Month: May 2014

Ten Financial Bulls: Moving From Desperation To Financial Enlightenment Using A Zen Parable

There is a classic Zen Buddhist parable called Ten Bulls that has brought me a great deal of peace and thought at various points in my life. I realized recently while reflecting on it again that it actually speaks greatly to the growth of a person as they begin to understand how money and personal …

Categories: Getting Started

Why My Father Takes Out A Lighter And Burns $200 Each Month

About once a week, early in the morning, my father stops by a convenience station. He goes inside, gives the clerk behind the counter about fifty dollars, and walks out with a small paper bag in hand. He gets in the car, reaches into the bag, and pulls out a small package, which he unwraps. …

Categories: Getting Started

Time For A Change: Seven Things To Consider When Choosing A New Career Path

When I was in college, I believed that the biggest factor to choosing a career was whether or not the topic was interesting or not. As time went on, I actually found that just using this one criteria as a primary career consideration wasn’t the brightest idea and I eventually had to go in a …

Categories: Careers

One Thing You Can Do Today That Will Put You In Better Financial Shape Tomorrow

I’m about to reveal a very key technique that anyone can use to ensure that their financial shape tomorrow is better than their financial shape today. Even better, you can apply this technique every single day and, if successful, you will end up in substantially better financial shape than if you didn’t do it. It’s …

Categories: Getting Started

Taking Advantage Of Short-Term Opportunities

Several weeks ago, I had an opportunity to buy a Nintendo Wii at the suggested retail price. If I had taken advantage of the opportunity and immediately placed the item on eBay, I could have quickly netted a profit of $50 or so in a week with just a few minutes’ work, but it required …

Categories: Investing

A Primer On Once A Month Cooking

A while back over at Get Rich Slowly, J.D. talked about once a month cooking, which refers to a process of doing most of the effort for a month’s worth of home-cooked meals in one day, so that the other 29 days, the effort is minimal. I was quite interested in the topic, as it …

Categories: Meals

Review: Go Put Your Strengths To Work

Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. Go Put Your Strengths To Work is the third in a series of personal development books (the first two being First, Break All The Rules and Now, Discover Your Strengths) that, from book to book, have moved from being guidance for managers …

Calculating The Cost Of A Moving Service Versus The Cost Of Doing It Ourselves

Since my financial armageddon, I’ve become very good at calculating the cost of various services, the time it would take me to do it myself, and using that data to determine if it is an efficient use of time. As we’re about to move, one of the big decisions for us was whether it was …

Categories: Housing, Saving Money

Helping An Old Friend Manage His Estate In An Interesting Way

The grandfather of an old friend of mine called me a while back, saying that he had a few questions that he thought I could answer for him. He’d heard about The Simple Dollar through the grapevine and wanted to start out talking to someone he knew, but someone without anything financially at stake in …

Categories: Money

The Simple Dollar Book 2: Electric Boogaloo

A while back, I mentioned some half-formed ideas about a book based on The Simple Dollar and, as you can see from the comments there, many readers thought it wasn’t the best idea. So I shelved it I had a very serious nibble from a book publisher this past week who thought that my series, …

Making The Moving Transition Easier On Young Children

Right now, our tiny apartment has virtually everything boxed up and ready for the move and my twenty month old son has certainly noticed this. We haven’t yet taken apart the stuff in his bedroom (the crib literally has to be dismantled before it can be moved), but he’s quite aware of big changes going …

Categories: Family, Housing

What To Do If You Disagree With The Simple Dollar – Or Any Other Financial Guru

Inevitably, as you read this site, you’re going to find something that you disagree with – I write on too many topics for all of my readers to agree with me on everything. I know in the past, I’ve had some bitter disagreements with readers on Rich Dad, Poor Dad, pets, housing requirements, and many …

The Financial Cost Of Happiness

My wife and I had a long talk about a week ago in the exhausted afterglow of a day full of packing boxes for the move. We were talking about the moments that make us genuinely happy, those instances in our life where we feel pure joy. We tried to make a list of them, …

Review: It Pays To Talk

One of the most common questions I get asked from readers is how exactly to talk to others about money. I get emails from angry individuals whose spouses have made terrible financial moves. I get emails from worried parents who don’t know how to talk to their children about getting their financial house in order. …

Categories: Books and Reading

Treat It As A Bill: How I Made A Commitment To Saving Work For Me

Not all that long ago, if I wanted to spend money, I’d look at what was left in my checking account and spend it. I knew in the back of my mind that I should be saving some money, but I never looked at it as a requirement at all. It took me a while …

Need a Home Equity Loan? Answer 3 Questions First.

One of my closest friends has been itching to turn half of his basement into a den of sorts, with a full bar, a big screen television, a few couches, and a few card tables. Basically, he wants to have a “hang-out” place for a lot of his male friends on the weekends to watch …

Walking Through A Financial Horror Story

Every once in a while, I receive a story of a person who has slowly backed into a desperate financial situation. Usually, it’s pretty easy to root out the cause, so I often don’t share these horror stories with the world. Yesterday, though, I received a frightening email from a reader who laid out an …

Great Tips For A Frugal Grilling Experience

Since many of you will read this post, log off, and go celebrate a nice Fourth of July barbecue with your friends and acquaintances, here are ten frugal tips for making a great grilling experience. All of these either save you money, cost nothing, or cost just pennies, and they all will kick your ordinary …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

The Gray Area Between Want And Need

You’re a student and you need to buy some pens for class. You visit an office supply store, see a box of cheap black pens for $4, but then you spy a few high-quality pens for $20. Do you buy the more expensive but not quite necessary pens? You’re a parent who is new to …

Categories: Shopping