• Investing in Yourself: Exercise

    Recently, I discussed the value of investing in yourself – putting time and money into improving you, not building assets. Today, we’ll look at one area of investing in yourself as part of an ongoing series on the topic, spread out once per weekday over two weeks. If you’d like to review all the entries, …

  • Little Income, Big Debts: Managing Your Money in Your College Years

    Here’s what you shouldn’t do. When I was in college, I used my student loans to finance my lifestyle. I worked at a decent paying job ($9 an hour at a job related to my major was great), but that wasn’t enough – I needed more. So I took out student loans, even though scholarships …

  • Investing in Yourself: Education and Cultural Literacy

    Recently, I discussed the value of investing in yourself – putting time and money into improving you, not building assets. Today, we’ll look at one area of investing in yourself as part of an ongoing series on the topic, spread out once per weekday over two weeks. If you’d like to review all the entries, …

  • Nine Techniques for Developing Patience

    The single greatest challenge I’ve faced since learning how to turn my financial life around is patience. I want to be debt free now. I don’t want to face the long journey from near-bankruptcy to financial independence. I practice frugality every day and I’m working hard to create more income, but the path from where …

  • Review: Know-How

    Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. This book drew me in by its subtitle: The 8 Skills That Separate People Who Perform from Those Who Don’t. I knew before I even picked it up that it was a book on leading a business – I was familiar with …

  • 25 Questions to Think About Before Your Next Job Interview

    I’ve mentioned a few times on The Simple Dollar that I have conducted a substantial number of job interviews in the past. Although the jobs I usually hire for are technical in nature, most of the truly telling (and thus truly valuable) questions were non-technical questions. A great interview question reveals the nature of the …

  • Financial Independence: Defining It and Figuring Out How to Get There

    My big, overarching dream is to achieve true financial independence. By that, I mean that I have enough money saved and invested that I can live off the interest and investment income – a point that I’ve discussed before as the crossover point. This is a huge goal, one that I won’t achieve for many …

  • The Value of Investing in Yourself

    For many young people, particularly people under the age of thirty, there’s quite often more value in investing in yourself than there is in investing in stocks. A well-conceived investment in your future can continue to pay dividends over the rest of your life. Some investments in yourself can even be worthwhile near the end …

  • Review: In Defense of Food

    Each Friday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. This week, I’m going for a severe change of pace from the usual book on personal finance issues. Instead, I’m reviewing a book about food and nutrition – what we eat, why we eat it, and how it relates to our health and – inevitably …

  • Training Wheels: Why I’m Spending Less and Less Time Managing my Personal Finances

    When I first went through my financial meltdown, I was almost obsessive about my various accounts. I checked my credit card and bank balances on a daily basis, kept careful notes on every penny I spent, and planned and plotted every single tiny expense. The giant budgets and debt snowballs and investing plans I created …

  • Defeating Superman Syndrome: How to Progress Beyond the “Need” to Be the Financial Hero

    When I was freshly out of college with my first high-paying job, I would constantly insist on paying for everything. Meals out with friends, lattes at the coffee shop, even sometimes shopping purchases – I felt this deep need to step in, bust out my plastic, and say, “I’ll take care of it!” This burning …

  • Nine Simple Ways to Stand Out in Your Career

    For a long time, I worked in what you might think of as a typical office environment – imagine Dilbert without the pointy-haired boss (my bosses have all been both intelligent and wise people, thankfully). During that time there, it became clear that there were three groups of people: the ones that were useful and …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Cooking Blog Update Edition

    Recently, several readers have asked about my proposed cooking blog. There are really three big factors that have kept me from launching it. First, I want to have plenty of content built up before I launch. My current plan is for it to have one new post a day, but I want to have a …

  • Simple Steps to Avoid Identity Theft

    Over the last three days, three different readers have written to me in a panic, concerned that they may be the victims of identity theft. At least one of these readers clearly was a victim of such theft – the other two may have had their identity stolen, but it hasn’t been used yet. I’ve …

  • Misery is not Miserly: Breaking the Connection Between Spending and Sadness

    One of my readers recently alerted me to an interesting article at CNN.com entitled Why Sadness Can Blow Your Budget. The article discusses the “misery is not miserly” phenomenon, where people who are experiencing sadness tend to be much less in control of their personal spending, prone to splurges and poor consumer choices. Even more …

  • Using SuperCook to Save on Your Grocery Bill

    Over the last week, SuperCook has quickly become one of my favorite websites. Basically, SuperCook is a database of recipes that works in a very clever fashion – just start entering ingredients in the upper left and it will start listing recipes on the right. Every time you add another ingredient, it finds recipes using …

  • The Fine Art of Abandoning Goals

    Hopefully, this headline woke you up a bit this morning. Several months ago, I made a list of 101 goals that I wanted to reach in the next three years. I piled this list on top of an already long list of medium term and long term goals – building a writing career, paying off …

  • Review: Happier

    Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal development or personal productivity book. As a rule of thumb, I’m a melancholic person, even though I often put off a positive, outgoing vibe. I have to often work very hard to convince myself that things are in fact going well, even when things are great. I …

  • The Changing of the Guard: $4 Generic Presciptions at Wal-Mart and Target

    Since I was three days old, I’ve taken Synthroid as a hormone replacement for hypothyroidism. I was very lucky – when I was born, hypothyroidisim was not a condition regularly tested for at my hospital and it was only diagnosed due to a very attentive pediatrician who had a hunch as to why I wasn’t …