Month: May 2014

Frugal and Prepared: Emergency Supplies

With the recent earthquake in California and the oncoming winter here in Iowa, I thought it might be worthwhile to discuss how to properly prepare yourself so that if an emergency strikes, you’re well-prepared to handle it. Winter storms regularly take out the electricity in rural Iowa, for example, and if you live near a …

Categories: Getting Started

Seven Tips For Avoiding Boredom During A Financial Turnaround

One strong undercurrent of sentiment among commenters on this blog is that living a financially sensible lifestyle – spending far less than you earn, investing, not spending money foolishly, and so on – is boring. Incredibly boring, in fact. So boring that I get numerous comments along the lines of “WHY DON’T YOU GET A …

Some Thoughts on the Inaugural Simple Dollar Book Club

Now that the inaugural edition of The Simple Dollar book club is over, it’s time to sit back and look at what was good about it and what was bad about it. First, the good. I think overall it went well, and I know quite a few people out there did get into the book. …

Categories: Book Club, Meta

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Getting A Life Edition

Thanks to the many readers who let me know how to easily get a copy of Getting a Life, the pseudo-sequel to Your Money or Your Life. I’ll be reviewing it soon! The Minimum Budget: The Cost of Living for a Family of Four This is some interesting analysis of what it really costs to …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Your Money or Your Life: Final Reflections

This is the thirtieth and final part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? Your Money or Your Life has done more than any other book I’ve ever read in terms of changing how I view money. It truly brought to life the connection between …

The Ten Most Important Things I’ve Learned About Money and Life In The Last Year

A year ago today, The Simple Dollar began. At that time, I had figured out that I needed to always spend less than I make, but I still had some credit card debt and a truck loan to get rid of (on top of my other debts) and almost nothing in the bank. I also …

One Year of The Simple Dollar: My 25 Favorite Articles

To celebrate the one year anniversary of the launching of The Simple Dollar, I went through the archives and picked out my twenty five favorite articles. These aren’t necessarily the best, but the ones I enjoyed writing the most because they challenged my own thinking and they also brought forth some excellent responses from readers …

Categories: Meta

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Be My Digg Friend Edition

Yesterday, I signed up for a Digg account in order to start sharing the interesting links that I find. Basically, I’m going to submit my morning roundup links, a few of the best ones from The Simple Dollar, and a few more links each day that I find interesting. If you’d like to keep tabs …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Your Money or Your Life: Additional Resources

This is the twenty-ninth part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? The book closes with an excellent list of resources for materials related to the themes of Your Money or Your Life. I investigated several of these and found a few well worth noting …

Ten Tips For Writing A Resume That Will Get The Right Kind Of Attention

Over the last month, I’ve helped three different readers polish their resumes as they look to make a major career shift. In each case, I noticed several problems crop up over and over again. These problems weren’t ones that would sink the person, but they did prevent that person from standing out from the crowd, …

Categories: Careers

The Eternal Question: Am I Doing The Right Thing?

About four or five times a week, a reader will send me a very extensive explanation of what they’re doing financially and simply ask me if I think it’s okay – and virtually every time, it’s just fine. Even though some of the themes are repetitious, I actually quite like these emails, as it shows …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Current Readings Edition

Every few months, to fulfill the requests of a vocal group of readers, I list the four or five books I’ve read most recently (besides the ones directly for The Simple Dollar), along with my brief thoughts on them. Here we go… Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson is the book I’m currently reading (in fact, I’m …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Review: Stumbling on Happiness

Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. One of the most profound challenges in my life – and in the lives of a lot of people caught up with what seems like an endless list of demands – is staying happy. For the most part, I do a solid …

Your Money or Your Life: Cushions Make For Softer Landings

This is the twenty-eighth part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? Finally – the last section of the book itself. Although this “book club” isn’t quite finished, this is the last piece of actual text from the book, as today’s reading finishes up the …

Eight Frugal Ways To Face An Iowa Winter

The northern Midwest often faces some very rough winters, often including periods of many days with temperatures below zero Fahrenheit (-18 Celsius). Since I’m about to face my first winter as a homeowner, I spent some time contacting many of the homeowners I know in the area and asking for tips on reducing winter heating …

Categories: Housing

Your Money or Your Life: Three Pillars of Financial Independence

This is the twenty-seventh part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? According to Your Money and Your Life, the three pillars of financial independence are capital (the amount you have invested), cushion (a cash reserve/emergency fund), and cache (your saving habits and frugality). This …

Preserving The Things That Money Can’t Buy

A few days ago, I bought an external hard drive and started the process of archiving a lot of items that basically would be irreplaceable. I’ve started making high-resolution scans of old family pictures, personal documents, and so on, and saving digital copies of videos as well. Eventually, I plan to take this drive, encrypt …

Categories: Family

Your Money or Your Life: Now That You’ve Got It, What Are You Going To Do With It?

This is the twenty-sixth part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? A lot of people find this final chapter of Your Money or Your Life to be somewhat controversial because of the rather unorthodox investment advice contained within. However, regardless of your financial stance, …

Making It Up As I Go Along

A couple days ago, a reader named Matt left the following comment on a post about debt freedom versus investing: I’m starting to think that Trent makes a lot of this up. The “my friend quit his actuarial job to become a forklift operator” strained credulity and now it seems as though he can’t keep …

Categories: Meta