Month: May 2014

Six Habits I’ve Given Up In Order To Save Money – And How Much It’s Saved Me This Year

When most people think of giving up a habit, they think of quitting smoking or something to that effect. However, there are a lot of little habits that people pick up in their daily routines that they rarely even think about. At the start of the year, I made a concerted effort to give up …

Review: The Wall Street Journal Complete Personal Finance Guidebook

There’s a large number of roughly equivalent “personal finance guidebooks” out there that provide foundational explanations of personal finance use, from explaining how a bank works to the very foundations of investing to how a 401(k) works and so on. I chose to review this one out of the set because, well, it was given …

Categories: What We're Reading

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Robert Kiyosaki Edition

This week, my morning roundups are going to focus exclusively on specific personal finance writers. I’ve searched around the blogosphere researching these writers and the takes that others have on them and found a number of good ones. I’m finishing off the week with Robert Kiyosaki, perhaps the most controversial of all personal finance gurus. …

The Lowdown On Private Mortgage Insurance

Note: I was informed by several readers that PMI traditionally stands for private mortgage insurance, so I updated the article to reflect that. Many first time homebuyers are daunted with the prospect of saving up six figures to afford that 20% down payment, so they often take out home mortgages for less than a 20% …

Categories: Debt, Housing

Seven Ways To Save Money Preparing For Houseguests

For most of this week, a small invasion of my extended family is staying at our new house. This, of course, means that there’s a lot more mouths to feed at meal time and a lot more distractions. The end result is often a lot of unnecessary spending, simply because we didn’t think ahead a …

Categories: Automobile, Frugality

My Wife And I Debate Over Investing Or Paying Off Debt

About a week ago, I mentioned my investment plans now that we have a house. This post happened to be at the top of the site when my wife visited it, and it spurred a week long discussion between the two of us on whether we should be focused on building up that investment or …

Categories: Debt, Goals, Investing

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Phil Town Edition

This week, my morning roundups are going to focus exclusively on specific personal finance writers. I’ve searched around the blogosphere researching these writers and the takes that others have on them and found a number of good ones. Today’s topic is Phil Town, the individual who has triggered at least fifty emails in my inbox …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Using Mozilla Sunbird To Schedule Infrequent Home Maintenance Tasks – And Other Irregular Tasks

A while back, I posted an extensive checklist of monthly home maintenance tasks. There were some items on the list that didn’t need to be done every single month, but most of them are really quite useful to do each month if you want to keep your house in tip-top shape. There’s one big problem, …

Ten Ways That I Save Money Golfing

I admit to deeply enjoying a good round of golf, even though I rarely find time to play as much as I would like. The biggest drawback with the hobby, though, is expense – something that’s troubled me often. Here’s how I minimize the expense of playing golf. I only bought an inexpensive starter set …

Categories: Frugality

Personal Finance 101: Getting Credit Without A Credit Card

Tips and Alternative Solutions to Building Credit Mark writes in and asks: I’m 18, and recently applied for a credit card at Citibank. They rejected me on the basis that I have no credit history. I’ve had a savings account at a local bank for nearly my whole life with all of my money in …

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Dave Ramsey Edition

This week, my morning roundups are going to focus exclusively on specific personal finance writers. I’ve searched around the blogosphere researching these writers and the takes that others have on them and found a number of good ones. Today I’m taking a peek at Dave Ramsey, author of several personal finance books and the host …

Rebooting My Net Worth Calculator: Food For Thought On Starting – Or Restarting – Your Own

As I mentioned before, I kept my own net worth calculator in a spreadsheet; I even wrote up how exactly to make your own. I also used to post monthly status reports in order to help keep myself (and the readers) motivated to stay on a good course. However, with the recent purchase of a …

Comparing Dining Options: What’s The Best Deal For Your Time And Your Money?

One of the most frequent questions I’m asked revolves around comparing eating out to prepackaged meals and to making your own food. Quite often, people are looking for me to give a “thumbs up” to their decision to eat out because it saves time and effort, or they’re looking at prepackaged meals as an inexpensive …

Categories: Food, Frugality

The $50 Million Dollar Trust: From Despair To Motivation

A few days ago, I posted an article about an individual trying to figure out how to manage a $50 million trust. For a number of reasons, that article has stuck in my mind, and my feelings on the situation have grown and changed. After reflecting on all of it for a while, I realized …

Categories: Psychology

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Suze Orman Edition

This week, my morning roundups are going to focus exclusively on specific personal finance writers. I’ve searched around the blogosphere researching these writers and the takes that others have on them and found a number of good ones. Today I’m looking at Suze Orman, author of a pile of personal finance books and known to …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Personal Finance 101: Building Up Credit

Understanding Your Credit Score and Building Credit James wrote in and asked the following question: I just read your article: WHAT’S IN MY WALLET regarding credit cards. You mentioned that you pay your entire balance weekly. Would this work if you were trying to build credit also? How does building up credit work? Good question. …

Categories: Credit Reports

Frugal Garage Shelving: How To Build Sturdy Shelves In The Garage For Mere Pennies

My wife purchased a set of Gorilla z-beam shelving for $60 recently. We assembled this shelving unit and found it to be quite sturdy and able to hold a lot of stuff, but I couldn’t help but think that I could do a very similar job for much cheaper. So I set out to do …

Categories: Frugality

A Great Example Of Why “Better Returns” Are Often Not All They’re Cracked Up To Be

In a recent post about starting a savings account for a newborn, Jeremy Joslin left the following comment: I’m doing this for a best friend’s newborn. Problem is that I’m putting the money into a custodial account at my brokerage. I do $20/month but they take $4 per trade. Perhaps the commission isn’t worth the …

Categories: Investing

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Ben Stein Edition

This week, my morning roundups are going to focus exclusively on specific personal finance writers. I’ve searched around the blogosphere researching these writers and the takes that others have on them and found a number of good ones. I’m starting off with a writer whose biweekly columns on Yahoo! Finance have caused me to wax …

Categories: Morning Roundup