Month: May 2014

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: We Found It Edition

We found the house. We walked through it and it was just right. It was also a home run on our checklist. Given how many we’ve already looked at, we kind of feel like this is the one. Anyway, on to some personal finance posts. 10 Killer Ways To Feel Like A Million Bucks (Even …

Categories: Morning Roundup

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: Frugality, Parenting

42 Ways That 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

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Four Down, Many To Go Edition

After yesterday’s house hunting, we saw one house that we both liked but didn’t quite fall in love with. I did almost fill my digital camera with pictures. Many more tonight! I Lost My Job, My Mortgage Is Going To Be Due, Now What? Now is the time to suck it up and show what …

Categories: Morning Roundup

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 …

Categories: Goals, Psychology

Consumer Reports, Total Cost of Ownership, and Why I Buy What I Do

Over the weekend, my wife and I visited an appliance store where we were looking at potential appliances that we may have to purchase when we move into our home. We are doing such things now so that we can quickly order such items when the actual rush of moving in and getting settled happens. …

Categories: Shopping

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

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Pick-A-House Week Edition

In order to bring the hemming and hawing and indecisiveness to an end, my wife and I have agreed that by this coming Sunday night, we will have definitely selected a house that we will put a serious offer in on the following Monday morning. We have eleven house tours scheduled this week and we’re …

Categories: Morning Roundup

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: Software

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: Eight Ideas For Parents Who Want To Instill Good Personal Finance Values

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, Parenting

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 …

Categories: Debt, Education

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: What We're Reading

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Ophthalmologist Versus Optometrist Edition

In my recent post on eyeglasses, I largely encouraged people to visit an ophthalmologist in order to diagnose an eye condition. This statement drew some ire from my optometrist readers, who correctly pointed out that optometrists are actually better trained at producing a correct eyeglass prescription for most people. I go to an ophthalmologist because …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Magazine Subscriptions: Are They Worth It?

I currently subscribe to seven magazines: The New Yorker, The Atlantic, Harper’s, Mother Jones, Wired, Consumer Reports, and Money. That seems like a lot, but it’s actually down from the ten magazines I subscribed to before my son was born. Why so many magazine subscriptions? There are two reasons, really: one, I ask for them …

Categories: Magazines, Periodicals