Month: May 2014

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Post-Book Lull Edition

After turning in my book a week ago, some of my friends who had already published books wrote to me with an interesting point. “After your book is done,” they said, “you’ll find that you go through a bit of ‘writing burnout.’ You won’t want to write anything for a while.” At first, I didn’t …

Categories: Morning Roundup

How I Use My Net Worth as a Psychological Carrot

I like keeping score. Keeping score is an easy way for me to know how well I’m doing. It lets me judge, in a very clear way, whether I’m improving and whether I’m making forward progress towards my goals. For a long time, I was obsessed with keeping score in various aspects of my life …

The Meaning of the Dow Jones Industrial Average

Mickey writes in: In the last week, the Dow Jones Industrial average closed at a thirteen month high and, at the same time, unemployment hit double digits for the first time since the early eighties. I thought that the Dow Jones was supposed to represent how the economy was doing, but that’s not the case. …

Categories: Getting Started, Stocks

Investing Isn’t Just for Rich People: Five Ways Anyone Can Reap the Rewards of Investing

Quite a few readers simply tune out when I mention investments. They don’t believe the topic applies to them at all. “How can I possibly worry about investing when I can barely put food on the table?” they’ll ask. The answer is simple: virtually every single person has the resources with which to begin investing. …

Reader Mailbag #88

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 is your take on the cost …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: Stop Acting Rich

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book. Over the years, I’ve professed a ton of admiration for Thomas Stanley and William Danko’s excellent personal finance book The Millionaire Next Door. It was the first book I reviewed on The Simple Dollar and it’s still one I turn to regularly for ideas …

Categories: Books

What Is Escapism? How Does It Cost Me?

Marti writes in with a question about the second step of Your Money or Your Life: Step two, and I’m sure you remember, is about figuring out what hourly wage you’re actually earning at your job, once you factor in the commute, clothes for the job, lunch food and fast food, etc. I’m looking at …

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: November 7, 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: Time Machine

Putting Out the Word

About a year ago, my mother decided to re-do the guest bedroom in her home. Before starting out on the project, she outlined her project to several of her friends, not asking for a single thing beyond advice. The end result? One friend gave her a crib. Another friend gave her a children’s bed. Another …

Teaching Money Management Through Self-Responsibility

In the past, I’ve strongly advocated for families to introduce their teenagers to financial reality as early as possible. I know that in my own case, I went off to college with almost no idea of how to manage my money and it really showed in the spending decisions I made over the next ten …

Categories: Parenting

Ten Spectacular Tips for Getting Started in the Kitchen

I love cooking at home. I used to hate cooking at home, though. I was awful at it. I burnt things. I messed up scrambled eggs beyond all recognition. But over time, I got better at it. I started figuring out lots of little things that made the entire process smoother and made my results …

A Reflection of Your Closest Friends

It’s often said that people are reflections of their five closest friends in many ways: behaviors, income levels, values, and so on. Five years ago, almost all of my closest friends spent money like it was water. They were constantly doing things like playing poker, pushing each other to “one up” the rest with better …

Categories: Getting Started

24 Ways to Save Money Today

A big part of successful frugality is the routine with which you live your day-to-day life. Here are twenty four little things that you can incorporate into your daily routines that just trim a little money away from your spending – and puts it into something more important to you. 1. Brush your teeth. An …

Categories: Frugality

Revising and Reworking a Failed Financial Plan

In 2003, shortly after getting married, I had an ambitious goal of saving for a 20% down payment on a house by the end of 2007. Over the next year, I did make some savings progress, but I kept falling behind my milestones. Eventually, fed up with myself, I gave up and more or less …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Next Project Edition

Now that my book is finished, I’ve decided to embark on another big time-consuming project, but this one is a little different. I’m a big fan of online banks. I think they’re an incredibly powerful tool for helping you with your personal savings. For a long time, I’ve wanted to talk about a slew of …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Some Questions About My Upcoming Book

As I announced on Twitter a few days ago, I recently turned in the manuscript for my upcoming second book. I’m extremely proud of this book, as I conceived of the entire idea myself, spent literally hundreds of hours researching materials and interviewing dozens of people, and spent the last three months tying together the …

Categories: Meta

Helping Other Children Learn About Money

Megan writes in: I’m by far the most financially sensible person in my family. I spend far less than I earn, yet I’m happy with the things I do have. I have my retirement savings in very good shape (even after the mess last year!) and I have a big emergency fund and almost enough …

Categories: Getting Started

The Stumble

It happens to the best of us. We resolve to make some change in our life and, for the first month or two, it goes great. We see real progress in the area we want to change. And then it happens. We give into temptation and make a mistake – sometimes a big one. We …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag #87

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. How about combining your frugality and kitchen …

Categories: Reader Mailbag