• The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Why No Giveaways Edition

    Several readers have asked why I haven’t given away any items in a long time. The basic reason is that this site has reached a level of popularity that I no longer feel comfortable with the legal nature of such giveaways. I am not a lawyer, but I’ve seen the legalese attached to many contests …

  • Seven Ways To Get Books For Free (Or Close To It)

    After reading the summary lists of the 52 Personal Finance Books in 52 Weeks series, some of you out there are probably yearning to pick up a book or two from the list. Or, perhaps you’re just yearning to read something else. Either way, there are a lot of ways to get books for free …

  • 52 Books, 52 Weeks: A Buyer’s Guide

    After posting my final rankings of all of the books I’ve read in the past year, several readers wrote to me saying that several of the books looked interesting, but they weren’t sure which one was right for them. I offered a few ideas, but then I realized that one final concluding post that summarized …

  • The Finances and Interactions of Alternative Living Arrangements

    Recently, there has been some talk in our house of inviting my wife’s sister to live with us on a permanent basis (in fact, my wife and I have already extended the invitation and she is thinking about it, though it is far far far from a done deal). We have the room to allow …

  • The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Campaign Work Edition

    I’ve basically volunteered myself to spreading the word about a certain presidential nominee in my local town in advance of the January 3rd caucus here in Iowa. It’s been interesting – I printed out a bunch of flyers and have been talking to people about the candidate. It’s amazing how far rational discussion can take …

  • How to Maintain Friendships With Non-Frugal People

    In response to yesterday’s post about fun, Erin wrote the following (adding my own emphasis): Whenever I do things with friends, they seem to always want to include eating out with the activity. Or they want to go shopping. When I suggest that we go out, but not eat out or that shopping is not …

  • 52 Books, 52 Weeks: 10 Fundamental Personal Finance Ideas

    As I read personal finance book after personal finance book over the last year, I came to realize that a lot of concepts in various books were exactly the same. In fact, there were a handful that were mentioned in a majority of the books, which would indicate something close to a universal truth about …

  • Where Do You Get Your Financial Advice?

    Some of my most faithful commenters have personal finance blogs of their own, and one of them, Mrs. Micah, asked a question that really got me thinking: where do you get your financial advice? The more I thought about the question, the more I realized that the answer isn’t as obvious as it seems at …

  • The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Joshua Tree Edition

    I realized recently that the one album I’ve listened to more than any other in my life has been The Joshua Tree by U2. I owned it on vinyl in 1987 and literally played it then until it was scratched to death, returned to it over and over again in the interim, and lately have …

  • Fun

    Twice or three times a day, a reader will send me an IM and strike up a conversation on some topic or another. Usually, I find out that we have some sort of interest in common and we spend some time talking about baking or video games or sports or books or Magic: the Gathering, …

  • 52 Books, 52 Weeks: The Top Ten

    Over the past year (starting in November 2006), I read a personal finance book each week and wrote a lengthy review of each one, a series which I completed just a few days ago. Now comes the fun part – comparing them, ranking them, and figuring out what I learned from them as a whole. …

  • Melancholy and Spending

    I often dip into melancholy moods, triggered by any number of things. One of the most regular triggers is a sense of detachment from my family, or else a feeling that I’ve done something really wrong as a husband or as a father. From what I’ve seen, this is a fairly common human experience – …

  • The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Decisions Edition

    Over the weekend and late last night, my wife and I had several long discussions about what our long term plans look like. We came to several decisions that we’re going to sit on until after Christmas to let them stew, then pull the pin on a few major changes in our lives. It’s one …

  • Eight Tips From An Ultra-Frugal Parent

    Over the weekend, I had an opportunity to have a chat about parenting with an extremely bright friend of mine from my high school days. He and his wife have three children and, though they both work full time jobs, don’t have a significantly large income in their home. I asked them how they do …

  • 52 Books, 52 Weeks: How They Rank (Except The Top Ten)

    As many of you know, over the past year, I read a personal finance book each week and wrote a lengthy review of each one, a series which I completed just a few days ago. Now comes the fun part – comparing them, ranking them, and figuring out what I learned from them as a …

  • Six Things I Look For At Yard Sales – And How I Get Them Even Cheaper

    Let’s face it: most items at yard sales are junk. The stuff is out there because it’s stuff that the family conducting the sale wants to get rid of – they often look at it as trash that they might be able to make $100 off of on a good weekend. With that in mind, …

  • The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: E-Book Edition

    A certain popular blog that I once read rather faithfully has jumped on board selling “premium” content to his readers, ones that he used to respect. Instead, readers are now nothing more than paying customers. Look, you guys made my blog the success it is today. To transform that into an apparent attempt to turn …

  • Review: Fooled By Randomness

    Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. I’ve been debating how exactly to discuss Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s Fooled by Randomness (subtitle: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets). It is perhaps singularly the most frustrating book I’ve ever read, but yet on some level I …

  • Parental Enthusiasm and Childhood Branding

    Recently, I reviewed the book Born to Buy and, almost simultaneously, Get Rich Slowly posted an article about the challenge of unbranded children. Both the book and the article focus on almost the same issue: the challenge of minimizing marketing to very young children. Many times in the past, I’ve encouraged parents to consider turning …