Month: May 2014

Never Eat Alone: The Art of Small Talk

This is the ninth of sixteen parts of a “book club” reading and discussion of Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz’s Never Eat Alone, where this book on building a lifelong community of colleagues, contacts, friends, and mentors is teased apart and looked at in detail. This entry covers the seventeenth and eighteenth chapters, “The Art …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: The Giving Tree Edition

For her eighth birthday, I gave one of my nieces the book The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein. It’s one of those books that, in my mind, is a masterpiece of children’s literature, one that I wish every child everywhere would have a chance to read. I actually have a (fairly long) list of such …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Some Thoughts on Moods and Spending

For me, September is the unhappiest month of the year. Sarah, after being off all summer, returns to work at the end of August, leaving me alone at home many days with my thoughts and my work. This also means that the children’s daycare attendance increases as well. The house goes from noisy and happy …

Categories: Psychology

Some Thoughts on a Cultural Shift Towards Frugality

Jenna writes in: Do you think frugality is more socially acceptable now than it was a few years ago? Many of my friends are spending less money than they used to and we swap tips on how to save money all the time. This is a new thing for us. I’ve been asked questions along …

Categories: Frugality

Do You Want to Appear Rich? Or Do You Want to Be Rich?

Unless your last name is Rockefeller or Vanderbilt or Gates or Ellison or Buffett, you probably can’t be both. Many, many people choose to appear rich. This usually means buying a house you can’t really afford, cars you can’t really afford, and all sorts of electronic devices and jewelry and other items that you can’t …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag #82

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. Do you really believe it’s better for …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: The Little Book of Main Street Money

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. This is the eighth book in the “Little Books” series on investment topics, and I’ve reviewed all of the previous ones (… of Bull Moves in Bear Markets, … of Common Sense Investing, … of Value Investing, … That Beats the Market, … That …

Categories: Books

What Matters Most to You? Planning for a Very Long Life

Marcia writes in: I’m having a hard time figuring out exactly how much to put away for retirement each week. I’m twenty five years old and most of the advice says to put away 10% of your salary into your 401(k) but I think I should be putting away more. I have three great grandparents …

Categories: Retirement

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: September 26, 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

Never Eat Alone: Expanding Your Circle

This is the eighth of sixteen parts of a “book club” reading and discussion of Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz’s Never Eat Alone, where this book on building a lifelong community of colleagues, contacts, friends, and mentors is teased apart and looked at in detail. This entry covers the fifteenth and sixteenth chapters, “Connecting with …

Seven Things I’ve Learned from Doing It Myself

Recently, I had the pleasure of reading Matthew Crawford’s excellent book Shop Class as Soulcraft, which is an extension of Crawford’s essay of the same name which appeared in 2006. Crawford’s basic argument is simple: the manual trades (repair work, carpentry, and so on) offer intellectual, personal, and physical challenges and pleasures that the information …

Categories: Getting Started

“Eighteen and Out”

A young reader writes in: I’m a high school senior and I’m going to college next fall. When I go to college, I want to be completely independent, paying my own bills. My parents insist that this is financial suicide and that they should support me through college. What do you think is the right …

The Essential Bookshelf 2009: The Eleven Books That Rise Above the Rest

A little over a year ago, I posted an article entitled The Essential Bookshelf: The Only Eight Books I’ve Kept (After Hundreds of Reviews). In it, I discussed the fact that I’d read and reviewed hundreds of personal finance, personal growth, productivity, and career books for The Simple Dollar, but had only found eight of …

Categories: Books

What Is a “Good Job”?

During my senior year of high school, after I had learned that I had received enough scholarships to attend a major university, I sat down and studied all of the majors that were available to me. Two of them really stood out, due to my personal interests: English and mathematics. Unfortunately, as soon as I …

Categories: Careers

Never Eat Alone: Follow Up or Fail

This is the seventh of sixteen parts of a “book club” reading and discussion of Keith Ferrazzi and Tahl Raz’s Never Eat Alone, where this book on building a lifelong community of colleagues, contacts, friends, and mentors is teased apart and looked at in detail. This entry covers the thirteenth and fourteenth chapters, “Follow Up …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Water Heater Edition

Over the past weekend, our water heater finally gave up the ghost. It’s been ailing for a while and we knew that it was on its last legs. During the several month period when our house was unoccupied before we moved in, the tank was left full of water, which caused some sediment to build …

Categories: Morning Roundup

The Simple Dollar Podcast #17: Investing in Stocks

The seventeenth episode of The Simple Dollar podcast deals with stock investing. How do I invest in stocks (for retirement and otherwise) and why? Total time – 6:50. 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 …

Categories: Podcast

Is Overmaintenance Costing You?

Whenever I write a post and mention oil changes, I always encourage people to check the manual of their automobile to find out how often they should change their oil? Why? The frequency of oil changes varies greatly depending on the type of engine you have in your car, varying anywhere from every 3,000 miles …

Categories: Getting Started

Business Card Doodles

Perhaps the most well-known post in the history of The Simple Dollar is Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance on the Back of Five Business Cards. That article was borne out of my attempt to summarize my views on personal finance down to five small illustrations – and it was a …

Categories: Doodles