Month: May 2014

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 …

Training Your Mind: Ten Personal Finance Mental Exercises You Can Do Anytime

One major part of being financially responsible is to have the proper mindset, and to build the proper mindset can often be quite challenging. Just like anything else, being financially fit requires work, and most of that work goes on between your ears. Here are ten mental exercises you can do any time to strengthen …

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle: 14 Ways To Reuse Your Trash

One of the best resources you have for saving money and at the same time saving the environment is in your trash can. That’s right, a lot of the stuff we throw away can easily be reused for something worthwhile. Lately, I’ve been making a conscious effort to examine the things I throw away and …

Categories: Frugality

Five Minute Finances #11: Open All Your Vents In The Winter

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. This is a tip that my parents discovered the hard way after I moved out, and it simply works. When …

Categories: Money

I’m Debt Free & I Have An Emergency Fund – What Now?

I spoke on IM with an individual a few days ago who has a six month emergency fund (actually post-tax; it is equal to half of his annual salary) and is also debt free. He currently is putting the full amount into his 401(k) and is receiving employee matching, plus he has a fully funded …

Categories: Money

The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing: Chapters 9 – 16

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 …

Eight Baby Items We Bought That Weren’t Worth The Money

Yes, the rumors are true: there is another addition to The Simple Dollar family coming in September. On that note, my wife and I were digging through the closets to evaluate what baby stuff we had that was actually worthwhile. Here’s the stuff that’s headed to the yard sale, even with the knowledge of another …

Categories: Family

Nine Financial Reasons For Getting Involved In Your Local Community

Over the last few years (especially since reading The Conscience of a Conservative), I’ve slowly been getting more and more involved in local community events, including local politics. For many people, this seems incredibly boring: I go to city council meetings, school board meetings, and all sorts of other community events. To me, though, it …

Why You Should Calculate Your Net Worth

In today’s review of the first eight chapters of The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing, I mention the importance of calculating your own net worth, and in the past I’ve mentioned how to calculate it. But why is knowing your net worth important? What value does it have? Here are five reasons why you should calculate …

Categories: Getting Started

Buy In Bulk & Earn Incredible Returns

I’m a big believer of buying in bulk simply because of the savings you can earn on a bulk purchase. For example, let’s say that I like to buy a $10 bottle of wine each Saturday for drinking with dinner with my wife. However, I find out that if I buy it by the case …

The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing: Chapters 1 – 8

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 …

Personal Finance 101: Is Debt Bad?

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. Many people out there make broad statements like debt is bad in order …

Five Minute Finances #10: Buy Some Clothespins And A Rope

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. An average clothes dryer is a real energy hog; it uses 5,000 watts. Let’s say it takes 50 minutes of …

Categories: Frugality, Money

Love, Marriage, and Money: Should a Couple Combine Their Finances?

My wife and I have been married for nearly four years, and we dated for six years before that, so it came as a surprise to some other couples this weekend that we do not combine our finances together. Instead, we each maintain responsibility for a specific set of our shared bills and our savings …

Categories: Family, Getting Started

The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing: Overview

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 …

Ten Books That Changed My Life #7: The Conscience of a Conservative

The Conscience of a Conservative Barry Goldwater Changed my life in October 2000 I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.- Barry Goldwater Don’t let your idea of what the word conservative means …

Categories: Books and Reading

What You Need To Know About Farmer’s Markets – And Ten Tips For Maximizing Your Money There

Spring is coming and that means that soon the farmer’s markets in my area will be kicking into high gear again. Let’s make it clear – farmer’s markets are the place to go for inexpensive and fresh produce. If you’re not familiar with a farmer’s market, it is a place where local farmers, gardeners, food …

Categories: Frugality, Meals