• The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Interesting Diet Edition

    After visiting my physician, I’ve decided to give the Volumetrics weight loss plan a shot. It was recommended both by my physician and by various reports that I read as a truly healthy way to lose weight. I’ve never actually tried a weight loss plan before, but it seems to be a mix of light …

  • The Bulk Buying Debate

    As long-time readers of the site know, I’m a big advocate of buying in bulk for many reasons (which I’ll get into below). Yesterday, however, a reader named Terry M. left the following comment on my post about saving money in the bathroom: Not sure how much I like the idea of stockpiling anything. What …

  • The Simple Dollar Giveaway #5 – Great Career Advice

    To celebrate my ongoing series of personal productivity and personal development book reviews, I’m giving away my copy of Brazen Careerist. I reviewed the book in detail a few days ago and found it to be a collection of very good advice for twenty- or thirtysomethings. I’m giving it away – and I’m offering two …

  • Prepaying On Your Home Loan Is Just A Conservative Investment

    One of the regular debates here on The Simple Dollar is the eternal question of whether someone should prepay on their home loan or not. Any time you discuss a particular home mortgage situation with real numbers, someone will always say that it makes more sense to invest it somewhere else, while another person will …

  • The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Traffic Cone Edition

    I was flooded with traffic from MSN yesterday right in the midst of tinkering with the site code, resulting in some intermittent outages. Don’t worry – everything should be running smoothly now. How To Get Rid Of Your Junk I tend to agree with this – over time, we’ve come to find that the less …

  • Ten Ways To Save Money In Your Bathroom

    When I walk into a room at someone’s house, my eyes often spy a number of ways that they could be saving money just based on the items in the bathroom. Here are ten money-saving tips to reduce spending on regular bathroom usage. Toilet paper Buy it in bulk from your local warehouse store, then …

  • Big Dreams, Small Income: Financial Planning Without A Large Salary

    Recently, Fred wrote in outlining his situation: I’m 35. I make $30K a year. I lose about $4K of that every year to child support. A divorce (and student loans) has placed me about $20K in debt. The region of the US I live in considers $30K a year a very good income. I have …

  • Financial Planning For A Life Of Volunteerism And Social Work

    One of the most amazing people I’ve ever met has chosen a path of volunteerism and social work for her life. She’s taken the gifts and talents God has given her and chosen to forsake several much more lucrative opportunities to participate in a social work program fraught with challenges that I wouldn’t face for …

  • The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Make Edition

    My son got me a subscription to Make for Father’s Day. In the card, it said “Do some of these things with me when I get a little older!” You bet I will, son. A Mortgage Is Still Debt That Needs To Be Reduced One big reason why financially astute people don’t pay ahead on …

  • Review: Brazen Careerist

    Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. I picked up a copy of Brazen Careerist after stumbling upon Penelope’s blog of the same name, reading through the archives, and thinking to myself that this is something like a What Color Is Your Parachute? (read my review) focusing on twenty- …

  • Past Performance Is Not A Guarantee Of Future Returns

    Quite often on The Simple Dollar, I’ll put up a description of a financial situation that one of my readers finds themselves in, or I’ll create a straw man to illustrate the point. I’ll give an age and a situation, and then apply an investment choice to that person to see what happens when I …

  • Emptying Out A 401(k) To Pay Off Credit Card Debt

    A reader writes in with an interesting scenario: I’m 28 years old and I have two 401(k) accounts, both with about $30,000 in them. At the same time, I have about $25,000 in credit card debt because I made some very stupid moves a few years ago. I’m paying this debt down, but it’s at …

  • Seven Ways To Overcome Social Awkwardness That You Can Practice Anytime

    I’ve spent most of my adult life working hard to overcome many levels of social awkwardness, from the very basics of having enough courage to talk and knowing what to say to start a conversation to understanding how to read people. From the vantage point of today, I now see how this social awkwardness has …

  • What Does It Mean To Put Away 10% Of Your Salary For Retirement?

    A reader wrote in with the following question: I have read in many places that you should maximize your 401(k) contributions. To me it seems there are MANY definitions of maximizing this and I was wondering what you mean when you say you should be saving at least 10% of your income for retirement. Right …

  • Budgeting In The Era Of Online Bill Pay

    Recently, I sat down with my parents and had a lengthy discussion about a lot of financial issues (a separate ball of wax that I’ll deal with in another posting). During one part of this, my parents showed me the way they manage their monthly budget, mostly utilizing a steno pad, a calculator, and their …

  • Helping A Teenager Take The First Steps Towards Financial Freedom

    Yesterday, I had a very long IM conversation with a young cousin of mine who is in high school and has a pretty lucrative lawn care business going on right now. Most of my younger cadre of cousins and nieces and nephews look to me for advice on a lot of things that they would …

  • Review: Automatic Wealth for Grads

    Automatic Wealth for Grads was recommended to me by a reader of The Simple Dollar, a college student that I had exchanged several emails with. He described the book as inspirational and enlightening, but more difficult to follow than it seemed at first – I told him that most personal finance books were like that. …

  • The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Family Reunion Weekend Edition

    My wife and son and I are headed to a weekend-long family reunion – we’ll probably be in the car on the way there as you read this. It’s a huge reunion of my wife’s very extended family. In years past, this would have left me feeling like an outcast, but I’m actually going to …

  • I’ve Loaned My Friend Money And Now It’s Eating Me Up Inside

    I received two emails and comments in the last two days telling basically the same exact story: person lends friend money, friend doesn’t bother ever paying any of it back, person is bothered by this event. Here’s one of the stories: About three months ago, I loaned one of my best friends a month worth …