Month: May 2014

What You Spend, What You Eat

Over the last year, I’ve really rediscovered my passion for cooking and food. We’ve moved into a house with a good-sized kitchen (not the large one of my dreams, but plenty big enough) – it’s the largest kitchen I’ve ever had access to in my life. I’ve used it with gusto, making homemade breads, homemade …

Categories: Food, Getting Started

Working Smarter, No Matter Your Income

Yesterday, I made the apparently controversial point that hard work and smart work can lead anyone to success. I heard all the usual responses to this – that some people are born with genetic gifts, that a “white man” has all the advantages, that people can work their fingers to the bone and never get …

Categories: Getting Started

Review: One Up On Wall Street

Each Friday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. Peter Lynch is a Wall Street legend. He drove Fidelity’s Magellan mutual fund to some incredible returns in the 1970s and 1980s, year after year. From 1977, when he took over the fund, to 1990, when he retired, that fund grew from $18 million in …

Categories: Books, Investing, Stocks

Six Persistent Money Myths That Seem To Stick Around

One of the most frustrating aspects of running The Simple Dollar is reading comments where readers, who are intending to do the right thing, actually spread misconceptions and falsehoods based on some false money myths that are floating around out there. I thought I’d correct six of these misconceptions right here, right now – and …

Categories: Getting Started

Margin, Faith, Personal Growth, and Personal Finance

A few weeks ago, I read a fascinating book by Richard Swenson called Margin. Subtitled Restoring Emotional, Physical, Financial, and Time Reserves to Overloaded Lives, it was an amazing book that really made me think deeply about the fundamental choices I make about how I choose to spend my time. It left me with a …

Little Steps: 100 Great Tips For Saving Money For Those Just Getting Started

Yesterday, I discussed how anyone can turn their financial life around if they just take that first step – the first step is always the hardest one. After that, you start taking more and more little steps and before you know it, your financial life is getting better and better. What follows is a list …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Chain Factor Edition

I, along with several of my friends, have been playing the free web game Chain Factor almost obsessively for the last week or so. It’s apparently connected to the television series Numb3rs, but it’s an incredibly fun and addictive little puzzle game itself. Try it out for a nice free diversion. Also, one quick note …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Nine Tactics for a Frugal Valentine’s Day

Many of you out there are thinking about plans for Valentine’s Day – it’s just nine days away, after all. Many people spend hundreds of dollars on this day to make it very special, but in truth, what makes it special is the interactions themselves, not the things you bought. Here are nine tactics to …

Categories: Frugality

You Can Do This

About two years ago, I had almost $17,000 in credit card debt. That added up to about a third of my salary at the time, and the minimum payments were more than my rent. Most months, my paycheck was gone before I would even see it, swallowed up by credit card payments, a rent payment, …

Categories: Debt, Getting Started

Investing Versus Paying Ahead on Your Mortgage: Which Makes More Sense?

Recently, I mentioned a Consumer Reports article that encouraged people to invest instead of paying ahead on their mortgage. It left me thinking quite a bit about debt repayment and how I should handle my mortgage. Our situation My wife and I are planning on eliminating our student loans in the next year to a …

Categories: Debt, Housing, Investing

Monday Morning: Setting Goals for the Week Ahead

One thing I often do early in the morning on Mondays is make a list of the things I want to accomplish during the week. Some of them are simple enough that I can get them done in a half an hour when I find the time – others require some continuous effort throughout the …

Categories: Goals

Review: Built to Last

Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. About a year ago, I began to really look at The Simple Dollar as the beginnings of a small business – likely one that would only ever have one employee (me), but a business nonetheless. I proceeded to dive into a big …

A Decision on Ads

After recently getting rid of many of the ads on The Simple Dollar website because I was bothered by their content, I received an utter tidal wave of responses from readers encouraging me to put the ads back because they created a strong revenue stream for the site and enabled me to move ever closer …

Categories: Meta

January 2008 Review – Assets -0.2%, Debts -0.9%

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 …

10 Things To Do Today

1. Play with a child. There are only 6,574 days between a child’s birth and their eighteenth birthday. Don’t waste a single one. 2. Keep that wallet in your pocket. Time is money and money is time – don’t spend either without a good reason. 3. Stop and smell the roses. You’re never too busy …

Categories: Getting Started, Goals

Should You Cancel Your Unused Credit Cards or Not?

On a fairly regular basis, I suggest to my readers that they cancel unused credit cards except for their oldest one. In fact, I often suggest that you reduce your credit cards to one or two that you use for regular purchases and your oldest one – cancel the rest. This advice is often criticized, …

Review: Unconventional Success

Each Friday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. Of all the places I could possibly find out about a book, I was introduced to Unconventional Success by a column by Gregg Easterbrook at ESPN.com. A column about the NFL. Seriously. Easterbrook typically writes a fairly eclectic column – and an entertaining one that …

Categories: Books, Investing