Month: May 2014

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

Your Money Or Your Life: How Much Is Enough? The Nature Of Fulfillment

This is the tenth part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? This chapter of Your Money or Your Life starts off with six questions that I thought were well worth reflecting on. So, here are my reflections on these questions. What did you want …

Should Men And Women Receive Different Personal Finance Advice?

A while back, my wife was leafing through a copy of David Bach’s Smart Women Finish Rich when she asked a very astute question: is it really necessary for men and women to receive different personal finance advice? I’ve puzzled over how to answer this for months, knowing what I want to say but realizing …

Your Money Or Your Life: Totaling It All Up

This is the ninth part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? If the “real hourly wage” calculation earlier in the book wasn’t tangible enough for you, this portion of the book makes it incredibly tangible. In that earlier example, I used a straw man …

Web 2.0 and Personal Finance: Why I’m Not Using Yodlee, Mint, or Wesabe – Yet

I get contacted quite regularly by groups who are creating Web 2.0 personal finance applications, and I’ve taken test drives of a lot of them. I’ve even been asked to advise on a few that are in the pipeline. If you’d like to sample a few, I’ve linked to a few of the best ones …

Planning Ahead For Our Next Car Purchases

With my previous car purchases, I did very little planning ahead. My first car was discovered in a semi-functioning state in the yard of an old friend of my parents – we put in some work and got it going. My second automobile was a pickup truck – I just got the type that my …

Categories: Automobile

Your Money Or Your Life: Where Is It All Going?

This is the eighth part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? Right off the bat in this chapter, Your Money or Your Life makes a bold statement that I strongly agree with: traditional budgeting doesn’t work in the real world. Identifying specific categories and …

The $21 Food Week: Is It Possible? Is It Healthy?

A while back, I read a fascinating article about the governor of Oregon and his attempt at eating for a week for just $21. This concept wormed around in my mind for months until recently, when I realized that this provided a pretty sharp frugality challenge. Can I feed myself for one week on just …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Money Magazine – October 2007

This issue actually happens to be Money Magazine’s 35th anniversary issue (incidentally, I happen to have the first issue as well), which means that (a) it’s thicker than normal and (b) there are some anniversary-themed articles inside along with the usual Money Magazine content. As usual, I’ll yank out the ten tidbits from the issue …

Categories: Money

Review: Lifehacker

Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. I’ve been a fan of Lifehacker (the blog) for years – as someone highly interested in personal productivity, there’s always something interesting to read on the front page. I have just one nit with the site, though – it’s almost too broadly …

Your Money or Your Life: Step 2 – Being In The Present And Tackling Your Life Energy

This is the seventh part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? I found the exercise in this chapter of Your Money or Your Life to be one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done in terms of really reflecting on what my job …

Ten Steps To Financial Success For A Minimum Wage Earner

There’s an individual who comments on The Simple Dollar (and a few other personal finance blogs) who identifies him- or herself as “Minimum Wage.” This person is singularly focused on the issues of low wage earners, and while his/her comments can be frustrating, sometimes Minimum Wage is really effective at pointing out how some advice …

Categories: Getting Started

Your Money or Your Life: Money Ain’t What It Used To Be – And Never Was

This is the sixth part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? The second chapter of Your Money or Your Life starts off with a focus on the four perspectives of money, an attempt to answer a very rhetorical question: What is money? It’s not …

How Can A Frugal Person Buy Expensive Items? A Deeper Look At Frugality

One of my more faithful readers sent me the following request: perhaps one day you could post a simple definition of what living frugal is. I wrote my niece and told her living frugal was a better alternative to living broke but short a novel length email I couldn’t really explain the concept (which is …

Categories: Frugality

Your Money or Your Life: Step 1 – Making Peace With The Past

This is the fifth part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? Each chapter in Your Money or Your Life finishes up with a project of some sort that illustrates a point about one’s personal finances. Most of these seem rather pointless at first, but …

How To Handle It When Life Kicks You In The Teeth

Eventually, it happens to everyone. Something unexpected and disastrous happens, leaving us with a giant medical bill or some other enormous expense. Maybe you wake up one morning with more than a pint of blood having poured from your ear (it happened to me in college) or you have a heart attack on Thanksgiving morning …

Review: Smart and Simple Financial Strategies for Busy People

After being decidedly unimpressed with Quinn’s first book Making the Most of Your Money (mostly, I felt like it was bloated and overly detailed, meaning it went out of date quickly), I was somewhat hesitant to review another book by Quinn. This time around, though, two things attracted me. First, the length – I felt …

Categories: Books and Reading