Month: May 2014

Individual Stock Picking Advice

Last week, I wrote about Baby Steps For Individual Stock Picking, which gave starter tips on how one can invest in individual stocks. While I tend to primarily invest in low-cost index funds, I am interested in investing in a few individual companies whose business policies I greatly admire. Why invest in individual stocks at …

Several Funds, One Account: How To Manage Them

Over the past several months, I’ve suggested that people break up their savings into several smaller funds for various purposes: a home maintenance fund, an emergency fund, an automobile fund, and so on. Some readers have asked whether or not I use several accounts to manage this cash – the truth is that I use …

Categories: Money

A Visit To Super Suppers: Is It Worth My Simple Dollar?

Being fans of the once-a-month cooking concept, my wife and I have been eager to at least take a look at Super Suppers, which is basically a shop devoted to that concept. Basically, you go there, prepare a ton of meals at once, then take them home and put them in the freezer until meal …

Categories: Meals

Is A Deep Freezer Worth It?

My wife and I purchased a deep freezer over the weekend; we researched a bunch of models, figured in purchase and delivery costs, and wound up selecting a 21 cubic foot Frigidaire model. It cost us about $450 after our gift cards (we collected a pile of Home Depot, Target, and Bed Bath and Beyond …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

7 Steps To Help You Focus On Being Debt Free

While I was busy unpacking boxes, Amy wrote to me with the following story. We’re trying to dig out of our debt but it is slow going. And hard. Especially with a 14yo daughter and 10yo son who both expect certain material things. How does a person not lose the focus on the goal of …

Seven Tips For Your Next Big Move

Over the last week, my wife and I took on the challenge of moving from a small apartment to a nice family home. It turned out that we made some good moves and some bad ones during the move, and came up with some great ideas along the way that we weren’t necessarily able to …

Categories: Frugality, Housing

Review: Made to Stick

Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. For many of the people who will read this, coming up with ideas is a major part of how we make money. We work in an idea-based economy where intellectual property has value and the more people that know your ideas, the …

How To Get A Free iPhone

I had the opportunity to play with an iPhone last week and it inspired an incredibly high level of technolust inside of me. I wanted one. I needed one. But blindly dropping $600 on an iPhone is just something I can’t quite do, unless, of course, that the $600 comes into my pocket for free. …

Categories: Getting Started

Building A Home Maintenance And Improvement Fund

Having lived in a house that needed constant upkeep when I was young, I know the value of having money on hand to take care of home maintenance. As a new homeowner, that means I’m going to christen a home maintenance and improvement fund so that when such issues appear, I can handle them. What’s …

Categories: Housing, Saving Money

Lessons From My Grandfather In The Garden

My paternal grandfather has been a great inspiration to me in my life, from the interesting adventures he had early in his life to the amazing frugality he showed in his later life. He passed away when I was very young, in the middle of a harsh winter, but most of my memories of him …

Stock Picks: Baby Steps For Individual Stocks

One of the most regular questions I get asked is how I feel about individual stock picking. Should a good investor have individual stocks as part of their portfolio and, if so, how do they fit? From my perspective, individual stock picks are fine as a small part of an overall portfolio. Here’s my reasoning …

The Connection Between Financial Choices And Personal Values: The Kind Of Parent I Want To Be

Quite often, my wife and I find ourselves very thankful for the financial situation that we’re in. We’re healthy and of sound mind and we have the financial capacity to afford everything we actually need and we are able to live in a beautiful house with two healthy children. We’re lucky. One of our closest …

Procrastination, Money, And Me

A few days ago, I was reading a post at Money, Matter, and More Musings entitled Some Lessons From My Wallet. In it, the author makes the following interesting statement that really made me think: Makes me wonder if procrastination might be at the root of most misery. In the past I have written about …

Review: Wealth

Most of the personal finance books I review make some assumptions about the reader. They usually assume that the person is suffering some degree of financial hardship (usually debt) or, in the best case, merely has a relatively low net worth. Investment books speak to people usually just starting out in investing, people who are …

Categories: Books and Reading

Are Inflation Rates Accelerating? How Should I Plan For It?

My wife’s grandfather likes to regularly comment on how fast the price of everything seems to be increasing lately. He’s loudly adamant that the rate of inflation is actually speeding up and that prices are doubling faster and faster and faster. He strongly encourages me to estimate high for inflation when I do my financial …

Categories: Retirement

Why Debt Reduction is My Personal Finance Target

Recently, I had an individual write to me, telling me a lengthy tale of his mortgage. He was currently paying about 6% on it, but he had an adjustable rate on it and it could go up to as much as 7% in a few years. It was clearly worrying him, even though he knew …

Categories: Debt Management

The Ten Biggest Money Mistakes I’ve Made Since My Financial Meltdown

When I had my own financial armageddon, I was in a terrible spot. I had made mountains of money mistakes in the previous several years and I found myself floundering because of all of those mistakes. I made a real commitment to turning my financial life around – and this site was (partially) the result …

Categories: Getting Started

Kicking My Candy Bar Addiction In The Foot – And Saving Big Money

As I’ve mentioned on here a few times before, I’ve been trying out the Volumetrics weight control plan in an attempt to lose a few pounds. So far, it’s been working quite well, but what I found to be quite interesting is that it really exposed one of my worst daily splurges – and now …

Make Sure The Left Hand Knows What The Right Hand Is Doing: The Simple Dollar’s Guide To Assigning Priorities

I touched on this concept about a week ago when I discussed Maggie’s horror story, but it’s true – when one hand is doing the right thing while the other hand is making mistakes, you can end up in an even worse financial situation because of it. Take this situation that James found himself in: …