Month: May 2014

5 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: Books and Reading

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 and Reading

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 …

Categories: Getting Started, Money

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: Books and Reading

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 …

Self-Responsibility and Money Management

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: Family

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 …

Categories: Getting Started, Money

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: Books and Reading

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 …

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: Books and Reading

Review: On Becoming a Leader

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal development, career, or entrepreneurship book. Knowing how to be a leader – and using that skill from time to time – opens doors for you no matter what you’re doing in life. It helps your career. It helps your social standing. It creates a positive reputation …

Stay Warm This Winter Without Huge Energy Bills

November is here. Winter is sneaking up on us, and with winter comes winter heating bills for most of the United States. I live in northern Iowa, where temperatures can get quite cold in the heart of the winter months and, since I work from home, I have to utilize lots of different tricks to …