woman hiking

Whenever I see a headline like that, I can’t help but think that it’s drenched in positive thinking. Then, I look at a day like yesterday. Yesterday, I didn’t really feel like working. At all. The motivation to write was nonexistent. I didn’t feel inspired and the words were simply not coming out. So, I got up and headed over to Ledges State Park. I packed a backpack with a lunch, a full water bottle, some bug spray, and a …

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While I was once willing to do just about anything to save money, I’ve learned that some savings strategies work better than others over time. For example, buying the “cheapest” small appliances usually means having to buy them again in a few short years. Ask me how many times I purchased a $17 coffeemaker from Walmart to figure that one out. The same can be said for clothes. I don’t know how many cheap new outfits I bought from Kohl’s …

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Frank is a reader of The Simple Dollar who has messaged me on Facebook a few times. He has a solid job working for the state and makes about $42,000 a year. He is married and has three children. However, Frank’s wife is pretty ill. She has multiple sclerosis and is now wheelchair bound. It is very difficult for Frank’s wife to do many household chores, either. Frank’s time, then, is eaten up by taking care of his job and …

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Buying a house can be both an exciting and simultaneously stressful experience. One reason the home buying process tends to be so stressful for many consumers — besides the fact that it’s probably the biggest purchase you’ll ever make — is the rigorous qualification process involved in getting approved for a mortgage. If you’re preparing for a mortgage application, it is important to understand that qualifying for a home loan is a very different process than when you apply for most other …

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What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. The inevitable “avocado toast” question 2. Small balance for credit score? 3. Exact recipe for laundry soap 4. Destroying documents without paper shredder 5. Inactive credit cards 6. Selling a car 7. Frustrated with job search 8. Handling an old 401(k) 9. Credit card with positive balance 10. …

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If you believe everything you read in the Lowe’s or Home Depot mailer, you probably think you need a new grill, decorative stones leading to your glamorous garden shed, and protective paint on the floor of your garage. And you absolutely need amazing new flowers in new pots with new spring colors, along with a new layer of mulch, new decorative rock, and a wind chime for good measure. While all of these purchases can absolutely improve your home’s look this spring, …

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While everyone has their own savings strategies when it comes to groceries and household goods, I tend to take the easy route. Instead of driving from store to store to snag deals, I do almost all of my shopping at Kroger. My friendly neighborhood supermarket may not always have the lowest prices, but they usually do. Plus, shopping at just one store helps me save something more important than money – time. Yet, I always make one more shopping trip each …

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Course Corrections

May 21 2017

About a week ago, I was listening to a wonderful friend of mine, Heidi, talking about Amelia Earhart. Out of the blue, right in the midst of those thoughts, she burst into song, singing part of this song a cappella: The lyrics of this song, Amelia Earhart’s Last Flight, go something like this, depending on the version: A ship out on the ocean, just a speck against the sky, Amelia Earhart flying that sad day; With her partner, Captain Noonan, …

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Once a week, I go to a community board game night for several hours. There’s usually about 20 people in attendance with a healthy mix of ages, backgrounds, genders, and game tastes, and there are usually about 10 regulars that consistently show up every week. One of the big challenges of this group has been that when people get new games, they tend to want to get them to the table. If someone receives an interesting new game for their birthday or …

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Springtime is incredibly busy around our home. Our children each participate in a spring sport of their choosing (if they want to). They’re also finishing out their school year, which means a number of school activities are on the docket. We usually have family members that come to visit at some point during the month. Sarah’s usually finishing out a teaching year and is also finishing out her masters program. I’m usually trying to get some extra work done so …

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