Month: May 2014

Five Reasons Why Having A Child Isn’t As Expensive As You Might Think

In the last week, I’ve received four emails from nearly-panicked people who have recently discovered they’re pregnant, crunched the numbers, and thought “MY GOD WE CAN’T AFFORD THIS CHILD!!!” and fell quickly into panic mode. Don’t. There are a lot of reasons why having a child isn’t the financial bomb that it’s made out to …

Categories: Family, Frugality

Your Money or Your Life: 101 Sure Ways To Save Money (Part One)

This is the seventeenth part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? Instead of focusing on each of the individual 101 ways to save money (and boring people to sleep), I thought I’d comment in general on the groupings of these (each seven or eight …

Stumbling on the Simple Things

When I write on The Simple Dollar, I often write about tips and techniques that I’ve found useful for saving and investing money. I’ll talk about the big things – like always spending less than you earn – but I also list things like ten ways to avoid financially responsible buying. I have very little …

Thinking About College After High School? Four Points of Advice That You Probably Won’t Hear From Your Guidance Counselor

When I think back to my high school years, I realize that I didn’t have the faintest idea of what I wanted to do with my life, nor many of the options really available to me. I had a sense that I needed a significant change of scenery for a while because I did not …

Your Money or Your Life: Ten Sure Ways To Save Money

This is the sixteenth part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? Let’s move through these ten items one at a time. 1. Don’t go shopping If you’re not going to a retail outlet in pursuit of a specific item, don’t go. If you do, …

The Feeling You Get From A Coca-Cola Classic: How Advertising Tickles Your Wallet – And Five Ways To Fight It

Whenever I hear that phrase the feeling you get from a Coca-Cola Classic, my tongue tingles a bit and I can’t help but think, “Man, an ice cold Coke in a glass bottle sounds good right now.” That ad works like a charm on me and it likely encouraged me to buy far more Coke …

Adventures in Frugality

The weekend after next, we are expecting eleven houseguests who will be staying for varying periods of time ranging from two days to seven days. This means that on top of the challenges of having two children in diapers, we also need to plan ahead for food for that many guests. Since we’re frugal, that …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Your Money or Your Life: The American Dream – On A Shoestring

This is the fifteenth part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? This chapter is about frugality – there’s really no way around it. In their words: Frugality is enjoying the virtue of getting good value for every minute of your life energy and from …

Some Notes on the Environment

This post was written for Blog Action Day, in which a group of bloggers are all posting on environmental topics on the same day. I’ve written several times in the past about environmental issues and saving money: The Green Dollar Conserve Energy, Save Money, Save The World Prosperity and the Planet 42 Ways Going Green …

Categories: Family

Building A Personal Productivity And Development Library: What’s Essential, What Isn’t

Over the last twenty five Sundays, I’ve written lengthy reviews of 25 personal productivity and personal development books, enough to clearly be able to start separating the wheat from the chaff. Some of these books have been tremendous and really made me think about the world in a new way. Others have been not so …

Review: The 80/20 Principle

Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. The title of this interesting book refers to the Pareto principle, which states that “for many events, 80% of the effects comes from 20% of the causes.” For example, 80% of the happiness in your life comes from only 20% of the …

Your Money or Your Life: Getting Your Finances Out In The Open

This is the fourteenth part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? Most of the remainder of the fifth chapter spells out the usefulness of keeping an up-to-date chart of your financial situation. The ending of the chapter really drove it home, as it stated …

Children’s Gifts: Don’t Spend A Lot On What They Don’t Want

Over my son’s life, he’s received numerous gifts from his parents (my wife and I), his grandparents, and his aunts and uncles. We actually have many more toys now than he regularly plays with, so we’ve given a few away and have some others in storage so we can rotate them monthly, giving him the …

Categories: Family, Frugality

Your Money or Your Life: Seeing Progress

This is the thirteenth part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? The fifth chapter of this book focuses on creating a visual record of one’s income and expenses in the form of a line chart, so that one can keep clear tabs on the …

Dealing With Professional Exhaustion In A Financially Sensible Way

Sometime in the last month, one of my friends quit his job as an actuary for a large insurance company. He’s single, has a Ph. D. in mathematics, and no debt at all. He quit for one reason and one reason alone. I’ll let him tell it to you: I got tired of going home …

10 Simple Ways to Beat Impulse Buying

About once a month as a Friday “bonus” post, I’m featuring an original article written by one of my favorite bloggers. This guest article was written by Leo Babauta of Zen Habits. The enemy of frugality and simplicity and your monthly budget is the impulse buy. We’ve all done it, of course, and it can …

Your Money or Your Life: Assessing the Three Questions

This is the twelfth part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? Yesterday, we took a look at three questions one should use in evaluating one’s spending for the month. What you’ll find, if you genuinely answer those questions, is that it identifies the portions …

Selling My Future, One Dollar At A Time

Even though I have myself on a very healthy financial track, I’m still prone to the weakness of buying material goods. I think of things that I want and over time, I tend to talk myself into buying them, spending money that I really shouldn’t be spending. Many readers ask why I shouldn’t be spending …

Categories: Getting Started, Money

Review: The Four Pillars of Investing

I’ve been excited to review this book for a while. I remember the first time I picked it up, in a bookstore early this year. I read almost the entire book over a three hour period while curled up in a chair at the back of the store, only interrupted by my wife calling wondering …