I’ve rearranged my dining room to function as a small photography studio. I haven’t had much time, but this metamorphosis should give me more opportunities to practice photography. Since this might involve people visiting my home, I finally stopped procrastinating and called a maid service. Upon some recommendations, I found a local office of Maids.com. They will be sending over a four-person team tomorrow, which also forces me to organize my living space a little bit more today.
The service is a little more expensive than I expected. After tomorrow, though, I’ll have a good indication of whether it will be worthwhile to have a regular cleaning schedule.
Part of the reason for my procrastination is the idea that I should be able to clean the apartment myself, but in reality, I just don’t do it well enough. I have no problem calling in the professionals — and paying for it — as long as they perform better than I would, save me time, and have an affordable service.
Here are some interesting articles I’ve enjoyed recently.
Four Expenses You Must Negotiate. This list by Miranda Marquit includes medical bills. This is one type of negotiation I have not tried — mostly because almost all of my medical bills are simply handled by my insurance company and I have had very few out-of-pocket expenses. The Health Care Blue Book allows people to search for the average price of any medical procedure in the local area, which might be able to help with negotiation the same way the Kelley Blue Book can often aid with car price negotiation.
Will Mac OS X Lion Kill Quicken 2007? Nickel points out that the newest version of the Apple computer operating system will prevent Mac users from running Quicken 2007, the last full version of Quicken for Mac. Quicken Essentials for Mac was released more recently, but the software is missing many features that many Quicken users have come to rely upon. Nickel is looking for replacement software to avoid working around the problem using Parallels, but I think he’ll be disappointed. Without Microsoft Money being developed, there is no serious alternative for those who use the deepest features of Quicken.
How Much Should You Spend on Self-Improvement? J.D. asks his readers this question. Self-improvement is an important piece of living a satisfied life. It is valuable to evaluate yourself and decide what needs to be changed to be the “ideal you.” I think most of self-improvement is based on gimmicky motivational programs. I will spend money for classes to improve my skills, like in photography, but I will not spend money for seminars to improve my sense of self or my productivity.
Here are some carnivals Consumerism Commentary participated in recently: Carnival of Personal Finance #297, Carnival of Personal Finance #298, Festival of Stocks Carnival of Money Stories #94, Totally Money Blog Carnival, Festival of Frugality, and Tax Carnival #82.