Blog Posts by Dory Devlin, Shine staff

  • Resolve to get your life in order in 2010

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesThe blank slate of a new year beckons, and the early days of a fresh year are rich with possibility --the kind that makes our rested selves believe surely this will be the year we organize our personal finances, get started on home projects, and take charge of our career.

    It is possible, especially if you focus on a few goals at a time, to get your life in order at work and at home as the new year begins. We've rounded up some of the wisest experts often found blogging on Yahoo! Shine about money, work, and home projects to help you get going.

    YOUR MONEY

    Dayana Yochim of The Motley Fool says getting organized about your money, how you spend it, and how you (hopefully) invest it starts with finding out where your money goes every month.

    - Follow the money
    Every budget starts with sniffing out your spending habits and determining exactly where your money goes on a day-to-day basis," Yochim says. Start with your debit card or if you use one credit card to pay most of

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  • Money lessons from 2009

    However distracting the people stories of the year may be, from the loss of Michael Jackson to the disappointing tales of philandering high-profile men and their betrayed wives, there was no escaping the fact that 2009 was a tough money year. Unemployment hit the double digits as the economy struggled to rebound from near ruin. Employment felt more tenuous than ever, and consumers were cautious, even learned to save again. In a curious turn of events, the financial industry appears to be doing very well, with billions in bonuses on the way for many execs on Wall Street. But for most of Americans, the last year of this decade provided lots of money lessons we need to remember long into the next decade.

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  • Do you shop local?

    Meg Ryan in the neighborhood bookstore in Meg Ryan in the neighborhood bookstore in Squeezing holiday shopping in between work, dinner-making, school concerts, school basketball practices and games, I have done my share of online buying, taking advantage of free shipping and scouting online coupon codes that knock off even more from the final tab.(Love finding more than one for one item!) But I never want to get out of the holiday season without buying some presents from local stores.

    I remembered why as I ducked into one of my favorite local bookstores, the one with the same group of women who have been working there since my first visit many years ago. The same store where you'll find little yellow slips of paper with mini-handwritten reviews of books peeking out of the pages, all written by those same women. It's the kind of place I knew I could ask for some ideas for books for my reluctant reader, my youngest who has reread all of the "Twilight" books and is sure she will never find another book she likes. Sure enough, before I knew it, I had seven books to

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  • What we talked about on Shine in 2009

    Oh, how we talked, supported, opined, criticized, kvetched, and sometimes agreed on Shine in 2009. Often, the big, everyone-is-affected stories like healthcare reform got you going, but more often it was the singular human stories that sparked long threads of conversation. Click through to recall some of the most talked-about topics on Shine this year.

  • What's in a (male) name? Apparently, more business, more money.

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesSadly, this is not surprising: Copyblogger (love that word, by the way) James Chartrand has written a compelling post revealing that he is not really named James and, in fact, is not a man. She took the male pen name as her struggling copywriting business was too-slowly getting off the ground to see what would happen. And, sure enough, what happened is more business began coming her way.

    With two daughters to care for on her own after the end of a relationship and after coming close to going on welfare, she went with the male side of her business which was bringing in more gigs and higher pay and unquestioned praise. Read Chartrand's post here for lots of reasons--it's a compelling story, and, yes, it's very well written.

    When she hung out James Chartrand's shingle on the Internet, here's what she writes happened:

    Instantly, jobs became easier to get.

