24 Zen Resources to Help You Work Less (and Do More), Indulge (in Healthy Ways), Save Money (Of Course), and Also De-Stress, Simplify, and Otherwise Zen Out

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In honor the upcoming holiday weekend honoring work, here’s a roundup with a heaping share of tips celebrating the concept of working less and relaxing more.
5 upgrades that waste your money. For instance, per an Alpha Consumer post: Paying for a warehouse membership fee in order to buy stuff at prices that are (sometimes) cheaper than at other stores. Why doesn’t always this make financial sense?

According to research from Harvard Business School, shoppers are likely to buy more than they would otherwise (including massive amounts of pasta or toilet paper) when shopping at stores that charge a membership fee because they believe they are saving money. Not only might shoppers end up with more macaroni than they could ever eat, but in some cases, the authors point out, products may be no cheaper than at a local discount store, where you can shop for free.

5 reasons why buying a house is still smart. For instance, per a WalletPop post: Because paying the principal is forced savings in a investment that’s more tangible than stocks. But can’t you save even more by renting? Perhaps. A reality check:

Those who say renting is a better deal always point to the opportunity to take what you don’t spend on the house and put it in a savings account. How many people actually do that?

6 ways to save money on golf. For instance, per ThreeThriftyGuys: By booking tee times online—and on the cheap.

You can get some great deals by using golfnow.com. Since courses are looking to fill their tee time slots, they will offer “steals” to fill em – oftentimes, the last minute, the cheaper. Golfnow.com basically auctions these times off, to the public.

6 ways to fight the new generation of bank fees. For instance, per Mint.com (down at the bottom under “Ways to Fight Back”):

Consider switching to an online bank (which usually charge few or no fees) if you do not bank in person.

7 worthless excuses for not saving. For instance, per Liz Pulliam Weston: The idea that your savings won’t earn much interest nowadays, so why bother at all. Why isn’t this excuse valid?

When it comes to emergency savings, the interest rate you get is almost beside the point. What’s important is that the money is there, in a safe, accessible, liquid account, when you need it.

7 questions that make job interviewers cringe. For instance, per CareerBuilder (via cnn):

How many sick days do I get?
What goes through the interviewer’s mind when hearing this question? “We are in the business of developing leaders, not slouchers!” states Gary Rich, president of Rich Leadership, an executive coaching firm in New York City.

7 magazines that can help you save money. For instance, per Northern Cheapskate:

ReadyMade. This is the ultimate how-to magazine for the person who loves the idea of turning trash into treasure. Every issue inspires me.

8 ways to appreciate (and get the most out of) employees. For instance, per a USA Today column: By (duh) paying them well.

Employees don’t work well when they’re worried about how they’ll pay the rent or whether they’ll have a job next month. Job security, good pay, and decent benefits help make a much more productive staff.

9 steps to work less and do more. For instance, per a Simple Dollar review of [http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0312662610?tag=onejourney-20] Get-It-Done Guy’s new book: Stop procrastinating and get some part of what you need done done. Don’t waste time thinking about it or wondering what’s the sense of getting only half or a quarter of the work done. Just do it, and you’ll be on your way to accomplishing your goal (and then relaxing and having fun):

For every short-term and medium-term project you have going on (everything less than a few months down the road), perform an action related to that project every single day without fail.

9 ways to save on spas, gyms, beauty, and more. For instance, per a You’re So Money post:

Spa Week runs September 13-19 and again October 11-17: You can get spa treatments for a $50 flat rate at hundreds of spas around the country. Just visit the site, sign up for free and learn which spas nearest you are participating.

10 ‘vices’ that are good for you. For instance, per Health.com (via cnn): a daily fix of chocolate. Really? Apparently yes, though it’s obviously unhealthy to overdo it:

Dark chocolate and cocoa may help lower blood pressure, reduce the risk of stroke, and provide other cardiovascular benefits, multiple studies have shown.

10 characteristics of debt-free people. For instance, per Len Penzo:

They’re Patient
People who are debt-free didn’t get there because they were impulsive shoppers, or always looking for instant gratification. If the money for something wasn’t in the budget, then they saved their money and waited.

10 reasons for entrepreneurial success. For instance, per You’re the Boss:

Accept risk as a necessary evil. It makes for much less competition.

It also makes for the potential of going into debt, and considering successful entrepreneurs are known to act quickly when the moment is right, patience (see above) isn’t necessarily a virtue.

10 mistakes that start-up entrepreneurs make. For instance, per the WSJ: Not having a business plan. (Perhaps because they were too impatient to come up with one?)

10 ways to get fit for little or no money. For instance, per a guest post at LenPenzo: By buying a used bike.

We’re not talking about a high-class road bike or mountain bike here, just something inexpensive to get your heart pumping while riding on the streets of your town. You can also ask a friend if they have an old bike they might sell you or even give you. You may be able to find a bike at The Salvation Army or Goodwill too.

10 ways to get a discount on anything. For instance, per : By shopping (and haggling) during a store’s slow business hours.

Consumer Reports says that serious shoppers should learn to time their haggle in the evening or early hours when stores are usually less busy and so clerks have time to talk. “Late in the month, when salespeople are trying to meet their quotas, can be a good time to bargain for big-ticket items.”
11 tips to cut your grocery bills. For instance, per
SmartMoney: Hunting down the stashes of discounted, must-go goods.

Stores routinely discount baked goods, produce and meat by 50% or more as these items approach their sell-by date or become less attractive (think bruised apples or slightly stale bread).

13 (and counting) sites where you can make money. For instance, per a new Buxr wiki page:

millercoorspanel.com – Sign up to become a consumer research panel member. You will be offered surveys (usually 1-2 per week or less) and will get paid upon completion. The details of payment for each survey will come with the offers and you can choose which ones to participate in. Payments are sent 3-4 weeks after completion to home address.

13 tips in a brief guide to life. For instance, per Zen Habits:

less driving, more walking

22 savings tips. For instance, per a compilation in honor of National Coupon Month:

What´s Old is New: Organize a book, movie or toy swap within your circle of friends or at your child´s school.

30 days of savings tips. For instance, per ilovecouponmonth.com: advice on strategically combining sales with coupons.

Master couponers, those folks who make the news when they score two carts of groceries for $8.75, always wait for an item to go on sale before parting with the coupon.

33 fabulous freebies, 2010 edition. For instance, per Kiplinger: free computer protection.

Is your computer vulnerable? You can download malware-protection services available free online.

We recommend PC Magazine‘s Editor’s Choice: Panda Cloud Antivirus. Or try Microsoft’s Security Essentials, which PCWorld.com says renders subscription antivirus services unnecessary.

33 popular remodeling projects, and how much you can expect to recoup. For instance, per Remodeling Magazine: A minor kitchen remodel (average cost of about $21K), will add about $17K in resale value to your home, a 78% return on your investment.

116 worst speed traps in North America. For instance, per the National Motorists Association (hat tip to Consumerist: Jacksonville is the city with the most reported speed traps in Florida, while Boca Raton has the most reported speed traps in the state for an area with a population under 100,000.