Month: May 2014

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: October 31, 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

Retirement Questions for People in Their Twenties

“Shane” writes in: I’m twenty three years old. I just got a really great job with a 401k that’s matched 100% by my employer up to 10%, which I’ve heard from others is a really great deal that I need to take advantage of. So I started investing 10% of my paycheck so I can …

Categories: Retirement

10 Important Personal Finance Tips I Have Learned

Over the past three years, I’ve had countless opportunities to reflect not only on my own personal finance and life journey, but that of thousands of readers who have contacted me over the years with questions and stories. Along the way, quite a few principles for personal and financial success began to appear. These same …

Three Years of The Simple Dollar: My 25 Favorite Articles of the Past Year

Three years ago today, I officially launched The Simple Dollar. It’s been a crazy ride. Each year, on the anniversary of the launch, I’ve highlighted my 25 favorite articles from the previous twelve months of entries. These aren’t necessarily the best articles, just the ones I enjoyed writing the most. Here’s the list from the …

Some Thoughts on Ultra-Preparedness

Three recent emails from readers have made me focus lately on how much preparation for disasters we should be doing. First, from “Adam”: Do you think it’s reasonable to take some of the money I use to invest each month and buy gold bullion coins to keep in my safe? I’m worried about the dollar …

Categories: Getting Started

Why Windfalls Make Many People Unhappy

FMF pointed me to this article from the Washington Post on the sad end of Bud Post, a lottery winner from Pennsylvania: William “Bud” Post III, 66, whose $16.2 million in lottery winnings brought him debt, despair and heartache, causing the kind of trouble often recounted in country-western songs, died of respiratory failure Jan. 15 …

Categories: Getting Started

Is Your Work Too Important?

“One of the symptoms of approaching nervous breakdowns is the belief that one’s work is terribly important. If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his work important.” – Bertrand Russell, The Autobiography of Bertrand Russell When I worked at my previous job, I always felt like …

Categories: Careers

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Third Child Edition

I’m pleased to announce that we’re expecting our third child. The baby is due in late April. And, of course, when the child is born, you can expect pictures. This is the “news” I alluded to on Monday that was affecting my wife’s health – she’s had a big case of the first trimester “tiredness” …

Categories: Books and Reading

How a Carrying a Notebook Can Save You Money

Melinda writes in: You constantly write about how having a notebook in your pocket all the time helps you in life and saves you money. I get that you can write down your ideas in it all the time, but I’m not a creative type. I don’t see how having a notebook on me at …

Thoughts on Finding Good Customer Service

Whenever I mention a company on The Simple Dollar – Apple, Dell, Nintendo, Williams-Sonoma, etc. etc. – I usually receive an email or two from a reader telling me how absolutely horrible the company in question is. They tell a long story about how their customer service from that company was nightmarish and that they …

Categories: Shopping

Stress and Overspending

Lately, I’ve been under a lot of stress – perhaps the highest level of stress I’ve been under since switching to a full-time writing career. I’m in absolute crunch mode with my second book, with a manuscript due in a few days. I’ve also been slowly moving into public speaking – and I certainly get …

Reader Mailbag #86

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. Can you tell me a little more …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: The Bogleheads’ Guide to Retirement Planning

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. Ever since I first gave it a sincere read-through in late 2006, The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing has been my go-to guide for investment advice, the first place I turn when I have a question about investing. My paperback copy is now well-worn and …

Ethical Frugality Week: Regifting

This is the final entry in a weeklong series of articles on the ethics of frugality. How far can you take things without crossing an ethical line or diving into seriously socially unacceptable waters? I’ll be recounting some of my own stories – and some stories from readers – along the way. “Mindy” writes in: …

Categories: Frugality

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: October 24, 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

Never Eat Alone: Welcome to the Connected Age

This is the sixteenth 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 thirty-first chapter – “Welcome to the …

Categories: Books and Reading

Memories Are Made of This

A little over a year ago, I began trying a new idea in my personal journal. Each day, I wrote down the five best things that happened to me that day. I started this as a way to reflect on the positive things in my life and, psychologically, it’s been a very positive thing. I …

Categories: Getting Started

Ethical Frugality Week: Serving Leftovers

Throughout this week, I’m posting a series of articles on the ethics of frugality. How far can you take things without crossing an ethical line or diving into seriously socially unacceptable waters? I’ll be recounting some of my own stories – and some stories from readers – along the way. “Jim” writes in: A married …

Categories: Frugality

Ethical Frugality Week: Lifetime Guarantees

Over the upcoming week, I’ll be posting a series of articles on the ethics of frugality. How far can you take things without crossing an ethical line or diving into seriously socially unacceptable waters? I’ll be recounting some of my own stories – and some stories from readers – along the way. “Megan” writes in: …

Categories: Frugality