• Online Personal Finance Analysis Tools: Some Thoughts on Quicken Online, Mint, and Wesabe

    There’s been a lot of discussion lately about web-based personal finance tracking tools, especially since Intuit launched Quicken Online and Mint won the TechCrunch 40 award. These conversations have led in many directions – clearly these tools are useful, but are they worth the security concerns? Let’s take a look at what these tools have …

  • Consumer Reports – March 2008

    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…

  • Emotional Fulfillment and Financial Success

    Recently, I read an excellent discussion on why we don’t save money. I originally intended to include it in my weekly roundup this week, but as I began to write my thoughts on the topic, I realized that I had a lot to say on the issue. Erica argues that we spend primarily for emotional …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Total Trust Edition

    How many people in your life do you trust completely? The kind of people that you’d not hesitate handing your wallet to, allowing them to dig through it. The kind of people that you’d allow to live in your house, no questions asked, and immediately be completely comfortable. I can only think of four people …

  • How to Find One’s Credit Report and Credit Score Inexpensively and Safely

    Whenever you make a significant financial move today that requires financial assistance, it’s often accompanied by a check of your credit report and often a retrieval of your credit score. Lenders (and, quite frequently, other agencies like insurance companies) use this information to help determine a customized offer for you, so it’s quite useful to …

  • How to Build a Reading Hobby (Or Any Inexpensive Hobby)

    As any regular reader of The Simple Dollar knows, I love to read. It’s a hobby that relaxes me, encourages me to think, and doesn’t cost very much to participate in, and it’s one I’ve enjoyed as far back as I can remember. I can scarcely leave my house without a book in tow and …

  • Encouraging Young People to Be Entrepreneurs

    When I was young, I was a budding entrepreneur. In the late 1980s, one could easy get forty cents a pound for aluminum, so I adamantly collected cans. I provided garbage cans for neighbors to toss their empty cans in, then I would go on a route and collect those cans, adding them to my …

  • Wallet Hacking: Six Tactics for Modifying Your Wallet to Minimize Your Spending and Maximize Your Time

    One of the first major challenges I had to overcome during my financial turnaround was right there in my own back pocket. It was an overstuffed monstrosity, holding several credit cards, a gigantic pile of receipts, and a plethora of other nonsense. When I actually needed something out of it, it was a challenge to …

  • Review: Never Wrestle With A Pig

    Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. An old friend of mine loaned me Never Wrestle With A Pig in the mail recently, with a little Post-It note that said “This is the best career advice I’ve ever read, even if I don’t follow all of it.” That note …

  • The Simple Dollar Book: Where Do I Go Now?

    As many of you know, I’ve been writing a book over the last several months in my spare time, and it’s basically completed. I wanted to give you an update on the project and let you know where things are going with it. What’s the status of the book? The first draft is finished and …

  • Six Steps for a Beginning Stock Investor

    Once a person has their debt under control, the next thing that they want to do with their money is figure out ways to maximize it, and most of the time the potential gains of the stock market look like a great place to put money. But how? For the average person, the diversity of …

  • Twelve Invaluable Life and Money Hacks: Little Daily Steps for Finding the Money and Time to Get Things Done

    Since starting The Simple Dollar (and discovering, when it became successful, that it required constant attention) and having two children, I’ve found that getting financially ahead and finding the time to get everything done both became significantly more challenging than before. While the big things really help, it’s the little things – repeated often – …

  • Review: Gotcha Capitalism

    Each Friday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. Few things annoy me more than hidden costs. In fact, it was repeated hidden costs that finally made me ditch the bank I had been using for a decade – I got tired of hidden maintenance fees and ATM fees sneaking up on me time …

  • Robert Kiyosaki and Learning From Another Perspective

    Several months ago, I offered up a detailed and rather negative review of the well known personal finance book Rich Dad, Poor Dad. In it, the author, Robert Kiyosaki, encourages people to take on a substantial amount of risk in order to get rich and largely derides people who choose not to take on that …

  • I’m Frugal, But My Spouse Is Not

    This sentiment comes up quite often in the comments at The Simple Dollar: people leave notes complaining that they make frugal choices, but their spouse interprets that move not as a long term financial benefit but as more money to spend right now. Thus, their frugal ways go without the long term reward – they’re …

  • The Fed Cuts Rates – What Does That Mean For Me?

    Whenever the Federal Reserve makes a move, it dominates headlines. I watched CNN for a while yesterday while waiting for a meeting and they kept going back to the big news that the Federal Reserve cut the prime lending rate by 0.75%. Most news stories make it clear that this is theoretically beneficial to stocks, …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Downloadables Edition

    Since eliminating most of the ads on The Simple Dollar for ethical reasons, I’ve been looking at other approaches to earning money from the many hours of work I put into The Simple Dollar. Most of the initiatives have been suggested by readers: I’ve put out a donation button and I’ve directly contacted several companies …

  • Personal Finance and the Fundamental Choice

    A few days ago, I reviewed in detail the excellent book The Path of Least Resistance by Robert Fritz. In that book, Fritz posits that most of the time, our lives take the path of least resistance around and through the obstacles of life, both those dealt to us by others and those within our …

  • The Value of Customer Service

    In the wake of yesterday’s discussion about ING Direct and customer service, a fair number of readers wondered whether I am overvaluing customer service. I personally believe that good customer service is worth a premium on most items, from a bank account to an electronic device, and here’s why. In 2002, I purchased an iPod. …