Month: May 2014

Seven Tempting Places – And Eight Ways to Minimize Their Impact

I’m often tempted to spend money that I shouldn’t. I’m good at restraining my impulsive nature. I don’t simply go into stores and then emerge later with a hefty bag, a credit card bill, and a dazed look on my face. Still, in certain places, I am strongly tempted to spend. I look around and …

Reader Mailbag #78

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. The cost of education is increasing at …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: The Wall Street Journal Guide to Starting Your Financial Life

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. Every once in a while, I stumble upon a personal finance book that makes me really wish someone had put it in my hands earlier in my life. Sure, it might not have made a difference in terms of the financial mistakes I made …

Handling a Harvest Without Waste

Here in the Midwest, it’s harvest season. People’s gardens are full of produce which is currently being picked, and many kitchen tables are full of vegetables. For a gardener, this can be the best part of the year – the sheer possibility of all of these fresh vegetables and fruits is intoxicating. But it can …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

The Simple Dollar Time Machine – August 29, 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 …

Revising and Setting New Money Goals

Over the past few months, our finances have been in something of a “reset” mode. In the process of taking more control of the advertisements on The Simple Dollar’s website (which is my primary source of income), I had to change billing systems. With my previous primary advertising representative – Google – I would get …

Frugality That’s “Impossible”

If you’ve read The Simple Dollar for long, you’ve seen tons of lists of money-saving tips, from 100 little steps for saving money and 100 free things to do this weekend to fifty ways to have fun by yourself on the cheap and my frugal vacation guide to Dallas/Fort Worth, just to name a few. …

Rule #11: Find and Work Toward Your True Passions.

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’ve watched it over and over again: the people that …

Categories: Money

Having Enough for Life

I am absolutely honored to feature a guest post today by Vicki Robin, someone who I’ve had the privilege to get to know a little over the last year or so. Vicki is co-author of Your Money or Your Life, one of the books that changed my life. Currently, Vicki is teaching tele-classes about money …

Are Poor People Lazy?

About a week ago, J.D. over at Get Rich Slowly posted an article about the difference between high income earners and low income earners. Most of the differences between the two that he listed come largely down to personal effort and personal choices. In the comments, many people jumped to the conclusion that “poor people …

That’s Just the Way It Is?

Two weeks ago, I was hanging out with a large group of people when one of them made the comment, “Well, you know how it goes… the money comes in, the money goes out … and maybe a little bit more!” This comment was met with laughs by several people. I just kind of half-smiled, …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Agricola Edition

For my birthday a few weeks ago, my wife gave me the board game Agricola. I opened up the box, looked at the abundance of pieces, read through the instruction book, and was immediately worried that the game would be too complicated for us to enjoy. The first game we tried was pretty miserable. Sarah …

The Simple Dollar Podcast #13: Good Debt, Bad Debt, No Debt

The thirteenth episode looks at the concepts of good debt, bad debt, and no debt. Total length: 7:25. 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 the media player of your choice …

Categories: Getting Started

The Valuable Art of Media Swapping

Recently, I’ve been enjoying the first season of Mad Men on DVD. Literally dozens of readers had recommended to me and I picked up the DVD set with a gift certificate a month or so ago. I’d never seen it before and it’s been a real pleasure to dig into it – it’s as subtle, …

11 Things You Can Do Today to Fall Behind Financially

Financial success is something that’s built up slowly over time. It’s not something that happens in one giant rush (unless you’re very lucky) – instead, it’s the culmination of a lot of little choices made over many years. Every day, we’re faced with lots of choices. Good choices lead us down that path towards financial …

Reader Mailbag #77

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. The only credit card I’ve ever had …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: Escape from Cubicle Nation

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal development, personal productivity, or career book. Several months ago, I wandered upon Pamela Slim’s excellent blog, Escape from Cubicle Nation. In a nutshell, the blog covers the transition from working in a cubicle (i.e., a traditional job) to self-employment – and all of the issues in …

Eating What You Have On Hand

As I’ve discussed many times before, eating at home is a huge money saver. Even if you use expensive ingredients all the time (like saffron or morel mushrooms), it’s still cheaper to cook at home than it is to consistently eat out (assuming you’re eating better than the McDonalds Dollar Menu). Similarly, it’s cheaper to …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: August 22, 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: Books and Reading