safer, even though it’s still possible to injure yourself with it. But structurally it’s as sound as it gets, and acquiring it didn’t take me all weekend, either. Read more

How we learn

An article on Lifehacker this week explained a lot about how I initially became a computer professional. Its advice was to fly by the seat of your pants, try things without guidance or manuals, not be afraid to fail occasionally, and learn before you go to sleep.

So when I spent many nights in my late teens disassembling and reassembling obsolete IBM PC/XT clones to learn how they worked, I was unwittingly doing all of it right.

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Two simple ways to increase your credit score

Two simple ways to increase your credit score

I have a friend who makes more money than me, has no debt except for a small mortgage, and his credit score is 150 points lower than mine. By becoming more like me, you can increase your credit score.

The key difference between us is that he puts a couple thousand into a checking account at the first of every month and pays for everything with a debit card. I do the same thing, but use a credit card, and pay the credit card off at the end of the month.

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