Month: May 2014

Putting the “Important but Not Urgent” Tasks Above the “Urgent but Not Important” Tasks

One of the biggest personal and professional frustrations that I have (and that a lot of others seem to share) is that there’s never enough time to get to the important things we want to do. We want to do things like… + visit an old relative + create a master information document + work …

Reader Mailbag #91

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. I’m 30 years old and my wife …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: The Leap

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal growth, personal productivity, or career book. This is a book I wish I had my hands on about two years ago. I was working at a job I liked, but I also felt that there were several directions in which I was unable to spread my …

Some Thoughts on the Prosperity Gospel

Quite often, I’m emailed about a subject so frequently that I decide that, instead of just writing the same answer again and again, I should just write an article about it so I can point new emailers to the article. That way, not only will they get my response, but they can get involved in …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: November 28, 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, two years ago this week, and three years ago this week. I call it … …

Categories: Books and Reading

Making Buyers

Yesterday, my four year old son was watching a television program at his grandparents’ home. At our own home, we don’t watch much non-PBS programming at all, so this was one of my son’s first real exposures to advertising. I came into the room after he had been watching for about forty minutes and started …

Categories: Getting Started

Seven Secrets of Good Presentations

Over the last few months, I’ve given a small pile of presentations related to The Simple Dollar, my upcoming book, and other topics. Along the way, I’ve learned several things about what constitutes a good presentation and what constitutes a failure. Here are the seven key things I’ve learned, which you can take away to …

Categories: Careers

Spending on Your Passion

Recently, I picked up two Le Creuset 5 1/2 quart French ovens on a special deal. I’ve been slowly upgrading our kitchen implements and I’ve wanted to upgrade our cracked ceramic casseroles with enameled cast iron that can be used over a burner and also thrown in an oven for baking purposes. They were expensive, …

Categories: Getting Started

Happy Thanksgiving from The Simple Dollar

Today, I’m spending the day with my family, enjoying some turkey, taking a nap, playing a few games, and kibbitzing with people I love. Wherever you are today (whether you’re in the United States or not), take a moment to look at the good things in your life and ask yourself what you can do …

Eight Things I’m Thankful for This Year

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day (one of the two holidays of the year that are really important to me, the other being Christmas), I thought I’d take a moment to reflect on the eight things over the last year that I’m most thankful for. I’m thankful for my family. My wife, my son, and my …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Travel Tips Edition

Since many of you are reading this during the workday and will be traveling as soon as you leave, I thought I would collect together some of my favorite travel, Thanksgiving, and auto tip articles from various websites. A Holiday Travel Survival Guide A good collection of tips, plus the article includes a pretty worthwhile …

Categories: Books and Reading

Teenagers and Expensive Clothes

Monica writes in: I used to buy my daughter several new outfits before the start of the school year and then a few more items for Christmas. This worked well when she was less picky about her clothes. The last few years, though, she’s wanted nothing but a few specific brands of clothing – and …

Categories: Family

New Eyes

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands but seeing with new eyes. – Marcel Proust The single most important element of personal finance is patience. Financial independence isn’t built in a single day – it takes many years of consistent, patient work to build the foundation necessary for money success. Whether …

Categories: Getting Started

How to Start a Meal Exchange

Recently, several couples in our community started a frozen meal exchange. It’s a really simple idea. On a certain day, everyone in the exchange meets for coffee and brings along a laundry basket full of frozen meals, one for each family, along with any needed instructions taped to the lid. The members of the club …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Reader Mailbag #90

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. What kind of Thanksgiving traditions does your …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: Killing Sacred Cows

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. I quite enjoy reading personal finance books that offer different advice and ideas than the rest, even if I don’t agree with what they have to say. Killing Sacred Cows, by Garrett B. Gunderson, falls into this category. Killing Sacred Cows (ussurprisingly) takes on …

Categories: Books and Reading

Consumption Smoothing and Why It Doesn’t Work

When I was a young professional, my income was relatively low – substantially lower than it was even five years later. I knew that over time, my income would go up; my career path offered lots of opportunities for growing one’s wage and I was dedicated to my career. So, like many young professionals, I …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: November 21, 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, two years ago this week, and three years ago this week. I call it … …

Categories: Books and Reading

It’s Not the School, It’s the Student

Yesterday, I read a fascinating research paper by Stacy Berg Dale and Alan Krueger (you can read the abstract here) which offers up a surprising result. In a nutshell, once you take a student’s pre-existing talents into account (as shown by standardized test scores), the school they attend has almost no impact on their lifetime …

Categories: Education