    There was no haggling. There were compliments, there was respect. Clients hired me quickly, and when they received their work, they

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  • Jenny Sanford controls her story, announces she has filed for divorce

    AP Photo/Brett Flashnick: South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford, right, looks on as her husband Gov. Mark Sanford, takes a photo with guests at the Governor's Mansion in Columbia, S.C., during a Christmas Open House last week. Today, she filed for divorce.AP Photo/Brett Flashnick: South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford, right, looks on as her husband Gov. Mark Sanford, takes a photo with guests at the Governor's Mansion in Columbia, S.C., during a Christmas Open House last week. Today, she filed for divorce.From the start, all of us at Yahoo! Shine have been so impressed with how Jenny Sanford has handled the public spectacle her fake-Appalachian-Trail-hiking-governor husband has made of their marriage. Not only did she not stand by South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford when he made his bizarre mea culpa to the press and voters after he had disappeared for days to Argentina to be with his lover over Father's Day weekend, but she personally issued her own statement at the time. She made it clear that while she would work on reconciliation with her philandering husband, her dignity and her sons and how they are affected by their family crisis would come first.

    As the world has yet to hear from Elin Nordegren, who has been terribly and publicly betrayed by her husband, Tiger Woods, Jenny Sanford issued another statement today, announcing that she has filed for divorce before anyone else ran with the story first. Her move toward divorce proceedings comes after Gov. Sanford told the AP on Thursday

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  • Is a college degree worth the cost (and the debt)?

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesA glut of college degrees combined with tough economic times and a record-high 10.6-percent unemployment rate among college grads is causing many to ask whether a college degree is worth its crazy-fast-rising price tag.

    Since two-thirds of college kids leave school with debt (now averaging $23,000) at a time when even low-paying entry level jobs are hard to come by, it's a natural question to ask. College tuition continues to rise at a pace far exceeding salaries and just about everything else in our economy; it rose 6.5 percent this fall. Yet the percentage of kids seeking degrees is up substantially in the past 25 years--from 47 percent to 70 percent, according to this Time magazine article, "College Degree More Expensive, Worth Less in Job Market." Not the kind of a headline parents with kids working their way toward college want to see.

    And yet, the basic conclusion of the Time piece--despite its headline--is that a college degree is not worthless; you still need it to get in the

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  • Can we spend our way out of this recession?

    AP/President Barack Obama talking jobs at the Brookings Institution.AP/President Barack Obama talking jobs at the Brookings Institution.With unemployment hanging sadly at 10 percent (higher when you consider unemployed part-time workers and underemployed workers), President Barack Obama has unveiled his latest plan to keep the economic recovery on the move by focusing on investing in jobs. The president has recommended we take $200 billion in repaid loans to the financial industry (at least) and reinvest it in spending on highway and bridge construction and in small-business tax cuts to help boost employment.

    The thinking goes the more Americans employed building roads or working for small businesses, the more taxes get paid, the better our chances of paying down our $12 trillion deficit. The fact that we won't use the returned funds to start paying down the deficit sooner will not be welcome with many on Capitol Hill, but the president argues we need to "spend our way out of this recession" until more people are employed.

    To that end, the plan, which currently has no dollar figure attached to it yet and will need

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  • Poll: Is cash tops on your gift lists this year?

    Getty ImagesGetty ImagesCash is losing its impersonal sheen this holiday season, probably because just about everyone on everyone's list could use some extra green stuff.

    The Boston Globe reports that 44 percent of consumers say they plan to give cash for the holidays because of the tough economy, up from just under 42 percent last year, according to a Western Union survey. Money is on everyone's mind, and as NPD Group's chief retail analyst, Marshal Cohen, tells the Globe, cash is tops on many a list this year. "They would love the gift, but they need to pay off their grocery bill before they start worrying about a Polo shirt."

    Also a new trend this December: doorbuster deals at banks for high CD (certificates of deposit) rates. Banks and financial institutions are taking advantage of rising savings rates by offering attractive interest rates CDs and savings accounts to entice people to open accounts as gifts. A nice thought, indeed.

    Are you more inclined to gift cash gifts this year? And, though we know

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  • A daily dose of kitten cuteness

    This extremely cute kitten tummy-tickle video stopped our conference-room work session in its tracks this morning. I warn you: It makes the cute meter go through the roof, but it's definitely worth a few seconds of your day. All together now: Awwwww....


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