Month: May 2014

Buying Experiences in Your Twenties

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the kind of advice that I would give high school graduates. Two children that I watched grow up are going to graduate this coming May. What could I possibly tell them that would be of use in their life? I’ll be exploring this off and on over the …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Places to Follow Me Edition

I’ve been dabbling in a number of very genre-specific social networks as of late, ones that are designed to take real advantage of specific interests. So, here are several worth noting. If you’d like to keep tabs on what books I’m reading and have read and reviewed (outside of the PF stuff I’m reviewing here), …

Categories: Books and Reading

The Simple Dollar Podcast #11: Networking with Value

The eleventh episode focuses on networking and building professional (and personal) relationships. How can you do this effectively? Total length: 8:30 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 …

Categories: Getting Started

How Much Do Taxes Matter To You?

Susan writes in: I feel so helpless as a taxpayer, watching the ridiculous directions the senate, house and president are taking my country. Being self-employed, in the medical field and living in NY I feel like I have three strikes against me. As Emma Goldman, the famous communist said, “If voting changed anything, it would …

Categories: Taxes

Freezer and Fridge Hacks: Seven Ways to Maximize the Value of Your Refrigerator and Freezer

Your refrigerator/freezer combo is the biggest energy consumer among all of your appliances – seriously. It gobbles down around $100 in energy each year. Even worse, it’s often home to lots of wasted food – leftovers forgotten and allowed to spoil and so on. To put it simply, your refrigerator and freezer are money sinks. …

Reader Mailbag #75

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. Last week, my grandfather gave me an …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: Get A Financial Life

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. Lately, there have been a ton of good books targeting people in their twenties with a burgeoning interest in personal finance, from Dara Duguay’s revised Please Send Money (targeting college students) to Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You to Be Rich (targeting young professional …

Enlightened Self-Interest

Jim writes in: You write all the time about just helping people and that it will somehow help you. I don’t see it. I understand how it’s beneficial to help someone who can obviously help you, but what benefit is there for helping others beyond the idea that it’s the right thing to do? Before …

The Simple Dollar Time Machine – August 8, 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

The Total Money Makeover: Live Like No One Else

This is the twelfth 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 thirteenth chapter, finishing on page 218. The Total Money Makeover ends with a very brief chapter …

How Low Can You Go? Potato-Peanut Curry

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: Frugality, Meals

Rule #8: Take Care of Your Things.

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. Whenever I’m in a financially destitute area, I start seeing …

Categories: Money

The Netflix Culture of Excellence

Yesterday, I stumbled across a brilliant presentation on Netflix’s corporate culture, via Jason Kottke’s website. The presentation did a brilliant job of outlining how Netflix has used an atypical corporate culture to build a very successful business. Here’s that presentation: Culture View more presentations from reed2001. In fact, successful is an understatement in describing Netflix. …

The Short and Long Term Choices

For many people, junk food is a serious temptation. It helps them feel a sense of comfort. It provides a quick burst of flavor. It helps them de-stress. It provides an energy boost at an opportune moment. In the short term, it’s a big gain. In the long term, though, it’s a different story. It …

The Total Money Makeover: Build Wealth Like Crazy

This is the eleventh 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 twelfth chapter, finishing on page 218. The final entry, covering the thirteenth chapter, will appear on …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Never Give Up Edition

I’ve been a Cubs fan all my life and I’ve never seen anything like this season. The team has been an utter train wreck all season long, massively underperforming and losing boatloads of games they should have won. Their reward? As August rolls around, they’re right in the mix in their division. What’s the lesson? …

Categories: Books and Reading

The Simple Dollar Podcast #10: Money and Relationships

The tenth episode focuses on the challenges of managing money in a relationship. What makes it work? Total length: 11:45 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 …

Categories: Getting Started

Faith as a Guiding Financial Principle

I received a long and thoughtful email recently from a reader who had been following The Simple Dollar for a long time. From a very well-meaning perspective, this reader outlined in detail their feelings on several posts I had written recently, outlining how they were simply out of bounds when it came to his faith …

Categories: Getting Started

Thoughts on a Low Grocery Bill

Whenever I post a recipe or another food post, I usually hear from a reader or two who tout cooking everything from scratch. They’ll tell me about their very low food bill and encourage me to post recipes that start from even more staple-oriented food. A great example comes from my recent recipe for lemony …

Categories: Frugality, Meals