Month: May 2014

Dealing with Personal Disappointment and Tragedy

Over the last few days, I’ve been dealing with a deep personal disappointment, one that I’d rather not discuss in public (don’t worry, it’s not relevant to The Simple Dollar – it’s wholly personal). It’s left me feeling empty and rather sad and – frankly – not very motivated to write at all. I’ll sit …

The Intelligent Investor: A Century of Stock Market History

This is the third in a weekly series of articles providing a chapter-by-chapter in-depth “book club” reading of Benjamin Graham’s investing classic The Intelligent Investor. Warren Buffett describes this book: “I read the first edition of this book early in 1950, when I was nineteen. I thought then that it was by far the best …

Some Follow-Up Thoughts on Fruity Cheerios and Branding Our Kids

Several days ago, I wrote an article about the influence of the Fruity Cheerios brand on my two year old child. That article spurned such a tremendous number of responses (including more direct email responses than I’ve ever received to any individual article) that I thought it would be fair to post a follow-up article …

Categories: Family

My 25 Favorite Articles of the Past Year

Today is the two year anniversary of the launch of The Simple Dollar. Last year, to celebrate the site’s one year anniversary, I selected my twenty five favorite articles of the first year of the site. I thought I’d continue that tradition by selecting my twenty five favorite articles from the second year of the …

Exploring the Connection Between Time and Money

As longtime readers certainly know by now, I like to post articles rather regularly on the subject of time management. I’ve reviewed a small mountain of books on the subject (Getting Things Done, Ready for Anything, Do It Tomorrow, Leave the Office Earlier, and Find More Time were the best among these) and written dozens …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Birthday Party Edition

My son’s third birthday party approaches and we decided to have a small party for him, inviting three of his friends to participate (so that there would be four of them and they could “pair up” in various permutations, not leaving any kids out). We’ve already planned carefully for it. We elected to have a …

Categories: Books and Reading

Having a Money Revelation

I’ve mentioned many times how my first child was a revelation to me when it comes to money issues. It wasn’t that I didn’t know that I should be spending less money, I just never had the internal motivation to make good financial choices. When I realized what I had to gain from turning my …

Categories: Getting Started

How to Save Money When Buying a Car

Many car-buying guides tell you how to save money beforehand – how to research the right car for you, how to negotiate, how to get the best car loan deal – and then they leave you right as you sign your name on the dotted line and walk off the lot, keys in hand. The …

Categories: Automobile

Earning Regular Income from Stock Investing via Dividends

A few days ago, I had the opportunity to sit down with a fellow in his early sixties who has already retired. He had been self-employed his entire life. I told him about The Simple Dollar and I asked him, if he didn’t mind, if he would tell me about how he had invested for …

Reader Mailbag #34

Each Monday, The Simple Dollar opens up the reader mailbags and answers ten to twenty simple questions offered up by the readers on personal finance topics and many other things. Got a question? Ask it in the comments. You might also enjoy the archive of earlier reader mailbags. As usual, we’ll start things off with …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: The Encore Effect

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal development, personal productivity, or business book of interest. One of my mentors once told me that there’s usually no difference in content between a good job and a great job, but that the spoils go to those who do the great jobs. What’s the difference between …

Brand Preferences and the Two Year Old Child

My son absolutely loves Fruity Cheerios. About a year ago, he had them for breakfast at Grandma’s, and since then, he’s been in love with the little colorful circles. He prefers them to all other breakfast options, requesting Fruity Cheerios no matter what else we’re having. Twice a week or so, we relent, allowing him …

Categories: Family

Should an Entrepreneurial High Schooler Go to College?

Andy writes in (I touched up his grammar just a bit): I’m a high school senior. Over the last two years, I’ve built a very successful lawn care business in my neighborhood that filled up my entire summer this year. I will make about $35K this year and I can make a lot more once …

Categories: Entrepreneurship

Eleven Tactics for a Cheaper Christmas

(Yes, that’s me in the picture.) With the Christmas holidays sneaking up on us, we’re very, very glad we saved ahead for the Christmas season around here. In fact, our Christmas shopping is in full swing and we have several people marked off already. Isn’t that jumping the gun a little? I don’t see it …

Categories: Home and Life

The Intelligent Investor: The Investor and Inflation

This is the third in a weekly series of articles providing a chapter-by-chapter in-depth “book club” reading of Benjamin Graham’s investing classic The Intelligent Investor. Warren Buffett describes this book: “I read the first edition of this book early in 1950, when I was nineteen. I thought then that it was by far the best …

Giving Outside the Box: Generosity on a Limited Budget

Many of us want to give to others. We see others in need and deeply desire to reach out and help them. We want to give to the charities we care about and to other causes. Many people want to give to their church or religious organization as well, using that as a conduit for …

Making a Holographic Will

File this one under “interesting, but hopefully I’ll never have to use it.” For a long time, my wife and I discussed making out a will. Who would we leave our children to should something unexpected happen to us? Where would our assets go? After a lot of soul searching and discussion, we figured out …

Categories: Money

Keep Important Stuff from Slipping Through the Cracks

There are many, many days where I feel completely buried in little tasks. Pay the bills. Help my son draw a picture. Make dinner. Write an article. Write another article. Answer correspondence. Do a phone interview. Vacuum the carpet. Do the dishes. Wash the kitchen floor. Do a load of laundry. And on … and …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Value of an Hour Edition

Here’s an interesting question: how much would you pay for an extra hour today? That hour could be during work. It could be after work. It could be an extra hour of sleep. An extra hour to do with whatever you like. Now, what would you do during that hour that you bought? Sleep? Work …

Categories: Books and Reading