Month: May 2014

Deconstructing Dave Ramsey

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. Quite often, I find myself listening to streaming audio of Dave Ramsey’s radio show on weekday afternoons (I usually listen via NewsTalk AM 1270). His message is very similar …

Categories: Books and Reading

Money Magazine – February 2007

My subscription to Money Magazine started with the February 2007 issue; I was quite happy to see it in my mailbox, even though it ups my magazine subscription list to eight (The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, The Economist, Money Magazine, Wired, Discover, and Consumer Reports). Money Magazine is almost always an entertaining read with …

31 Days To Fix Your Finances, Day 23: Evaluating Your Expenses – Bank Fees

The Simple Dollar offers a month-long plan for fixing your finances. All you need is an open mind and an hour each day. The vast majority of Americans do their primary banking with one of several very large bank chains. Unfortunately, these large chains are often almost insulting in how they treat their average customers, …

Categories: Money

Tax Witholdings and Savings Questions

Recently, a reader of The Simple Dollar contacted me with an interesting question about tax withholdings: With the tax year over, we get to see what we owe the IRS and the State in taxes. Normally we have our employers withhold amounts and send them to those entities, where they sit doing nothing. Alternatively we …

Jim Cramer’s Real Money: Advice to Beginning Investors

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. Much of the early part of the book is focused on advice for …

Categories: Books and Reading

Festival of Frugality #58

Welcome to the 58th Festival of Frugality! For those unaware, the Festival of Frugality is a series of weekly posts hosted by various blogs in which we highlight great posts on frugal living. Usually, when I go to read a carnival or festival, I scan the article titles quickly and only click on ones that …

Deconstructing Jim Cramer

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. Since I also happen to be reviewing Jim’s book Real Money this week, I thought I would start off the week by focusing on an individual that I would …

Categories: Books and Reading

How Bad Of A Deal Is A 50 Year Mortgage?

Yesterday, I received an email from a friend who is moving into a new home that he’s financing with a fifty year mortgage. He was bragging about how low his payments were and he’s putting equity into his house. For regular readers of this site, it shouldn’t be a surprise that I quickly loaded up …

Categories: Housing

31 Days To Fix Your Finances, Day 22: Evaluating Your Expenses – Monthly Services

The Simple Dollar offers a month-long plan for fixing your finances. All you need is an open mind and an hour each day. Most of us have a set of monthly bills that we pay as part of our regular routine. They constantly chip away at our monthly and annual budget, eroding how much we …

Categories: Money

How To Improve Credit Score By Avoiding Mistakes

When people discover a problem with their credit score, they often act rashly, doing things that seem as though they would improve your credit, but actually damage a credit score. Before we get into the ten mistakes to avoid, let’s first look at what makes up one’s credit score, as defined by Fair Isaac: Although …

Categories: Credit Reports

Jim Cramer’s Real Money: Overview

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. In the past, I concluded that Jim Cramer’s success was due to the …

Ten Books That Changed My Life #1: Fahrenheit 451

Fahrenheit 451 Ray Bradbury Changed my life in October 1991 In January 1991, I started keeping a journal, one that I’ve kept persistently ever since. Each day, I would write down some of the big events that happened during the day, what the weather was like, and so forth. I also kept detailed notes on …

Categories: Books and Reading

Time To Buy A Car? Follow These Ten Steps To Maximize Your Deal

Car salesmen are no dummies. They love nothing better than to see a “smart” buyer come wandering onto a lot, married to the idea of buying a specific model that they’ve researched. They get this person in the back room and quote them some “wonderful” monthly payment price, but stretch it out over plenty of …

Categories: Automobile

31 Days To Fix Your Finances, Day 21: Evaluating Your Expenses – Housing

The Simple Dollar offers a month-long plan for fixing your finances. All you need is an open mind and an hour each day. Most people, once they’re locked into a home mortgage or have moved into an apartment, feel as though that is an amount that they are simply down each month, with no real …

Categories: Housing, Money

The Dollar Coin Is Coming! Is It Good Or Bad For The Average American?

Recently, the federal government announced yet another revision of the dollar coin. This time, in order to entice collectors (and thus inflate circulation numbers), the coins will be issued depicting all of the presidents, starting with George Washington and followed every three months by another president. This would mean that my most desired coin, that …

Categories: Money

Photo Diary #1: A Trip To The Grocery Store

This morning, I went grocery shopping with my son and took my digital camera along to record the experience of grocery shopping with a penny-pincher. Let’s see how it went – maybe we’ll both learn something. Welcome to Hy Vee! I went shopping at the Hy-Vee grocery store in Ankeny, Iowa, a northern suburb of …

31 Days To Fix Your Finances, Day 20: Evaluating Your Expenses – Food

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 many of us, food eats a much bigger portion of our monthly budget than we even realize. We grab some fast food a few times a week, grab take out a …

Categories: Money

Review: The Wealthy Barber

The Wealthy Barber has an almost unique premise among the top personal finance books: it is written in the style of a novel in which a group of siblings visits the barber in their hometown because they’ve heard that he has somehow become quite wealthy and they want to know how he did it on …

Categories: Books and Reading

Maybe I’m Feeding The Trolls, But It’s Worth Discussing Anyway: The Fundamental Values of The Simple Dollar

Recently, the following comment was automatically deleted by my spam filter; I only happened to see it as I was looking through my spam logs while trying to identify a problem. At first, I thought this comment was merely trolling at its worst, but then I realized that there is actually a point here, one …