Month: May 2014

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first book Making the Most of Your Money (mostly, I felt like it was bloated and overly detailed, meaning it went out of date quickly), I was somewhat hesitant to review another book by Quinn.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: What We're Reading

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Freedom Friday Edition

This is the first time in more than three months I’ve genuinely been looking forward to a somewhat relaxing weekend. I plan on doing little else but taking care of household chores, playing with my kids, watching some baseball, reading, and playing a few games on my Wii. The First Million Is The Hardest This …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Your Money or Your Life: The Beginning of a New Road Map for Money

This is the fourth part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? The middle portion of the first chapter focuses on the “fulfillment curve,” which basically refers to the idea that once you reach a certain level of luxury in your life, anything beyond that …

How To Minimize The Cost (And Maximize The Benefit) Of Eating Out For Business

I’m a pretty avid follower of the “brown bag club” – I take my own lunch to work very regularly and have some soup at my desk for the days when leftovers aren’t present. However, there are simply some times where, for business or social reasons, I must eat out with others. Here are seven …

What’s Your Obstacle?

No matter what your goals are, no matter what your financial situation is, some obstacle (or obstacles) sits in your way. To get started, here are my biggest obstacles: Time I have two successful side businesses right now in addition to my main job. Along with time I set aside to spend with my family, …

Categories: Goals

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Logic Puzzle Edition

Most mornings, I start off my day by doing a logic puzzle, some combination of a kakuro puzzle, a sudoku puzzle, or a picross puzzle. This, immediately after some cold water splashed on the face, gets my mind going and gets me in the right mood to write. Most Personal Finance Bloggers Are Rich, Self-Righteous, …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Your Money or Your Life: Prosperity and the Planet

This is the third part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? Your Money Or Your Life has a reputation in some circles for having a leftist political perspective, and it shows through in this section, subtitled “Prosperity and the Planet.” The crux of the …

Frugality Campaigning: How To Support Your Favorite Candidate Or Cause With Frugal Living

Please note that I am not endorsing or supporting any candidate or cause with this post. I use a few examples in here, but the examples were chosen solely for clarity. My wife and I both are heavily interested in politics, and since we happen to live in Iowa (one of the traditional “early” states …

Five Lessons My Friend’s Passing Taught Me About Money, Life, And Everything Else

As I mentioned in yesterday’s morning roundup, a close friend of mine passed away over the weekend. I rushed back to my hometown area and spent three days seeing family and friends and attending a visitation, a gathering that amounted to a wake, and an emotional funeral. It’s all over now, but I still feel …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Mental Blitz Edition

It feels like the last several days have been a fog – I’ve reached a point where a day or two of mental unwinding would be very good for my psyche. The Smell of Money: How Marketers Use Scent To Encourage Spending I mentioned before how Williams-Sonoma uses this trick to encourage people to buy …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Your Money or Your Life: The Money Trap

This is the second part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? This section focuses primarily on the psychological punishment that is the modern career, and when you look at it from the context of the idea that our jobs fill most of our waking …

Thirteen Ways To Reduce Financial “Bad Luck”

I have a close relative who is always complaining about how he’s broke because of various elements of bad luck. His car’s broken down, his water heater leaks, he got a speeding ticket – there’s always some reason why he can’t get ahead financially. The problem is that when times are good, he often spends …

The One Hour Project: Thirty Ways To Use One Hour To Improve Your Finances – And Open The Door To More Riches

Over the last month, I’ve posted a series of “One Hour Projects” – posts intended to describe a task that will take one hour that will either directly improve your financial state or put you in the position to have financial rewards come to you. Here, in a nutshell, are all thirty one hour projects, …

Categories: One Hour Project

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Farewell To A Friend Edition

A close family friend passed away over the weekend. With the exception of my parents’ home and my own, I probably have spent more time in his home than anyone else. I’ll miss him. A lot. If you’re there reading this on the ol’ internet terminal in the sky, I can still remember what that …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Your Money or Your Life: Prologue

This is the first part of The Simple Dollar Book Club reading of Your Money or Your Life. Want to know more? Right off the bat, the book asks a series of probing questions that basically demand some degree of introspection. Just try reading through these without reflecting on your life a bit: Do you …

Should You Give Yourself Material Rewards For Meeting Certain Milestones?

I’m a very strong believer in setting personal marks of success for yourself, something that I’ve used both before and after my financial turnaround. Setting specific goals for yourself and working consistently to meet them fills you with a deep sense of accomplishment in your life. Before my turnaround, I would set achievement goals in …

Categories: Goals

September 2007 Review – Assets +1.72%, Debts -0.29%

Once again, it’s time for a monthly review of my finances. I generally break things down by evaluating my assets and my debts (which together make up my net worth), and then using these numbers, I attempt to set goals for the coming month. This is a useful exercise for everyone to do, simply so …

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Longest Weekend Edition

This weekend contained a four and a half hour car trip immediately followed by a five hour car trip. Both involved a toddler and a newborn in the car. We stopped about every thirty to forty-five minutes. At one particularly memorable stop (near Mount Pleasant, Iowa), both my wife and I were simultaneously changing rancid …

Categories: Morning Roundup