Month: May 2014

Here’s My Experience With A Side Business. What’s Yours?

Recently, a reader wrote to me asking the following: I would love to know how many of your readers supplement their incomes with side work, especially things like computer support, tutoring or even substitute teaching: intermittent work, where the “product” is their time, and where they have to go out and find customers. Of course, …

Categories: Careers, Community

Remember This Earlier Post? Finishing Up A Wall Street Lesson From Ben Stein

A little over a month ago, in late February and early March, the stock market in the United States took an 8% hit in a little over a week, a very painful drop for anyone with a stock investment. For me, this was a rather nerve-wracking time, as it was the first time I had …

Money Magazine – May 2007

The May 2007 issue of Money Magazine arrived in my mailbox yesterday, and as I was at home dealing with my sore throat, I had the time to read it immediately. Here are the ten points from the issue that really jumped out at me. “Two cycle billing” is insidious. Do you have a Discover …

Categories: Money Magazine

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Come Back To Camden Edition

A close friend of mine is getting married this summer. The entire wedding and reception is going to apparently be themed around the 80′s band The Smiths and their lead singer Morrissey. Rumor has it that Morrissey may actually sing at the reception. They plan on having their first dance to the song Come Back …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Frugal Ways Of Dealing With A Sore Throat And Cold

For the last few days, I’ve been combating the worst sore throat I’ve ever had in my life. It’s been so bad that it’s also felt like an ear infection and it’s sapped a lot of my energy, leaving me barely feeling like writing, let alone dealing with a home purchase, work, house chores, and …

Categories: Frugality

Finding Your Dream House – And Trying To Convince Yourself You Can’t Quite Afford It

My wife and I have been doing some house hunting in our area lately. We have been watching the real estate fliers carefully and have been driving through nearby towns looking at homes with “For Sale” signs in front. Last night, we drove by a house that somehow just called out to both of us. …

Categories: Housing, Planning

Ten Reasons Iowa’s 529 Plan Is Great – And How You Can Use It To Get Ahead On Saving For College

I’m very happy to be living in Iowa, where things are quiet, we have very strong public education, and we’re also home to one of the best investment opportunities in the country for parents of future college students. That doesn’t apply to me, you might be thinking. Wrong! Iowa’s stellar 529 plan is open to …

Categories: Education, Parenting

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Crock Pot Mania Edition

My wife and son and I had a delicious southwest chicken crock pot meal for supper last night. The only problem is my wife made the whole thing in the morning when I was getting our son ready for daycare and she won’t tell me what all she put in it! There was corn and …

Categories: Morning Roundup

How NOT To Write A Personal Finance Book

Having read piles of personal finance books in the last year and a half, I’ve begun to understand some of the things that set good books apart from the bad ones. At first, I tried to make a list of ways to write a good personal finance book, but then I read an article about …

Categories: What We're Reading

Fifteen Free Things To Do During A Money-Free Weekend

Yesterday, I wrote a well-received article about having a “money-free” weekend, which outlines the idea that you can not only save some money and entertain yourself by not spending any money for a weekend, but you can actually begin to train your mind to be frugal. In response, “John Wesley” left the following comment: This …

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Tax Day Edition

This year, we basically broke even on our tax returns, which means (I guess) that we’re taking out an appropriate amount for deductions from our paycheck. Hopefully, none of you are out there panicking about your taxes right now. On to some personal finance notes. 20 Tips For Getting Your Security Deposit Back As we …

Categories: Morning Roundup

The Frugal Wedding Registry: Wedding Gift Ideas To Help Put That Special Couple On A Sound Financial Path

When we got married, we received a ton of gifts from family members of all kinds, ranging from towels to a weird statue of a hobbit to a knife set to towels to a handmade quilt to towels. Needless to say, we still have plenty of towels. Today, though, there are only a few that …

Categories: Gifts, Marriage

Challenge Yourself To A Money-Free Weekend

For the last few months, my wife and I have been doing something every other weekend or so that we call a “money free” weekend, in an effort to live more frugally. It’s actually quite fun – here’s how we do it. We are not allowed to spend any money on anything, no matter what. …

Harper’s Magazine on the Manufactured Financial Costs of Depression: The Economy of Melancholy and Ten Ways to Battle It

In the May 2007 issue of Harper’s Magazine (which should be on newsstands shortly – I am a subscriber), a fascinating cover article appears entitled “Manufacturing Depression: A Journey into the Economy of Melancholy.” Written by Gary Greenberg, a psychotherapist, the article’s main idea is that true depression is actually an extremely rare event and …

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: All Day Outside Edition

We spent almost all of the daylight hours Sunday outside with my son, running around, playing in the grass. Nothing more fun than that. Here’s some personal finance notes to kick off your work week. How To Generate “Valid” Credit Card Numbers Not entirely useful (as you can’t just have a random useable credit card …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Organizing Financial Documents In A Filing Cabinet

In the past, I had a pretty effective system for managing my papers, but now that I’m married, we have a child, we’re about to buy a home, we have a second child on the way, and we’re starting to actually have investments to keep track of, the old binder system simply isn’t cutting the …

Categories: Organizing Money

Do A Financial Spring Cleaning

Today is a lazy Sunday in the early spring, the first authentic lazy Sunday I’ve had in a long while. The taxes are done and now it’s time for a financial spring cleaning. What’s a financial spring cleaning, you ask? For me, it’s a post tax filing tradition in which I go through all of …

Rethinking The Costs Of Child Care – And Considering Some Major Choices

My wife and I are expecting our second child in September. As soon as we made the decision to have a second child, we sat down and did a number of calculations on the subject and we quickly realized that the expenses were going to be tremendous. Let’s walk through the expenses just a bit …

Categories: Parenting, Planning

Is Dave Ramsey Making Up Stuff About The Stock Market?

I’ve heard many times that Dave Ramsey makes some very broad generalizations about the broad stock market when convincing listeners of his radio show to invest their money in a broad index fund. I never really paid much attention to this, mostly because if you don’t speak in some degree of generalization, it’s very difficult …

Categories: Dave Ramsey, Stocks