Month: May 2014

Should I Go Without Health Insurance?

This week, The Simple Dollar attempts to address challenging questions in personal finance by looking at both sides of the story and figuring out some of the factors you need to look at to make a decision. Over the last few months, I’ve received many, many emails from people thinking about a career change, usually …

Categories: Careers, Health, Insurance

Nine Ways To Maximize Your Personal Hygiene Dollars

A long time ago, I wrote about the value of personal appearance, arguing that money invested in a nice, clean appearance was worthwhile. However, for many, that seems to conflict greatly with living a frugal lifestyle – how can you spend a lot of money on personal appearance and still maintain some financial standards? The …

Categories: Frugality

Should I Eliminate Financial Support For My Child After High School?

This week, The Simple Dollar attempts to address challenging questions in personal finance by looking at both sides of the story and figuring out some of the factors you need to look at to make a decision. For many parents, it’s a given that they’ll save for their child’s college education, and they consider it …

Categories: Education, Parenting

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Water, Water Everywhere Edition

My doctor has prescribed that I drink a total of 96 ounces of water a day – that’s the equivalent of eight 12 ounce cans of soda. This is actually more liquid total than I used to take in before trying this, so it’s been interesting. I think I feel better, but I also spend …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Review: How to Read a Book

Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. When I was in the eighth grade, one caring teacher of mine showed me several little techniques for how to get the most possible out of a book. He told me to keep a notebook nearby when I was reading so I …

Homemade Bread: Cheap, Delicious, Healthy, and Easier Than You Think

Over the last year, I’ve gradually moved more and more towards making my own food at home. There are several reasons for this: it tastes better, it reduces preservative intake, it’s more nutritious, and it’s often substantially cheaper than what you find in the store. It does take time, but once you get used to …

Categories: Food, Frugality, Photo Diary

Consumer Reports – December 2007

Consumer Reports has asked me to eliminate the content of my summaries and any other references to the content of Consumer Reports. I have complied.

Categories: Uncategorized

October 2007 Review – Assets +0.26%, Debts -2.28%

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 …

Maximizing Customer Loyalty Programs

Customer loyalty programs are those free programs a person can sign up for at a particular retailer than offers rewards of various kinds for spending certain amounts of money or making certain numbers of purchases. Although it can be a bit of a hassle to sign up the first time, afterwards it is an extremely …

Categories: Shopping

Motivating Yourself to Exercise Without Breaking the Bank

Perhaps my biggest personal fault (at least from my own perspective) is that I have a very hard time committing myself to an exercise routine. I know how to get into shape (I was actually in very good shape at about age nineteen), but that was actually fueled by other personal issues going on at …

Categories: Frugality, Psychology

How to Create A Nifty Visual Savings Goal Reminder

As I slowly save for a new vehicle (we’re planning on a Honda Odyssey or a Toyota Sienna), I’ve come to realize that saving for a specific goal like this often seems slow and a bit unrewarding. Sure, the bank account goes up over time, but it still seems as though the goal is a …

Categories: Goals, Planning, Psychology

Review: Born to Buy

The influence of consumerism on my children has been a concern to me for a long time. From the moment I first held my son, I realized that I had a deep responsibility to raise him with strong values and the ability to reason through information presented to him, and I feel exactly the same …

Categories: What We're Reading

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Gift Bag Edition

It’s official – out of all of the consumer goods out there, I am most annoyed by the gift bag. Wow. $4 for a bag. That’s unbelievable. I’d far rather give and receive a present wrapped in newspaper or in a brown paper bag. I don’t get it, seriously – why not spend more on …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Dealing With Professional Burnout Without Quitting Your Job

At some point, most people reach a point of “burnout” with their job. The routines, paperwork, and effort reach a point of becoming overwhelming and you go home feeling absolutely empty, devoid of energy and life. I’ve gone through several periods like this myself, and I’ve developed a lot of techniques for dealing with this …

Categories: Careers

Revisiting The Happiness Scale

Several days ago, I wrote a lengthy review of Stumbling on Happiness, where I discussed the idea of a happiness scale: Take a set of experiences in your life and put them on a scale of 1 to 10, where the 10 is the greatest happiness you’ve ever experienced. For most people, experiences above a …

A Financial (and Personal) Commitment For November

Over the last month, I’ve been re-reading Your Money or Your Life slowly and carefully for the book club, and it definitely again shifted the way I think about a lot of things, as I wrote about in the conclusion. One thing it made me realize is that I already have all of the things …

Categories: Goals, Meta

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Book Club Update Edition

After the splendid discussion yesterday, I found a few themes running through the comments that were pretty consistent: One, the first one went too fast and was posted too frequently. I agree with that quite a bit. Every day was almost overwhelming and caused some people to just start ignoring it. Two, aside from that …