• The Secrets to Entrepreneurship? Or More?

    Earlier this week, I stumbled across an October article from Inc. entitled Street Smarts: Secrets of a $110 Million Man. The article carefully outlined ten essential tactics that underlie any successful entrepreneurial endeavor: 1. Numbers run a business. If you don’t know how to read them, you are flying blind. 2. A sale isn’t a …

  • Children, Christmas, and the Materialism Battle

    Seth Godin pointed me towards this video of children opening Nintendo Wiis on Christmas morning (it’s well worth watching at least the first minute or so of the video): Here’s the original page if you can’t see the embedded video. While I was watching it, I was caught up with two strongly conflicting feelings. At …

  • Frugality and Binge Buying

    Our one year old daughter has discovered a fun game in the family room. Whenever we are down there, she marches right over to the entertainment center and begins to pull DVDs off of the shelves. She refers to them as “books” and opens them up to show us, then throws them on the floor. …

  • The Intelligent Investor: A Comparison of Four Listed Companies

    This is the fourteenth 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 …

  • Debt Reduction and Debt Elimination Programs: What’s the Catch?

    One of the most frequent issues that readers contact me about is more information about a debt reduction or debt elimination program that they heard about on the radio on their way home from work. “The people on there claim to have eliminated 90% of their debt. Can that be for real? What’s the catch?” …

  • Dream Small? Accomplishing the Little Things You Never Seem to Get Around To

    As I’ve mentioned many times before, I start off every day with a pretty full to-do list – usually numbering twenty items or so. On a good day, I’ll accomplish most of them – write a few posts for The Simple Dollar, answer email, check the comments, handle some correspondence, work on another writing project, …

  • When Your Financial State Improves, Do Your Frugal Standards Change?

    When I first started writing The Simple Dollar, I was working at a very stable 9-to-5 job that paid quite well. My wife and I lived in a very small apartment with our one child, a boy who wasn’t even a year old yet. Neither of our vehicles were paid off, but they were both …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Holiday Reading Edition

    As the New Year rolls around, I find myself engrossed in several new books received over the holiday season. The largest, by far, is Neal Stephenson’s Anathem, weighing in at 960 pages. I’m currently deep into it – and enjoying every second. Stephenson is perhaps my favorite writer. What’s up next on the docket? For …

  • Do Children Really Cause Financial Burdens?

    I was recently browsing a comment thread on Lifehacker when one particular comment stood out to me: Having kids is one of the most expensive poverty-inducing things you can do right now. – kalibar I understand completely where kalibar is coming from with this comment. Many estimates with regards to the cost of raising a …

  • Personal Finance 101: On Ponzi Schemes and Other Things

    One of the biggest financial stories of the last month or so was the revelation that Bernie Madoff, a legendary stock trader if there ever was one, had perpetrated a giant Ponzi scheme on investors, bilking them out of fifty billion dollars. Personally, I found the story fascinating, and apparently many of you have as …

  • A Mother’s Gifts

    Recently, my mother celebrated her birthday in her usual quiet fashion. She likely never mentioned the day to anyone, remaining just happy to receive a few calls and a gift or two from the people who remembered on that day. That’s just her style. When I was young, my mother was always the person in …

  • Reader Mailbag #44

    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 …

  • Review: Making It All Work

    Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal development, personal productivity, or entrepreneurship book. As I’ve mentioned many times before, I’m a huge fan of David Allen’s book Getting Things Done. That one simple volume (which I identified as one of the ten books that changed my life) pretty much transformed how I organized …

  • Seven Huge Financial Mistakes I Made During My College Career

    Over the last few weeks, I have been reflecting on how many members of my rather close extended family are either near high school graduation or are in college right now. They have so many great opportunities ahead of them in the next few years – and so many chances to botch things, too. Stephen, …

  • Hand-Me-Down Clothes in the Post Hand-Me-Down Era: Consumer Protectionism Gone Too Far?

    After writing this, I’m pretty sure that this article will stir up some potentially intense comments. I encourage disagreement with my take on this situation – just keep it polite towards me and especially other commenters. For those of you who haven’t heard the news yet, on February 10, 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Improvement …

  • Navigating the Hazards of Impulse Purchasing

    This Christmas, I received a 32 GB iPod Touch as a gift – yes, it was the main gift I received this year. Unsurprisingly, after receiving such a cool gadget, I spent much of the last week playing with it – I can now Twitter with it, check my email on it, have a feed …

  • The Intelligent Investor: Things to Consider About Per-Share Earnings

    This is the thirteenth 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 …

  • What Will You Learn This Year?

    A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with an old friend of mine that I respect quite a lot. He’s one of those people that seems to know how to do everything – he can fix computers (and write code), handle almost any home repair, play the guitar, beat almost everyone I know at …

  • Ten Predictions for 2009

    I thought it would be fun to start off 2009 by making a handful of predictions as to what the coming year will hold in terms of your money and your lives. We’ll check back at the end of the year to see how I did. The Dow will not go below 8,000 this year. …