Month: May 2014

31 Days To Fix Your Finances, Day 15: Coming In Under Budget And An Emergency Fund

The Simple Dollar offers a month-long plan for fixing your finances. All you need is an open mind and an hour each day. When you get rolling under the plan you’ve developed, you’ll discover that (almost always) you’ll come in under budget for the month if you stick to your guns on the nonessential spending. …

Categories: Money

5 Big Questions For First Time Home Buyers #1: How Do I Get Started?

As I begin the process of locating and buying my first home, my mind is loaded with questions. This week, I’m answering the five biggest ones (for me, at least) in detail. Other questions involve true home ownership costs, hiring an agent, hiring a home inspector, and closing costs. My wife and I have casually …

Categories: Housing

The Wealthy Barber: Overview

This week, The Simple Dollar takes a look at David Chilton’s The Wealthy Barber, a uniquely-written personal finance guide that has found its way onto people’s shelves for decades. Should it find its way onto your bookshelf? Let’s find out. The Wealthy Barber has an almost unique premise among the top personal finance books: it …

Categories: Books and Reading

The Money Savvy Pig and My Son’s Allowance

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to teach my son about money. I’ve looked at a lot of different resources that could teach my son about money gradually as he gets older. I have four basic criteria that I’m looking for: My Criteria for Teaching My Son Financial Literacy 1. It has to …

31 Days To Fix Your Finances, Day 14: Get Rid Of Debts (Slowly But Surely)

The Simple Dollar offers a month-long plan for fixing your finances. All you need is an open mind and an hour each day. Yesterday, we took our “true” budget and set it up so that we paid ourselves first through an automatic investment into a “dream” fund (or series of funds). Today, we’re going to …

Categories: Money

Why Anything Other Than Term Insurance Is A Mistake

I recently had a heart-to-heart with my parents where I convinced them to cash in a whole life insurance policy that they bought for me when I was very young. They bought it for me when they were concerned that I wouldn’t live very long due to some poor health in my early childhood, but …

Mother Jones: This Guy Can Get 59 MPG in a Plain Old Accord

I was reading the latest issue of Mother Jones magazine when I stumbled across an article entitled This Guy Can Get 59 MPG in a Plain Old Accord. Beat That, Punk. Normally, Mother Jones focuses on progressive political topics, but I still read it even though I’m not really interested in leftist or rightist propaganda. …

Categories: Automobile, Frugality

31 Days To Fix Your Finances, Day 13: Pay For Your Dreams First

The Simple Dollar offers a month-long plan for fixing your finances. All you need is an open mind and an hour each day. Yesterday, we put the finishing touches on a true budget – one that reflects your own dreams and your own financial realities, not someone else’s concept of what you should be spending …

Categories: Money

Are Personal Finance Blogs A Suitable Replacement For Financial Books And Magazines?

Here’s a loaded question that I was asked yesterday during an IM chat with a reader of The Simple Dollar. I gave a quick response to the reader, but I spent a lot of time considering this question, mostly in terms of my own site. Is The Simple Dollar an adequate replacement for financial books …

Review: The Number

This week, The Simple Dollar takes a look at Lee Eisenberg’s The Number, a frank, well-written, and entertaining book that addresses the one number that so many of us obsess over: the amount of money we each need to live the rest of our lives the way we want to. For the last few months, …

When Your Investment Income Covers Your Living Expenses

About a month and a half ago, I read Your Money or Your Life and found it to be a relevatory experience (check out my review of the book). One particularly interesting part was a discussion of a concept that the authors referred to as the “crossover point.” Since then, I’ve seen reference to this …

31 Days To Fix Your Finances, Day 12: A Flexible “Budget” That Reflects Your Reality

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 something of a culmination of the first part of the “31 Days” program: it basically ties up all of the goal-setting and evaluation to date into a single document. This …

Categories: Money

It’s Not Just Another Raise: Turning That Cost Of Living Increase Into Your Dreams

At the start of 2007, many Americans received a welcome addition to their paycheck: a cost of living raise. This raise is a small percentage (between 3 and 4%) of salary added to keep pace with the increase in the cost of everyday life in the United States. Yet, on a year-over-year basis, many of …

Categories: Getting Started

The Number: Buy or Don’t Buy?

This week, The Simple Dollar takes a look at Lee Eisenberg’s The Number, a frank, well-written, and entertaining book that addresses the one number that so many of us obsess over: the amount of money we each need to live the rest of our lives the way we want to. Let me put my conclusion …

Categories: Books and Reading

Another Approach To Retirement Planning: Balancing A Retirement Target Fund Myself

Regular readers of The Simple Dollar are aware that I’m going through the process of starting my Roth IRA. For those unaware, so far I’ve decided to start a Roth IRA this year, found a company (Vanguard) that I’m comfortable with as a manager, developed a detailed plan for making it happen this year, and …

Categories: Investing, Retirement

Afraid To Talk About Money With Your Spouse? Ten Tips For “The Talk”

For the longest time, my biggest obstacle to financial success was simply discussing matters with my wife. Money was the most uncomfortable subject between the two of us – every time we discussed it, even with the best intentions, one of us wound up very upset. So, for years it was a complete taboo topic …

31 Days To Fix Your Finances, Day 11: Dividing Up The Rest and Finishing Our “Time 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. Yesterday, we figured out exactly how much of your money – and your time – you spend with basic living expenses. From this, we determined what was left – the amount that …

Categories: Money

Why Income Inequality Matters: Motivation

Over the Christmas break, I had a long conversation with my wife’s family about the income gap between the working class and the rich in the United States. Compared to them, I grew up extremely poor, and I rather surprised them by saying that I think such a gap is a good thing. Please note …

The Number: Finding It

This week, The Simple Dollar takes a look at Lee Eisenberg’s The Number, a frank, well-written, and entertaining book that addresses the one number that so many of us obsess over: the amount of money we each need to live the rest of our lives the way we want to. The final portion of The …

Categories: Books and Reading