Month: May 2014

Why I Want A Home: Six Frugal Things That Just Aren’t Convenient In Our Apartment

As I’ve mentioned before, my family currently lives in a very small two bedroom apartment. We don’t have the room to do many of the things that I would love to do, frugal things that would save us a lot of money. Here are six things that having a home of our own will permit …

Categories: Frugality, Housing

The Credit Check Situation

For the last week, there have been numerous reports of individuals who have opened Electric Orange checking accounts and after sixty days have had a credit check run on them. Here’s a typical example of such a report at Consumerism Commentary. In some cases, apparently, after this credit check, the Electric Orange account is closed. …

Categories: Banking, Credit Reports

The Stress of Buying a Home

As we progress through this home-buying experience (we’ve looked at tons of homes, found the right one, and are about to submit an offer), we’ve found out how truly stressful it is. Added into this is the fact that my wife is pregnant and we will be having our second child not long after moving …

The Furniture Dilemma

My wife and son and I currently live in a tiny apartment. I mean tiny. It nominally has two bedrooms, but the second one (used as a nursery) is only slightly bigger than a closet, and our living room has a love seat in it – a love seat about to fall apart, no less. …

15 More Things You Can Do Right Now To Help Your Career

A few months ago, I published a very popular article entitled 15 Things You Can Do Right Now To Help Your Career. Here’s the fifteen tips in summary (though the original article fleshes them out): 1. Make a list of all of the things you did today/this week/this month to help your organization, and file …

More On 101 Goals in 1001 Days: Setting the Goals, Keeping Them, And 101 Money-Saving List Suggestions

I’ve been asked so many questions by email about my 101 Goals in 1001 Days idea that I decided a follow-up post might be in order, because many of the questions have been repeated and they are rather interesting ones. Before you read this, I’d recommend looking at the original 101 Goals in 1001 Days …

Notes on The Dangerous Book For Boys

For the last few days, I’ve been nearly obsessed with a book entitled The Dangerous Book for Boys. It appeals to me on several levels: a father who loves to do stuff with his son, a person interested in frugality, and a person who loves fun projects. I saw mention of it on The Colbert …

Categories: Family, Frugality

How Going Green Saves A Ton Of Money

I admit to being an environmentalist, and a pretty “far out” one, too – I was raised with a Mother Earth News / Organic Gardening type of father who instilled a ton of basic environmentalism in me, and I try very hard to reduce my environmental footprint. Let me put it this way: one of …

The Housing Panic Is Even Here In Iowa – An Update On The House Hunt

So many readers have been emailing me about our house hunt and have questions about the details of it that I thought I’d write a quick update about how it’s going, mostly because it’s interesting. Housing prices in Iowa are very nice compared to other regions of the country. You can get a four bedroom …

Categories: Housing

What Would You Do With Your Money If You Had Only One Year To Live?

I came across this article at Grad Money Matters recently and it got me thinking about the question on several levels. First, what would I do with my money in that situation? This was the aspect that Grad Money focused on. For me, I’d do everything I could to set things up so that my …

Setting Up A House Buying Worksheet

My wife and I are looking at about three houses per night this week (on average), and because of the sheer volume of houses, we’re concerned about recalling all of our reactions to the houses as well as their primary features. As a result, last night my wife designed a house buying worksheet in order …

Categories: Housing

Review: Never Eat Alone

Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. The word networking has a very negative perception for most people; they imagine some guy shaking their hand, smiling, and marking them down in a Rolodex somewhere as merely another asset to tap someday. While there are people out there that match …

Thoughts On Personal Finance Software Packages – And Why I Don’t Use Them

I recently had a lengthy IM conversation with a reader who asked me what financial software I use to keep my finances in order. I responded with the truth: I use Microsoft Excel (I received Office as a gift – otherwise, I would use OpenOffice Calc). This launched a lengthy discussion about various software packages …

Categories: Technology

A Reader On The Cusp Of A Great Credit Rating

A reader recently sent in this question about her boyfriend’s credit, which seems to be on the cusp of being quite good. My boyfriend was recently denied financing on a used upright piano because of poor credit. He actually has enough cash saved to buy it outright, but the fact that he couldn’t receive financing …

Teaching Entrepreneurship and Investing To Children

Over Mother’s Day weekend, my wife and son and I drove several hours to pay a surprise visit on my mother. We spent most of the ride talking about our newfound financial success and wondering what sorts of activities we could involve our child in in order to give him the spirit of entrepreneurship and …

Categories: Family

How Personal Productivity and Personal Development Are Connected To Personal Finance

Recently, I’ve been reading the book The Millionaire Mind by Thomas Stanley. It’s a pseudo-sequel to the mega-popular personal finance book The Millionaire Next Door (which I reviewed a while back) and it focuses on psychological and personal aspects of people with a net worth of one million dollars or more. As I was reading …

Remembering The Flood of 1993 And What It Taught Me

I grew up on the muddy banks of the Mississippi River; it was literally within eyeshot of my parents’ land. My father was a small-scale commercial fisherman, so I spent a lot of time on the river in my youth – and I really understood its amazing grace and power. We lived on a hill …

Student Loans 101: What To Look For To Pay For College

I recently received this email from a reader: I need some Buyer Beware advice on how to choose a lender for a student loan with a parent as co-signer. My 19 year old will be attending university and he has to take out 100% loans. The annual amount is a hefty 50K. When I review …

Review: All Your Worth

When most people think of a personal finance book, they think of something similar to All Your Worth. At least it’s what I think of: a guide to the emotions and the mechanics of getting your financial life straight in these times. I first came in contact with this book when I went to the …

Categories: Books and Reading