Month: May 2014

An Inheritance of Collectibles

Not too long ago, a friend of mine inherited a collection of thimbles from his grandmother. Aside from one that he wished to save for nostalgia, he had no reason to keep the collection and wanted to liquidate it (that’s actually what she wanted him to do – keep any with sentimental value and get …

Categories: Getting Started

Review: Common Sense on Mutual Funds

Each Friday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. Over the last couple of years, I’ve become quite familiar with John Bogle’s investing philosophy of low-cost broad-based index fund investing. Because this philosophy made so much sense to me, especially after reading Bogle’s short book The Little Book of Common Sense Investing, that I …

Categories: Books, Investing

A Quick Note About The Book Club Reading of What Color Is Your Parachute

This Monday, the first entry in the book club reading of What Color Is Your Parachute? will be posted, so if you’re interested in participating, you might want to dig out your copy. I will be reading the 2008 edition of the book, but the changes from earlier editions are pretty minimal and you should …

Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance on the Back of Five Business Cards

A few days ago, I had lunch with an individual who is considering hiring me to give a multi-hour seminar to a business convention on personal finance. This person knows me from the local community and is a reader of The Simple Dollar and he felt that I might be the right person to give …

Categories: Getting Started

Simple Frugality By The Hourly Rate

Quite often on The Simple Dollar, I’ll suggest some specific frugal idea, like rewashing a Ziploc bag, and inevitably someone will complain that I’m a “cheapskate” and that I should “get a life.” I usually find such comments quite amusing, simply because these individuals aren’t looking at the bigger picture. One instance of frugality doesn’t …

How To Deal With Demand Overload

Most of the time, I’m a pretty organized person who keeps up with the tasks thrown at me every day. Sometimes, though. the flood of demands on my time starts to spiral out of control. Right now, for example, I’m buried under expanded and unexpected responsibilities. My son is going through a period of deep …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: New Thing Edition

It was interesting constructing this first weekly roundup. I basically kept reading my favorite blogs and saving the articles I liked the most from all of them, then I boiled the thirty or so I had bookmarked down to the handful that you see here. Before, with morning roundups, I would sometimes only find one …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Setting My Own Personal Finance Goals

On an earlier post about losing financial focus, Erick left the following comment: You mention that you are making progress to your goals but still have a long way to go. What are these goals? I assume reaching the “crossover point”? And I know this is nosy but when you say you have enough money …

Categories: Goals

You Can Become A Millionaire In Just Five Minutes A Day!

I’m fascinated by those “earn $7,000 a month at home part time!” commercials that seem to constantly air during low-rated television programming. These commercials seem to contain a number of people who discovered a “path to wealth” from their living room and they discuss how easy it is – anyone can do it, after all. …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar’s Christmas Charity Drive 2007: L’Arche Tahoma Hope

Each year at Christmastime, I identify a particular charity that fills an important need in a community. I usually choose one that I have a personal connection to, having visited the facility and/or have had a close friend or family member working there, and the charity must be in line with my personal values of …

Categories: Charity, Christmas

Six Ways to Fight Back When You Lose Financial Focus

Once every couple months, I go through a period for about a week or so where I really wonder why I’m keeping my financial house in such tight order. I look around at what my friends and family are doing and I see them enjoying a lot of things with their money – and a …

Review: On Writing

Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. Many of you might be quite surprised that I would review a book by Stephen King under the guise of a personal productivity/personal development book, but if you’ve ever read On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, it makes a lot of …

How Checklists Help Me With My Personal Finance – And How I Trick Myself Into Making Them Work

Regular readers of this website have seen that the idea of lists in various forms comes up over and over again. I make “lists” of the stuff I need to do, lists for the grocery store, lists of home and auto maintenance tasks, and so on. I haven’t even mentioned many of the things that …

The Tug of War Between Frugality, Hobbies, and an Emergency Fund

Quite often, I admire my cousin and his wife for some of the frugal things they choose to do in their lives. They buy late model used cars and drive them until they need replaced, eat out only on extremely rare occasions, and know cold which generic products are basically the same as the name …

Twelve Important Things To Talk About When Your Relationship Gets Serious

One thing that I feel I did very right earlier in my life was building a strong, communication-based relationship with my wife in the years before our marriage. We talked about everything, building up to a point where no topic was off limits between us and we could expect a truly honest answer from each …

Review: Automatic Wealth

Each Friday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. A while back, I read and gave a rather positive review to Michael Masterson’s Automatic Wealth For Grads. I found it to be a very good personal finance and life skills book for people who are within three years or so of college graduation, but …

Categories: Books

Should You Help People Who Won’t Help Themselves?

When I was young, I was very, very close to a particular relative of mine. He was about ten years older than I was, yet he was always there for me in a very supporting way, almost exactly in the way you would hope a loving and caring older brother would be. I have a …

Categories: Family

A Thanksgiving Tradition

One of my closest friends has a family tradition that I quite like, and I’ve been slowly trying to implement in my own family. Basically, each year after Thanksgiving dinner, all of the people sit around in the living room and each person takes a few minutes and talks about the thing they are most …

Categories: Getting Started

The Expenses of a Soda Pop Addiction – And How to Defeat It

My wife and I have both been addicted to soda for many years. On an average day, I would drink six cans of soda and my wife would drink four cans, meaning we would go through ten cans a day at our house. The Direct Costs We would typically buy soda by the case from …

Categories: Getting Started