Month: May 2014

12 Ways My Wife Quietly Makes Our Life Work

Quite often on The Simple Dollar, I’ll discuss some aspect of my personal finance life and I’ll say that “I” did this or that “I” did that. Well, for every mention of the word “I,” my wife is there in the background, doing something little to make sure it all happens. She’ll cook a great …

Categories: Marriage

15 Ways to Get Started on Snowflaking

One of the best personal finance articles I’ve ever read is Snowflaking: A Primer, at I Paid For This Twice Already. Here’s an excerpt so that you get the idea: Snowflaking is a spinoff of the Snowball approach to debt reduction popularized by Dave Ramsey. With the Debt Snowball method, you figure out what amount …

Personal Finance and The Black Swan

Recently, I’ve been reading Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book The Black Swan. Most of the book has to do with economics and mathematics and is not very relevant to personal finance at all, so I won’t bother doing a detailed review here. However, there are two pieces of the book that I think are worth talking …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Bringing Back the Book Club Edition

After chatting with a few readers lately, I’ve been thinking about trying the “book club” concept again, where a single book is discussed in detail over a series of posts. I’ve done this three times in the past: The first time, with Your Money or Your Life, went really well, with tons of good discussion. …

The Simple Dollar Podcast #2 – The Fulfillment Curve

The second episode of The Simple Dollar Podcast focuses on the fulfillment curve. I talk about my own battles with overdoing it and finding a healthy balance, and relate some tips for finding good balances in your own life. Also discussed: coffee shop stereotypes, M.C. Hammer, Oddibe McDowell and Gregg Jefferies, a critique of the …

Categories: Podcast

Personal Finance 101: The Cost of Your Time

When I first began to recover from debt, I sold off a large portion of my DVD collection. For a few items – box sets and the like – I sold them individually on eBay, but for quite a few of the single DVDs, I sold them at a used DVD store in one big …

Categories: Getting Started

Some Thoughts on the Sunk Cost Fallacy

Categories: Psychology

Reader Mailbag #66

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 just turned twenty last month and …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: Who’s Got Your Back

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal development, personal productivity, or entrepreneurship book. It’s no secret to long-time readers of The Simple Dollar that I loved Keith Ferrazzi’s first book Never Eat Alone. I thought it was a brilliant discussion of how to network ethically in the modern world by building real, valuable …

Insights into Saving Psychology from The Economist

Recently, while digging through the magazines in our magazine rack, I came across the May 16, 2009 issue of The Economist. The Economist is my primary print source for news and it almost always gives me quite a bit of food for thought. Anyway, on page 82, I found a really interesting article entitled “Smooth …

Categories: Saving Money

Buying Something to Force Yourself Into a New Behavior Doesn’t Work: New Rules for a New Routine

Several people I know have a treadmill in the garage or basement of their home. They bought it with great visions in their head of walking every day, but after the newness wore off, the treadmill began to gather dust – then it was folded up and put into storage. One reader of The Simple …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Time Machine – June 6, 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

Living and Saving in the Moment

My three year old son loves to go to the grocery store with Mom and Dad. He wanders around with us, listening to our discussions about which products to buy, and quite often expresses his own opinions. He’ll remind us that he loves V8 Fusion (our preferred fruit juice, since it’s 100% and also is …

How to Organize and Host a Frugal Block Party

One of the biggest reasons I like living where I do is that two or three times a summer, someone hosts a block party. The format is pretty simple – bring a side dish, grab a plate, fill up, and talk to people. Yet, I know from watching the hosts, the actual hosting can be …

Categories: Frugality, Psychology

Building Your Career, One Brick at a Time

A career is like a brick wall. If it’s built well, from a collection of bricks that fit well together and are thoughtfully put in place, it can be a very strong foundation for whatever dreams you may want to reach for. A great collection of bricks, well assembled, will build a platform for you …

Categories: Careers

Using Consumer Reports to Assemble Your Grocery List

Long time reader Bob writes in: I like reading all of your suggestions about making a grocery list and searching for bargains. My technique is actually pretty simple. I trust Consumer Reports completely – they’ve never led me wrong. So each month when I get an issue, I write down their “best buys” in each …

Is Renting a Vehicle for a Long Road Trip Worth It? Our Math Says Yes

In the next few weeks, I’m going on a lengthy road trip with my wife, my children, and my parents. We’re going to visit several relatives that are spread out all over the southern part of the United States. Along the way, we’re planning longer stops in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, the New Orleans area, …

Categories: Automobile

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Open Forum Edition

Recently, I’ve started contributing a weekly article about saving money on small business expenses to OpenForum, a site that covers a wide variety of small business topics. I’m also hosting those articles here on The Simple Dollar in its own “small business” section. If you’d like to visit this section, you can check it any …

Categories: Morning Roundup

The Simple Dollar Podcast #1 – Credit Card Debt

Well, here it is, finally – The Simple Dollar Podcast. This will be a weekly endeavor – I hope you enjoy it! The first episode of The Simple Dollar Podcast focuses on credit card debt. I tell my own story of escaping from a pile of credit cards and relate some very specific advice on …

Categories: Podcast