Month: May 2014

Ten Books That Changed My Life #2: Atlas Shrugged

Atlas Shrugged Ayn Rand Changed my life in October 1994 I spent my high school years reading approximately two books a day, many of them quite lengthy. I eschewed having a lot of friends then because, well, I simply had no interest at all in most of the high school social games. I generally kept …

Categories: Books and Reading

Five Sources For Great, Inexpensive (Often Free) Entertainment In Your Neighborhood

Recently, my wife and I have come to appreciate the huge amount of free community activities and entertainments available in our town. We used to find such things to be “lame,” but quite often that was a result of not knowing the huge array of things that were available to us and also a basic …

Categories: Entertainment, Meals

31 Days To Fix Your Finances, Day 28: Preparing For The Inevitable

The Simple Dollar offers a month-long plan for fixing your finances. All you need is an open mind and an hour each day. Today, we’re going to talk about planning for your passing in the form of a will or a trust, something that many people haven’t done. The truth is that it’s not something …

Categories: Money

Ten Signs Of Questionable Financial Writing

As a person who has devoured a ton of personal finance information in the last year, I’ve discovered that many writings about personal financial issues are quite good, but there are a lot of junk floating in the water, too. Here are ten things I look for to quickly tell me not to bother reading …

Coupon Brokers Take The Work Out Of Clipping Coupons

As I’ve discussed before, I’m a big fan of sensible coupon use. I rarely enter a grocery store without a shopping list with fifteen coupons paperclipped to it, and people in line behind me are often shocked as they watch my shopping total go down, down, down to sometimes amazingly low amounts. I wouldn’t want …

31 Days To Fix Your Finances, Day 27: Keeping Good Records

The Simple Dollar offers a month-long plan for fixing your finances. All you need is an open mind and an hour each day. Now that you’ve built a value-oriented budget and evaluated your life in terms of your rediscovered central values, it’s time to take care of a little bit of housekeeping. The first part …

Categories: Money

Reducing The Cost Of Caring For Cats (And Dogs) While Improving Their Quality Of Life

My wife, my son, and I have two cats. The first one we acquired is Bill (short for Belinda, because Bill is a female cat): The second cat we acquired is named Fancy: A bit of background: I grew up in a household where my father was highly allergic to cats and thus had an …

Categories: Frugality

Review: Jim Cramer’s Real Money

In the past, I concluded that Jim Cramer’s success was due to the entertainment factor. I had never heard of him before tuning into his show on CNBC, where his … enthusiasm for picking stocks seems to know no bounds. I generally concluded that he was a cartoon figure and left it at that, but …

Deconstructing Robert Kiyosaki

This week, The Simple Dollar is deconstructing five top personal finance and investing pundits and asking the big questions about their track record and their message. Update: Based on the strong feedback on this piece, I wrote a lengthy review of Robert Kiyosaki’s Rich Dad, Poor Dad which highlights some of the issues discussed below. …

Categories: Books and Reading

Free Up Extra Money For Debt Payment & Investments

Every once in a while, I look through my collections of various media (more specifically, DVDs, books, video games, and CDs) and realize that it contains a lot of things that I’ll likely never look at or listen to again. I might have a sentimental attachment to some of the items, but for many of …

31 Days To Fix Your Finances, Day 26: Refining Your Budget

The Simple Dollar offers a month-long plan for fixing your finances. All you need is an open mind and an hour each day. For the last several days, we’ve been focused primarily on digging through our monthly expenses and looking for places to trim away some fat. It will take some time for this to …

Categories: Money

Ben Stein Is The Best Yahoo! Finance Columnist, Period: Here Are Ten Reasons Why

Today, I spent some time exploring the redesigned Yahoo! Finance site and inevitably I wound up reading the latest works of some of the columnists there. In the past, I was pretty harsh on some of their columnists, but I have always quite enjoyed the work of Ben Stein, and thus I spent an hour …

Jim Cramer’s Real Money: Buy or Don’t Buy?

This week, The Simple Dollar takes a look at Jim Cramer’s Real Money. Cramer has made a huge name for himself in stock picking punditry and he claims to reveal his methodology in this book. Is it worth reading? Let’s find out. I won’t be shy about it: I really enjoyed this book. If I …

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Travel Tips From Wayne Gerdes Edition

I have to drive about 500 miles between now and Sunday afternoon. I’m going to try some driving techniques to conserve fuel in order to liven up the trip a little bit, mostly tips from Wayne Gerdes, the king of hypermilers. The car I’ll be driving averages about 20 MPG; I’m shooting to get 27 …

Categories: Books and Reading

Deconstructing David Bach

This week, The Simple Dollar is deconstructing five top personal finance and investing pundits and asking the big questions about their track record and their message. David Bach was the first personal finance guru that I became familiar with due to media appearances, as I saw him pop up several times on The Oprah Winfrey …

Categories: Books and Reading

Setting Daily Metrics For Personal Finance Success (And Success In Other Areas, Too!)

We’ve all heard the maxim of “taking it one day at a time.” I’ve even discussed making a one day commitment to personal finance change. But for most of us (I can certainly say it’s true for me and my friends and coworkers), the biggest problem to achieving bigger goals, like paying off credit card …

31 Days To Fix Your Finances, Day 25: Evaluating Your Expenses – Credit Cards

The Simple Dollar offers a month-long plan for fixing your finances. All you need is an open mind and an hour each day. Today is the final day of expense evaluation before we begin to tie things up (the month is nearing an end, after all), so today we’ll tackle what is perhaps the biggest …

Categories: Money

Reader Question: College Student Crushed By Credit Cards

Recently, I received an email from a reader of The Simple Dollar who laid out an interesting yet familiar story: My girlfriend is a junior in college and she’s managed to dig herself into about $2500 worth of high-interest debt by accumulating credit cards from retail stores (20-24% interest rates). She always makes her minimum …

Jim Cramer’s Real Money: General Trading Advice

This week, The Simple Dollar takes a look at Jim Cramer’s Real Money. Cramer has made a huge name for himself in stock picking punditry and he claims to reveal his methodology in this book. Is it worth reading? Let’s find out. As I mentioned earlier in the week, the frenetic writing style of this …