Month: May 2014

The Simple Dollar Podcast #5: Talking to Parents

The fifth episode focuses on talking to parents about money and their estate planning as they get older. Along the way, I mention my own challenges in figuring out how to handle this as my parents age. Total time: 16:25. Listen In! Other options for enjoying The Simple Dollar Podcast include: Listen to this episode …

Categories: Podcast

The Best Money Advice, in Ten Words or Less

About a week ago, I challenged my followers on Twitter to give me their best single piece of money advice in ten words or less. I was flooded with responses. After spending quite a bit of time sifting through them, here are the fifty best pieces of advice that came my way (out of well …

Blending Work and Family: How We Do It

One common question I’m asked a lot is how we actually balance our work lives and our family lives. Barb sums it up best: How do you do it? You write tons and tons of stuff for The Simple Dollar, your wife works a full time job, you seem to have tons of time available …

The Cheap Garbage Bag Dilemma

The things that stick in your head after reading a book are often interesting. For example, just yesterday I posted a detailed review of Miserly Moms that outlined a ton of useful tips for cutting domestic spending. Yet, the thing that stuck in my head for days after reading the book was an offhand comment …

Categories: Frugality

Reader Mailbag #69

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. I’m 22 and I’ll be starting grad …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: Miserly Moms

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. Miserly Moms by Jonni McCoy wears its target audience right on its cover – stay-at-home moms (or at least moms who devote a significant amount of time to domestic management) that are trying to maximize every penny. It’s a good read with lots of …

Categories: Books, Frugality

Personal Finance 101: Why Do I Need Credit At All?

Samantha writes in: I don’t understand why I need credit at all. Credit just gets you into debt and you wind up paying interest to other companies. What’s the point of throwing my money away like that? Samantha asks a really good question here – and in some respects, she’s spot on. Poor use of …

The Two-Account System for Automatic Savings

Millie writes in, describing her interesting system of making herself save: I have my paycheck direct deposited into ING Direct. It comes in like clockwork on the first and third Friday of each month. Then, on the 10th and the 24th of each month, ING automatically transfers about 60% of that paycheck amount directly into …

The Simple Dollar Time Machine – June 27, 2009

Many newer readers of The Simple Dollar haven’t been exposed to the hundreds of great articles in the archives of the site, so this is a weekly series that highlights the five best posts from one year ago this week, as well as the five best posts from two years ago this week. I call …

Categories: Time Machine, Websites

How Low Can You Go? Moorish-Style Chickpea And Spinach Stew

In April and May, National Public Radio featured a series on inexpensive gourmet dishes entitled “How Low Can You Go?” Although many of the dishes looked quite tasty, most of the dishes weren’t actually all that inexpensive, often narrowly getting below $10 to feed a family of four, and many involved arduous cooking processes. I …

Categories: Food, Frugality, Photo Diary

Rule #2: Don’t Over-Think Your Investments.

A reader asked me if I could break down my ideas into a handful of principles. After some careful thought, I came up with a list of fourteen basic “rules” that summarize my money and life philosophy. I’ll be presenting these as a weekly series. I picked up a copy of Money recently and counted …

Categories: 14 Money Rules

Some Thoughts on the “Lake Wobegon” Effect

Where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all the children are above average. – Garrison Keillor, A Prairie Home Companion Sure, that line is used for laughs on NPR on Saturday afternoons to describe the placid, fictional Lake Wobegon, but the humor points to a rather serious matter: people constantly overrate …

Friendships and Financial Responsibility

When I first started writing The Simple Dollar, one of the biggest struggles I had was figuring out how to redefine some of my friendships – a struggle I discussed at length. The problem was that a good number of the people I spent lots of time with were constantly engaged in activities that involved …

Categories: Getting Started

Money and Power

Charles writes in: The real reason people want to be rich isn’t so they can buy stuff. It’s so they can have power over others. People want influence and respect and they see that people with money have influence and respect, so they seek money. I agree with the point Charles is making – many …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Camping Edition

My wife and kids and I went camping for four days this past weekend, starting on Thursday afternoon. We camped in a state park in rural western Illinois. The highlight was watching our kids enjoy campfire meals, then fall asleep in the flickering light of a campfire, dreaming happy dreams of running around in nature …

Categories: Morning Roundup

The Simple Dollar Podcast #4: Food

The fourth episode of The Simple Dollar Podcast focuses on food. I talk about ten tactics for reducing your food bills without reducing health and taste and include a lot of recipes and food suggestions along the way. I also tried a different approach – instead of reading from detailed notes, I tried a more …

Categories: Food, Podcast

The Personal Finance Chore List

When I sit back, take a breather, and evaluate the things I have on my plate, I often find that lots of little personal finance tasks have built up. I’d like to finish my emergency information binder. I’d like to spend some more time researching various Vanguard index funds. I’d like to get caught up …

Categories: Getting Started

Fifteen Things to Do to Make Jumping into Freelancing/Self-Employment Financially Successful

An acquaintance from my previous career wrote to me recently asking about the steps I took when I made the switch to working at home: It’s official: I’m ready to get out of here. I’m tired of working here and I have a lot of people lined up to hire me for home catering and …

Reader Mailbag #68

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. I understand what you are saying about …

Categories: Reader Mailbag