Month: May 2014

Talking Yourself Out Of Unnecessary Spending: How I’m Doing It With Five Things I Really Want

Many people (myself included) often want items that they can afford, but by buying it they are really hurting their potential savings for the future. I know personally that Item I Want: A Nintendo Wii Tactic I’m Using: Realizing I’ll rarely use it Whenever I think about buying a Wii, I picture playing it with …

Personal Finance 101: Grocery Store Math

Simple Math to Help You Save 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. This question isn’t from the long email, …

Why You Should Stop Watching T.V. and What to Replace it With

My wife and I have reduced our television viewing to roughly four hours a week: two hourly dramas and maybe two more hours combined throughout the week. I believe that it won’t be too long before we turn the television off for good. Why? It’s too expensive. Here are ten reasons why. True Cost of …

Five Simple Questions, Five Simple Answers

As the author of The Simple Dollar, I get a lot of questions on a lot of topics. Here’s a selection of five recent ones on various topics that might have occurred to you – along with my answer. If you’d like to ask a question and want to make sure I read it, please …

Categories: Getting Started

Five Cost-Saving Reasons To Live In The Country

This Easter weekend, my wife and I are returning to my family’s old homestead out in the country. I love going back there – the pace of life is so completely different. It really heals the soul. That doesn’t mean, of course, that I don’t keep an eye out for things done there that can …

Categories: Frugality

Review: Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Well, it had to happen sometime. After stirring up a hornet’s nest in my previous post, Deconstructing Robert Kiyosaki, it somewhat became inevitable that I would review his very well known personal finance book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. This book has been inspirational to many people, but the book seems to have produced as many …

Categories: Books and Reading

Short Term Savings – How To Plan For Upcoming Vacations, Auto Purchases, And So On

As I’ve mentioned before, I maintain multiple savings accounts at various institutions, mostly in an effort to keep my different savings goals in discrete places. For the most part, I only deal with two: one is an emergency fund, and the other I refer to as my “short term” fund. What’s a “short term” fund? …

Categories: Money, Saving Money

Orson Welles, A Zither, and Personal Finance

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a movie buff. I’ve forgotten more films than most people have ever watched. Yet, of all of the thousands upon thousands of movies I’ve ever watched, one scene stands out above all of them as the very best. Here it is – if you have five minutes, …

Categories: Getting Started

Five Minute Finances #21: Look At Your Community Calendar

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. Quite often in the evenings, my family looks for activities to do together. Sometimes we’re frugal and we go to …

Categories: Money

Some Notes On The 60% Solution

Many people complain that budgeting is too confusing and that they have a hard time setting concrete goals for themselves, and when they do set goals, they’re so loose that they are easy to meet but they don’t really generate any significant savings. One major solution to this problem is the so-called 60% Solution, described …

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: Buy or Don’t Buy?

Well, it had to happen sometime. After stirring up a hornet’s nest the last time I discussed Robert Kiyosaki, it somewhat became inevitable that I would review his very well known personal finance book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. This book has been inspirational to many people, but the book seems to have produced as many …

Categories: Books and Reading

How Department Stores Trick You Into Spending More

Ever noticed how you go to the store to just pick up one thing, then by the time you get back to the checkout aisle, you have five or six things in your cart and a bigger bill than you could have possibly anticipated? This happens over and over again because department stores (and let’s …

Categories: Shopping

The Frugal Geek’s Toolbox

Last night, I did a survey of my toolbox, the one I lug around to handle most repair tasks around the house, with the car, and so forth. The box had many of the usual suspects in there (a crescent wrench, a claw hammer, a flashlight, a few screwdrivers, and so on) and also some …

Categories: Frugality

The Simple Dollar Plan For An Allowance

Over the last several months, I’ve been troubled over how exactly to handle an allowance (or lack thereof) with my son. I’ve read dozens of articles on the topic and looked at many allowance solutions, but nothing has come together as having the right balance of things I want to teach my son about money. …

Categories: Family

Continuing The Discussion: When Does It All Pay Off?

Over at Get Rich Slowly, J.D. posted an interesting discussion on the question of when the payoff comes for all the work of being frugal, saving, and investing. To quote Annie: I look around and see people my age buying expensive condos, carrying expensive handbags, taking trips to Iceland and Mexico and Spain. I know …

Rich Dad, Poor Dad: Beginnings

Well, it had to happen sometime. After stirring up a hornet’s nest the last time I discussed Robert Kiyosaki, it somewhat became inevitable that I would review his very well known personal finance book, Rich Dad, Poor Dad. This book has been inspirational to many people, but the book seems to have produced as many …

Categories: Books and Reading

The Tao of Setting Concrete Financial Goals

When I was first recovering from financial disaster, one of my biggest challenges was convincing myself to actually do the things I knew I needed to do. I would think to myself, “I want to save money,” but when push came to shove, it was so easy to not save money. I’m willing to bet …

10 Steps To Escape From Debt & Build A Financial Future

Late last week, I received a very long and personal email from a reader named Susan. Her situation was dire: between the various payday loans and credit card bills, plus the recent disappearance of a live-in boyfriend, she actually owed more in debt payments each month than she is bringing home. Amazingly, she claimed to …

Categories: Debt Management

Five Minute Finances #20: Drive A Different Route

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. If you’re like me, your route to and from work takes you by a lot of temptations. For me, there …

Categories: Money