What Sizzled the Week of February 15th?

It’s been a tough week, to say the least, with layoffs all around and packing for my upcoming move. I’ve noticed the tone of my blog turning a bit to unemployment, sadness, and recession. It’s not right to spread doom and gloom, so I intend to make a conscious move to add cheery and positive news and advice this week. We could all use a little pick-me-up.

In honor of President’s Day, I read a great post at Weakonomics detailing the history of the different bills that make up U.S. currency. At Shrinkage is Good, I discovered 25 things we like to waste our money on.

The debate of the week goes to Consumerism Commentary, posing a question on whether it’s ethical to walk away from a mortgage. The comments were enjoyable to read as they flooded my inbox at a feverish pace.

Other interesting posts included Frugal Dad’s ways to save at sporting events, and ways to save on TV at Get Rich Slowly. The Passive Dad posted on passive income strategies that turn out to be active. Speaking of passive income, I stumbled on the Smart Passive Income Blog this week and would recommend it as great reading if you’re thinking of working from home or generating new income streams.

Remember the old saying that a picture says 1,000 words? Two very cool graphics that caught my eye this week were both about money. The first, at Shrinkage is Good, shows an analysis of average U.S. consumer spending across a number of categories and metrics that proved very insightful. I found the cross-cut across age ranges the most interesting.¬† The second was a graphical breakdown of Obama’s stimulus package from the Washington Post, which made more sense than any article I’ve read to date about it. There’s just something about seeing the entire thing on one page.

In other news, saving account interest rates dropped again as base rates fall and banks tighten their budgets. Mint.com’s online personal finance system also started tracking assets recently, allowing users to input the value of their homes, cars, boats, art, and whatever else contributes to their asset value.

I’m looking forward to a productive week, and some great posts.