Month: May 2014

My Company Just Announced Huge Layoffs And I’m Afraid My Position Will Disappear: Seven Things You Need To Do Right Now

A friend of mine works for CitiGroup in South Dakota, which is about to experience some massive layoffs. He’s a bit worried about what’s coming down the pike, and so he asked me what I thought he should do. Here’s my advice to him, as well as anyone else who is facing a potential layoff …

Why Henry Blodget Tries To Make Saving A Sucker’s Game – And Why You Shouldn’t Believe Him

Hopefully that title got your attention. In fact, it’s a variation on the subtitle of an article posted to Slate.com yesterday, Spend Every Dime!, which says that you’ll actually lose money by saving and investing it, so why not spend now? Normally I would ignore such tripe, but this article has been making the rounds …

Review: A Random Walk Down Wall Street

This week, I sat down with one of the modern classics on stock investing, Burton Malkiel’s A Random Walk Down Wall Street. I was already aware of the premise behind the book – the stock market is pretty efficient and most everyone is wasting their time trying to find inefficiencies to exploit – but I …

Categories: Books

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Kurt Vonnegut Edition

“Oh, she says well, you’re not a poor man. You know, why don’t you go online and buy a hundred envelopes and put them in the closet? And so I pretend not to hear her. And go out to get an envelope because I’m going to have a hell of a good time in the …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Some Thoughts On Voluntary Simplicity

Before we even get started, let’s define what I’m talking about. Voluntary simplicity, in its widest context, refers to living an examined life; in other words, one in which you have determined what is important for you and your immediate family and discarding the rest. This can take many forms, but most of them revolve …

Categories: Frugality

The Dangers of Financial Paralysis – And How To Get Out Of The Rut

For several months last year, I was completely in financial lockdown mode. I had figured out that I needed to start saving money, and I also had figured out that I needed to get out of debt, but once I had all of my loans paid off (at least, all of my loans with an …

Categories: Investing

In Which I Answer The Most Frequently Asked Question: Pay Off Debts Or Invest?

Over and over and over again, readers ask me some variation on this question: I have $1,000 in my hand. I am trying to decide if I’m better off paying off part of my credit card debt or investing it. What should I do? The thing is, my answer is almost always the same, and …

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Crazy Episode of Lost Edition

I’ve watched Lost since the beginning. During most of season one, I was basically sucked in and I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. I kept watching through season two and the early part of season three, but it didn’t quite suck me in like it once did. Right now, though, the show …

Categories: Morning Roundup

What Is Personal Finance? The Answer Might Be More Than You Think…

This is an interesting question that has been popping up again and again as I continue this blog. It’s becoming clear to me that my definition of personal finance is quite a bit wider than the definition others have of that term, so I decided to explore what exactly personal finance means in my book …

Categories: Getting Started, Meta

The Four Web Sites That Directly Save Me The Most Money … And Some Thoughts On Other Online Shopping Sites

Who says web surfing can’t directly save you money? First of all, here are five websites I use on a very frequent basis that have directly saved me significant money. Remember The Milk http://www.rememberthemilk.com I wrote ecstatically about this site before, but the same still holds true: I use it to manage my grocery list, …

How To Pick Out A Grocery Store After Moving – Or If You’re Looking To Save A Few Dollars

Where I live, there are no large grocery stores in a twenty mile radius (there are two small “town” groceries that are fine for incidentals, but their prices are rather high and their selection is limited). However, right outside of that radius are several different options for grocery shopping. When I first moved to the …

Categories: Groceries, Shopping

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Northwest Washington Edition

My wife and I vacationed in Washington state in the summer of 2004. During that trip, we camped above the snow line on Mount Rainier and visited Seattle, but the part of the trip that has really stuck with me was the three days we spent just wandering around in the northwest corner of the …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Five Things That Seem Expensive – But Don’t Have To Be

While reading through the plethora of comments on my recent post on giving television the boot, I realized that there are many things that I view as inexpensive that others view as being very expensive. Here’s a list of five of these items, along with ways to make this “expensive” thing not expensive at all …

Overcoming The Social Obligation To Keep Up With The Joneses

I received a very heartfelt email from a reader that I’m going to reprint below (with some grammatical fixes). It was written to me in response to my earlier post concerning when frugality finally pays off. I’ve been debt free for five years, I own my own home, and I have almost 200K in investments …

Consumer Reports – May 2007

Consumer Reports has asked me to eliminate the content of my summaries and any other references to the content of Consumer Reports. I have complied.

Categories: Uncategorized

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Baseball Cards Edition

I have this enormous collection of baseball cards from when I was a kid, a huge pile of cards that is now worthless. Trust me, 1988 Topps commons are basically more valuable as recycled paper at this point. Anyway, I was just invited to a bachelor party where everyone is going to open a bunch …

Categories: Morning Roundup

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

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, but it is a great question …

Ten Financial Reasons To Turn Off Your Television – And Ten Things 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. Cable / satellite …

Categories: Frugality, Television