This and That: Money Edition

Need to waste some time on the internet? I’m here to serve.

With the economy on the skids people are thinking a lot more about money, and tax time is approaching fast. So even though this is an art blog several of the items below relate to money and finances. Hey, why not?

The Credit Crisis VisualizedThis brief 11-minute animated film does a great job of explaining how we got into the financial mess we are in.

Now That’s A Business Card — Check out this sampling of 60 very creative and very stunning business cards.

10 Tips to the Perfect Portfolio WebsiteWorth reading. How does your website stack up?

15 Key Elements Every Website Should HaveMore tips for designing the perfect website.

25 Useful Financial Rules of ThumbHere’s some great tips to keep in mind after you bring home the bacon.

50 Tips for Do-It-Yourself Savings Around the HouseMore good advice on pinching pennies.

How to Handle Tightwads and Charge What You’re Worth — It feels great when you save money, but not so great when clients get cheap on you. Here’s some great advice on handling tightwad clients.

NEA Should Spread the Wealth — I’m highly skeptical of the idea that the government should be spending money on the arts, but for those of you who feel otherwise this idea seems to me like it would be a great way for the government to promote the arts while also saving money or even profiting from it.

Drawing Facial Hair another great tutorial from Tom Richmond.

Sketchbook Pro 2010 — My friend Robbie Halvorson sent me a heads-up about Sketchbook Pro 2010, the newest release of the popular drawing/sketching software (due out in April). I’ve never used Sketchbook Pro but have heard so many people rave about it that I’m thinking seriously of giving it a go.

Smart Money Blogs

One of the drawbacks of freelancing is the financial insecurity. Your income can vary wildly from month to month. You may have to wait a long time between paychecks while the bills continue to arrive with military efficiency. I’ve been bucking this wild financial roller coaster for eleven years now, and it never gets any easier. But it has one big advantage: freelancing has forced me to be more responsible and organized with my finances than I otherwise would be.

I’ve never studied finance and, like most Americans, I graduated from college knowing absolutely nothing about money. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a hedge fund and hedge clippers. Like most artists, when I heard the word “finances” I turned pale and developed a nervous twitch.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Learning about money doesn’t have to be intimidating or confusing. In fact, if the material is presented properly it can even be fun.

I’ve recently started reading a few blogs about money that have taken a lot of the fear out of finances for me. For the most part they are written for laymen, and because they are blogs the information comes in short, manageable chunks. Best of all, these blogs are full practical tips and insights into how to stretch my dollar farther so I can be smarter with my money.

If you’d like help in learning about how to better handle your money, give these blogs a try:

No Credit Needed – a blog about reducing your debts.

Get Rich Slowly – Build wealth the old-fashioned way, by being smart and being patient.

Money $mart Life – Interesting tidbits and practical tips.

A Penny Saved – This blog has a regular feature I like called “Carnival of Personal Finance”. Each “Carnival” post lists dozens of interesting links about various financial  topics.