Month: May 2014

Review: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living

Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. I’ve written before concerning the positive effect that Dale Carnegie’s more famous book How to Win Friends and Influence People had on me, and also wrote a detailed overview of the book. It took years, however, before I bothered to pick up …

The Scoop On Volumetrics

A significant number of readers have requested that I post a detailed discussion of my experiences using the Volumetric weight control plan, so here goes. About a month and a half ago, I mentioned that I was trying out the Volumetric weight control plan as described in the book with the same title. So far, …

How I Build And Use A Price Book

About a week ago, I made an offhand mention of a price book in my detailed review of The Complete Tightwad Gazette. I compressed several ideas down into a single paragraph, mostly commenting on Amy Dacyczyn’s suggestion on how to do it from the book itself. Several readers wrote in and asked how I do …

Categories: Food, Shopping

The New Person At Work Is Getting Paid More Than I Am! How Can I Handle It?

Bea wrote in with the following story: I work at a small office and we have lost two employees this year….one left for more salary and benefits and another because they were moving out of state. While I was training one of the new replacements she mentioned her salary, which was $2 an hour more …

Categories: Advice, Careers

Starting A Savings Account For Your Newborn

Last night, I was at a party for several homes in our neighborhood and I had a long conversation with a couple who were completely intrigued by The Simple Dollar. They asked me a lot of questions about it, and also asked a few personal finance questions. The one that really piqued my interest was …

Categories: Family, Saving Money

Seven Ways To Save Money While Cooperating With Your Neighbors – And How To Get Started

One of the biggest untapped resources for frugality is one’s neighbors. If you have a good relationship with your neighbors, the frugal benefits for both of you can be tremendous. Here are seven frugal suggestions for shared activity with your neighbors that can save you both a wad of cash. Reciprocal babysitting Offer to watch …

Categories: Frugality

Understanding Stock Options: A Brief Look

A reader (whose identity shall remain secret) writes: I had a question about stock options that I was hoping you could answer. I work for a BIG internet company (you can probably guess which one). I have 114 stock options; a quarter of which vest each year for four years with a 10 year lifespan. …

Categories: Stocks

Review: The Overspent American

The vast majority of Americans are trapped in a cycle of “work and spend” and simply don’t know how to escape. We’re surrounded by an enormous abundance of incredible material goods, but these goods don’t really mean anything – they leave us with a hole that’s only partially filled by this stuff and we have …

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Discussing Ads Edition

Yesterday, a reader wrote to me with the following: It was a real turn-off to pull up your blog today and be faced with an ad for Viagra. I get enough of that as spam. Please fix this. The advertisement in question is depicted below (it’s non-clickable, I’m just putting it here for discussion’s sake). …

Categories: Morning Roundup

How To Invest 50 Million Dollars (After Taxes)?

A reader wrote to me recently and asked how I would invest $50 million after taxes. At first, I assumed this was a hypothetical question, but after exchanging a few emails, I found out that this was a real situation from someone who suddenly found themselves involved in managing a trust. This trust has one …

Categories: Investing

Freshly Graduated And About To Get A New Job? Here Are Seven Things To Do To Get Started On The Right Financial Path

In the last few days, a bevy of recent college graduates about to enter the workforce have written to me and asked what they should be doing with their finances at this point in their life. These are the smart ones – they realize that taking a few steps in the right direction now are …

Reflections On Being A New Homeowner

I moved into my new home almost a month ago and the period has given me time to reflect on my new status as a homeowner. This is a collection of some of these thoughts, which might give insight to a homeowner considering the move. My home makes me proud. I have significantly more pride …

Categories: Housing

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: An Amazing Supper Edition

Last night for supper, I diced an onion, took four bottles of beer, and boiled six bratwursts, the onion, and the beer until all there was left was a syrupy, thick substance and the cooked bratwursts. Then I spread this syrupy onion-beer solution onto the bratwursts and grilled them for a bit, making the coating …

Categories: Morning Roundup

When Debt Forces You To Stay At An Untenable Job

Will wrote in with this terrible lament: My boss keeps ratcheting up the hours that have to be worked and it has reached the point where I would rather do anything than go to work. The problem is that I can’t quit: I have a family and so much debt that if I were to …

Categories: Careers, Debt

What’s In My Wallet? Two Credit Cards I Actually Use

Over the last few weeks, several people have written to me asking about the credit cards that I actually use. I use two of them, and here’s how I use them and why. My primary card is a cash back credit card: Citi Driver’s Edge Options Platinum Mastercard (here’s Citi’s page about the card). It …

Categories: Credit Cards

A Guide To Setting And Reaching A Net Worth Goal

A few months ago, I discussed the crossover point, the dollar amount you need so that proceeds from your investments exceed your living expenses. Here’s a visual example: In the above graph, the person is investing 30% of their income each year and receives a 4% raise each year. That person reaches a crossover point …

Categories: Getting Started, Goals

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Facebook Edition

Some of you might notice that along the top of the website, I added a link to the menu that says “Facebook.” It goes to my Facebook profile, which is still a bit of a work in progress. I decided to join Facebook and use it as a place to post more “meta”-oriented stuff related …

Categories: Morning Roundup