Month: May 2014

Yes, You Can Get A Financial Life: The 30s

I’ve been a fan of Ben Stein’s financial writings for years, but this is the first book of his that I’ve picked up. Could it possibly be as good as his columns? Is it worth reading at all? A large portion of the book (chapters 7 through 13) really focus on issues that many people …

A Look At My Own Mutual Fund Portfolio

As an example of the mutual fund topics we’ve discussed thus far this week, I thought I would mention my exact mutual fund investments and how I plan to grow them in the near future. First of all, I have two separate goals with my investments. The first is for buying a second home roughly …

The Proper Care and Feeding of a Pocket Expense Notebook

For almost a year, I have carried around a small pocket expense notebook. Well, actually, I’m on my third one – the first two fell apart after about three months of living in my hip pocket, which is where I liked to store mine. Hold on… what’s a pocket expense notebook? Basically, it’s a place …

Categories: Getting Started

What Are Your Goals? How Do Mutual Funds Fit In There?

People ask me all the time if they should be putting some money into mutual funds, individual stocks, bonds, and so forth. Generally, I just ask them a few very simple questions and then give a simple answer that will set them down a path appropriate for their goals. Let’s walk through these questions and …

Yes, You Can Get A Financial Life: The 20s

I’ve been a fan of Ben Stein’s financial writings for years, but this is the first book of his that I’ve picked up. Could it possibly be as good as his columns? Is it worth reading at all? Chapters 3 through 6 of Yes, You Can Get A Financial Life focus on personal finance issues …

Categories: Books and Reading

Five Minute Finances #16: Cancel The Channels You Don’t Watch

Five Minute Finances is a series of tips on how you can save significant money or reorganize your financial life in just five minutes. These tips appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on The Simple Dollar. One thing I did recently that started saving us about fifteen dollars a month was that I made the useful …

Categories: Money

Personal Finance 101: What Is A Mutual Fund?

Understanding How Mutual Funds Can Work for You Recently, I received a lengthy email from a reader who had a ton of basic personal finance questions contained within. I thought it might be interesting to start an irregular “personal finance 101″ series to answer and explain some of her questions. A mutual fund is an …

Yes, You Can Get A Financial Life: Overview

I’ve been a fan of Ben Stein’s financial writings for years, but this is the first book of his that I’ve picked up. Could it possibly be as good as his columns? Is it worth reading at all? Yes, You Can Get A Financial Life is the latest in a long string of books on …

Categories: Books and Reading

Ten Books That Changed My Life #9: Getting Things Done

Getting Things Done David Allen Changed my life in September 2005 During the early stages of my adult life, my time management was truly awful. I would waste time in complete idleness on a daily basis and spend other times simply struggling to know where to start with larger projects. I was fairly strong in …

Categories: Books and Reading

Follow-Up: Books On Surviving In Desperate Situations

After yesterday’s popular post on survival and personal finance off the grid, I received several requests like this one: It would be great if you would write a book with detailed instructions about these survival skills you developed. I would buy your book and study it well. and Great post. Is there a how to …

Personal Finance Lessons My Childhood Taught Me

When I was a child, I lived with my parents and two older brothers in a very rural area. To put this in perspective to your own timeline, this was the 1980s, in which many homes were wired with cable television, a dedicated phone line, and even such modern amenities as consistent electrical power, which …

Categories: Frugality

Review: The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need

I first picked up a ragged old copy of this book at a used book sale, but since then it keeps popping up over and over again. This week, I’ll review chapter by chapter the latest revision of this personal finance classic (it was first printed in 1978, which means it’s had a much longer …

Five Minute Finances #15: Wash Your Hands

Five Minute Finances is a series of tips on how you can save significant money or reorganize your financial life in just five minutes. These tips appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on The Simple Dollar. Does the title surprise you? It shouldn’t. The financial costs associated with germs spread by hand-to-hand and hand-to-face contact numbers …

Categories: Money

The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need: Buy or Don’t Buy?

I first picked up a ragged old copy of this book at a used book sale, but since then it keeps popping up over and over again. This week, I’ll review chapter by chapter the latest revision of this personal finance classic (it was first printed in 1978, which means it’s had a much longer …

17 Essential Tips For Getting That Dream Job

You’ve just walked out the door at college and now you’re seeking a great job, one that will build the foundations of a long-term career. Or, you’re looking to move on to new challenges in life and are looking for a position that fulfills you. No matter what the reason, hunting for a job can …

Categories: Careers

The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need: Family Planning and the Rest

I first picked up a ragged old copy of this book at a used book sale, but since then it keeps popping up over and over again. This week, I’ll review chapter by chapter the latest revision of this personal finance classic (it was first printed in 1978, which means it’s had a much longer …

Five Minute Finances #14: Set A Tangible Savings Goal – And A Reminder Of That Goal

Five Minute Finances is a series of tips on how you can save significant money or reorganize your financial life in just five minutes. These tips appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on The Simple Dollar. One big factor for saving money that many people miss out on is motivation. For me, constant reminders of what …

Categories: Money

The Simple Dollar Guide To Shaving

Several people have written me in the last month asking how I shave (assuming that I do it in a somewhat frugal fashion) or offering suggestions on how to save money by shaving frugally. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I place a high value on personal appearance, so I feel it’s appropriate to get …

The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need: The Stock Market

I first picked up a ragged old copy of this book at a used book sale, but since then it keeps popping up over and over again. This week, I’ll review chapter by chapter the latest revision of this personal finance classic (it was first printed in 1978, which means it’s had a much longer …