Month: May 2014

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Water Main Break Edition

Late last night, a water main broke about eighty feet from our house, sending a geyser of water way up in the air and soaking our yard quite well. Various equipment moved in and ran most of the night, leaving me with little sleep and a deep sense of exhaustion now. How The Rich Stay …

Categories: Morning Roundup

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, Parenting

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 …

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Productivity Book Review Edition

Yesterday, with that review of The 80/20 Principle, I reviewed my 25th book in the productivity book review series, which I’ll summarize later today. I may slow down the series in the near future, mostly because I can only think of several more books I’d like to review in the series. If you know of …

Categories: Morning Roundup

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: Frugality, Parenting

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 …

Categories: Psychology, Shopping

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 …

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 …

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: In Rainbows Edition

For those of you unaware, the band Radiohead (which I have faithfully followed since high school) have released their latest album In Rainbows directly on the internet in mp3 form. Most interestingly, there is no set price – you can pay whatever you wish for it. I find this to be a very interesting model, …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Your Money Or Your Life: Three Questions That Will Transform Your Life

This is the eleventh part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? This section encourages you to ask three vital questions about each category that you spend money on, but I find it’s much better to actually ask myself these questions about every purchase. Why? …

The Silent Room

I get asked over and over again by people how I am able to write so much material for The Simple Dollar while also working a regular job, managing a family, and keeping up with other interests. I usually point to a lot of things that I do: I practice Getting Things Done almost fanatically …

Planning A Frugal Halloween With Family

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. Where I live, children trick-or-treat door to door by the dozens, dressed up in all manner of costumes. My family particularly enjoys the idea of Halloween as something of a harvest celebration as well. The best part? Halloween offers all sorts of opportunities for frugality. …

Categories: Family, Frugality

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: My Least Favorite Thing About TV Playoff Baseball Coverage Edition

Dane Cook’s annoying commercials in which he shouts, “This is October!” I don’t know who the target demographic is for this ad, but my 13 year old nephew dislikes them, I dislike them, and my father dislikes them. Who are these things supposed to appeal to? Dane Cook’s alright, I suppose, but these ads do …

Categories: Morning Roundup