Month: May 2014

Ten Books That Changed My Life #8: How to Win Friends and Influence People

How to Win Friends and Influence People Dale Carnegie Changed my life in May 2002 Even though I spent most of my life filled with anxiety in social situations, I took a position in mid-2002 that was, at least in part, a sales position. One large portion of my position was to sell people on …

Categories: Books and Reading

Why Malcolm Gladwell Wants You To Be Poor: Blink, The Tipping Point, and Personal Finance

In the past two months, I’ve had the opportunity to read both of Malcolm Gladwell’s recent books, Blink and The Tipping Point. While both books discuss psychological phenomena that are genuinely interesting and useful, in both cases applying the message to your personal life is at best questionable, at least for the average consumer. Take …

Spenders Anonymous: Twelve Steps to Beating the Addiction to Spending

Spending is a psychological addiction. It is quite easy to fall into a routine where you just spend money on things you don’t need over and over again because it begins to feel right. You slip deeper and deeper into credit card debt buying stuff and falling further and further behind. Among my family and …

25 Things You Should Always Have In Your Car

Having grown up rural and now living rural, I know first hand the types of experiences people can have when they’re caught out in the middle of nowhere and something goes wrong with their car with no help in sight. The end result was expensive towing, lots of time wasted, and in one case, one …

Categories: Automobile, Money

Multiple Emergency Funds: Are They Necessary?

Let’s face it: an emergency fund of some sort is a necessity. However, some of my readers think a single emergency fund isn’t enough (remember, this comment was discussing the personal finance of a single person): Aside from the 6 month contingency fund he has saved, does he have emergency funds for insurance deductibles, a …

Categories: Money

How To Handle Guests That Abuse Their Welcome – And Your Wallet

This was a very interesting note that I received yesterday that I felt deserved some discussion: My husband’s brother moved into our apartment complex recently. At first I was happy to have him here, but now he spends all of his waking time when he’s not at work at our place. He raids our fridge …

Review: The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing

As an investor with Vanguard and an occasional visitor to the Vanguard Diehards forum, I’ve been looking forward to reading The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing for a while now. It’s a guide to how to invest your money written based on the principles of Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard. Is it a good read …

Insights Into My Mind: A Recent Interview

In the last few months, I’ve been interviewed several times as a result of the success of this site. One recent interview, however, really stood out because the interviewer went immediately into questions a lot more interesting than “why do you write about money” and “how popular is your site” (the usual questions, in other …

The Long Trip: Five Ways To Save Money On A Multi-State Road Trip

A few months ago, I wrote about four techniques for saving money on road trips: performing maintenance before you leave, minimize your distance, pack snacks before you leave, and research gas prices before you leave. These are useful for planning your trip in advance, but here are five additional ways to maximize your cash while …

Categories: Automobile, Travel

Personal Finance 101: What Are Municipal Bonds?

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Municipal Bonds 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. In a nutshell, municipal bonds …

Categories: Investing

Five Minute Finances #12: Contact Customer Service

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. Ever received a product that was severely worse than your expectations? For example, ever bought a bag of chips that …

Categories: Money

The Essential Personal Productivity Bookshelf: Ten Books That Helped Me Transform from a Lazy Slob to an Organized Parent and Professional

Every personal finance success I’ve had in my life in the last year has been an offshoot of the fact that I’ve been able to organize the chaos of my life. The management of several income streams plus the birth of a child in the past two years have made getting myself organized almost a …

Categories: Books and Reading

The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing: Buy or Don’t Buy?

As an investor with Vanguard and an occasional visitor to the Vanguard Diehards forum, I’ve been looking forward to reading The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing for a while now. It’s a guide to how to invest your money written based on the principles of Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard. Is it a good read …

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Heat of the Moment Edition

This has been a very long week for me, and after a long week, I break out an old, dusty cassette mix tape a female friend made for me over ten years ago. It’s basically a bunch of motivational, uptempo rock songs – she referred to it as her anti-depression tape. I’ve been listening to …

Categories: Books and Reading

How To Start A Simple Garden – Even In An Apartment

There are few things more enjoyable for a frugal person than to eat food you’ve grown yourself, picked, and brought almost straight to the table. Unfortunately, with today’s busy lifestyle, most of us don’t have time for a large garden, as they require a lot of maintenance work, so we replace this by visiting farmer’s …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

The Checkbook Confessional: My Five Worst Financial Moves So Far In 2007

This year (so far) has been a strong one financially for me, but I still make some moves that are of questionable financial nature. In terms of saving for the future, here are my five worst moves so far in 2007 and why they were bad ones. By reflecting on my choices, I can strive …

Categories: Money

Want To Maximize Your Career? Here Are The Ten People You Need To Know At Work

When you walk into a new job for the first time, it’s often not clear what the culture of the organization is or what exactly you will truly be doing in your job. It might also be very unclear what exactly is expected of you, and also what your opportunities are for advancement. Naturally, it’s …

Categories: Careers

How To Make Your Own Homemade Laundry Detergent – And Save Big Money

I’ve been experimenting with making lots of cleaning supplies at home, but this one is by far the craziest – and the most successful. Basically, I made a giant bucket of slime that works incredibly well as laundry detergent at a cost of about three cents a load. For comparison’s sake, a jumbo container of …

Categories: Frugality

The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing: Chapters 17 – 23

As an investor with Vanguard and an occasional visitor to the Vanguard Diehards forum, I’ve been looking forward to reading The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing for a while now. It’s a guide to how to invest your money written based on the principles of Jack Bogle, the founder of Vanguard. Is it a good read …