Happy holidays! If you’re like me, you are probably thankful that the holiday shopping season is coming to a close. Yes, after Christmas there are some sales that can’t be ignored: if you buy Christmas-related items, now is the time to find them for 50% to 90% off their regular prices. And as stores try to eliminate their inventory in preparation of 2010, you can find sales just about everywhere you look.
I think I’m done spending for the year.
Here are a few articles worth reading this weekend:
Save Money By Buying Sale Items in Bulk. Buying sale items at the grocery store in bulk can often save more money than buying bulk packaging at warehouse stores but will almost always save money than buying only what you need for the coming week. If you have storage space for non-perishable items and an extra refrigerator and freezer, this savings technique works to your advantage.
Having extra storage space is a luxury that not everyone has available; living in a studio apartment in a city or renting a tiny apartment for a large family, space is a commodity. In this instance, the best savings opportunities are available for those who need them less, while those earning just enough money to survive or living in poorer conditions won’t be able to take advantage.
The U.S. Economy Needs More Nerds. This article mentions an interesting distinction: while the group of people who understand how technology is used seems to get younger and younger, like middle school students who can text faster than adults and high schools kids who can configure your wireless internet settings perfectly, there is actually less technology-related education in schools. Increasingly, students are learning how to use technology but not how to control it. Computer programming skills are in demand but fewer high schools are teaching computer science.
The article also points out the country needs more “cool nerds,” those with the computer science skills and the ability to apply those skills beyond the technology itself. Here is someone MSN cites as a “cool nerd:”
Kira Lehtomaki, 27, was an artist who loved animated film. She studied computer graphics in college and graduated with a degree in computer science. She’s now an animator at Walt Disney Animation studios, working on “Rapunzel.” Lehtomaki says her computer science education is an asset every day, less for specific technical skills than for what she learned about analytical thinking. “Computer science taught me how to think about things, how to break down and solve complex problems,” she told the Times.
Diamond Engagement Rings: Bling Bling! Here is an in-depth discussion of the concept of diamond engagement rings. It’s a shame that a marketing campaign created by DeBeers, a company that claims “DeBeers is diamonds,” has affected millions of women worldwide to believe that a diamond is a symbol of love, and that the clearer and bigger that diamond is, the stronger that love. This demand and perceived value has turned the diamond industry into what it is today, taking a fairly common stone and turning it into the product that a man must buy if he would like his girlfriend to stay with him forever.
Of course, not every woman in the developed world shares this need, but the concept has certainly permeated culture.
Updated February 10, 2011 and originally published December 26, 2009.