Month: May 2014

How Low Can You Go? Chicken-and-Corn Fried Rice with Lemon Spinach

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 …

Rule #7: Watch Your Progress – But Make It Fun.

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. One of the first things I did when I started …

Categories: 14 Money Rules

Passion by the Hour

On our DVD shelf, which is admittedly quite thinner than it used to be, there are quite a few DVDs that we’ve watched once and are simply accumulating dust. Assuming a cost of $15 per DVD and a two hour movie, our hourly cost is about $7.50. On the other hand, we have our Pixar …

Categories: Frugality

John’s “Campground” – Some Thoughts on Investing with Added Personal Value

A while back, I wrote about my best friend (besides my wife), John. John doesn’t spend money on frivolous things at all – he spends way less than he earns and is really careful with his money, saving up for the future. He lives in a very small apartment in a poor neighborhood, bicycles to …

Categories: Investing

The Total Money Makeover: College Funding

This is the ninth of twelve parts of a “book club” reading and discussion of Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover, where this book on debt reduction is teased apart and looked at in detail. This entry covers the tenth chapter, finishing on page 182. The next entry, covering the eleventh chapter, will appear on …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Writing Practice Edition

A friend of mine who has published a small pile of books made a really good suggestion recently: why don’t you use Twitter to really practice your key phrases? In other words, if you’re trying to find a sharp way to say something, work on honing that sentence yourself, then toss it out there on …

Categories: Morning Roundup

The Simple Dollar Podcast #9: The Realities of Freelancing

The ninth episode focuses on the realities and challenges of freelancing, a topic requested by podcast listeners and Simple Dollar readers. Total length: 15:20 Listen In! Other options for enjoying The Simple Dollar Podcast include: Listen to this episode on a separate page Subscribe via iTunes Download this episode (right click and save) Subscribe in …

Categories: Podcast

Makers and Managers: What You Are, and How It Can Help Your Career

And now for something a little different… I recently read a fantastic article by Paul Graham entitled Maker’s Schedule, Manager’s Schedule, in which Graham outlines that people who “make” things run by a much different work schedule than those who “manage” things. A key excerpt: There are two types of schedule, which I’ll call the …

Categories: Careers

The Best Career Advice, in Ten Words or Less

After the huge success of asking for the best money advice in ten words or less, I decided to repeat the experiment. About a week ago, I challenged my followers on Twitter to give me their best single piece of career advice in ten words or less. Again, I was flooded with responses. After spending …

Categories: Careers

Reader Mailbag #73

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. Why do you consider “a bit of …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: The Wall Street Journal Financial Guidebook for New Parents

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. In 2005, my son was born. To say we were unprepared for it is an understatement. We bungled through the entire thing, not saving appropriately for expenses and not really understanding how much this little child would change our lives, financially or otherwise. With …

Does Earning More Trump Frugality?

Milton writes in with a good question, worthy of discussion: I don’t see why I should spend fifteen minutes making a batch of homemade laundry detergent just to save a few bucks when I could spend that fifteen minutes building my career. Most “frugality tips” seem like a waste of time. Let’s say you have …

Categories: Careers, Frugality

The Simple Dollar Time Machine – July 25, 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

The Total Money Makeover: Maximize Retirement Investing

This is the eighth of twelve parts of a “book club” reading and discussion of Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover, where this book on debt reduction is teased apart and looked at in detail. This entry covers the ninth chapter, finishing on page 167. The next entry, covering the tenth chapter, will appear on …

How Low Can You Go? Lemony Fettuccine with Asparagus

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

Rule #6: Stop Trying to Impress Other People.

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. The book Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez …

Categories: 14 Money Rules

The Cost of Free

Chris Anderson’s most recent book, Free, argues that the future of many forms of commerce revolve around giving away their products to consumers without any financial cost to the buyer. Anderson believes pretty strongly in this principle – in fact, you can read the full book for free over at Scribd. I agree strongly with …

Resetting the Scale

One of my passions is food. If you’ve been reading The Simple Dollar for long, you know that I love spending a couple of hours in the kitchen preparing an interesting meal. My food articles seem to always grab some acclaim – I think it’s because I bring a bit of extra passion to the …

The Total Money Makeover: Finish the Emergency Fund

This is the seventh of twelve parts of a “book club” reading and discussion of Dave Ramsey’s The Total Money Makeover, where this book on debt reduction is teased apart and looked at in detail. This entry covers the eighth chapter, finishing on page 150. The next entry, covering the ninth chapter, will appear on …