Month: May 2014

Reader Mailbag: Competition

Several people have asked me recently why I have a “weekly roundup” (where I link to sites that write about similar things as me) and why I have a big list of blogs I like on every page of The Simple Dollar. Isn’t that just helping the competition? Maybe. But I don’t really view those …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: Your Money Ratios

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of related interest. One thing I often do when looking for books to read and review for The Simple Dollar is simply go to the “new releases” section of my local library and browse the personal finance new releases. That is exactly …

Categories: Books and Reading

A Look at My “Idea Notebook”

As I’ve mentioned several times over the years, I carry a pocket notebook and a pen with me wherever I go. Whenever I have any sort of an idea or discover any piece of information I might want to use or reflect on later, I don’t hesitate to pull out that notebook and jot it …

Categories: Getting Started

Digging Into the Rental Argument

Shanna writes in: You’ve written before about how Netflix is a good deal if you’re an avid movie watcher and Gamefly is a good deal if you’re an avid video game player. You’re an avid reader. Have you ever looked at BookSwim? I have, and I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not to …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: March 20, 2010

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

I’ve Had Enough

If you’re unhappy with some significant portion of your life, at some point you have to wake up in the morning and simply say that you’ve had enough. That key decision often leads to some further difficult ones. It will probably lead to some personal challenges. It will require you to make some changes in …

Categories: Getting Started

Handling Personal Finance Mistakes, Large and Small

Jenny writes in: In 2008, my husband and I lost about 50% of our retirement savings. We got so scared that we moved all of our savings to very safe investments – cash and bonds. Then, the stock market rebounds and some of our friends have earned back at least half of what they lost, …

Categories: Getting Started

The Cost of Overuse

All of us use a lot of household products every day. Soap. Shampoo. Conditioner. Toothpaste. Hand soap. Dishwashing detergent. Laundry detergent. The list goes on and on. Many of these items are used so routinely that we don’t even step back and think about them. We squirt some toothpaste on our toothbrush. We use a …

Categories: Frugality

Reader Mailbag: Vehicle Shopping

My wife and I have looked at somewhere around a dozen vehicles in the last month as we search for a replacement for my truck that will be capable of seating five (and preferably capable of seating more). Rather than rushing in and just buying the first option we find that minimally matches our needs, …

Categories: Books and Reading

Litterless Juice Boxes: Do They Save Money If You Have Kids?

My kids love juice boxes. We usually allow them to have one a day as part of an afternoon snack. We’re pretty picky about the ones we buy, making sure that at the very least they’re 100% juice and, often, we buy juice that has vegetable juice in it, too. We like the juice box …

Categories: Getting Started, Meals

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Vacation Edition

What kind of summer vacation does one take with a four year old, a two year old, and an infant? One great way to do this (for us) is to take a vacation with a large group, where lots of people are there to keep eyes on children in small, rotating doses. So that’s what …

Categories: Books and Reading

Eight Simple Tactics for Achieving Your Big Goal

Every single one of us has some sort of big project hanging out there in our lives. We’d love to accomplish it, but it seems so big and the free space in our life seems so small. Spend a monent and think about what your big goal is. It could be something as down-to-earth as …

Categories: Getting Started

Where Does All of Our Money Go?

Kimberly writes in: A few months ago (yep, one of those New Years Resolutions!) I pledged to get a better grip on my finances. I found some personal finance blogs to read and decided to start off by simply tracking where our money went. But it’s impossible!! Every time I sit down with our bank …

Enjoy Your Hobbies with Minimal Spending

One big problem that many people have when they adopt a frugal lifestyle is the perceived reduction in enjoyment they’re going to have in their hobbies. Entertainment spending is one of the obvious places to cut in a budget because it’s not a base need, but it is a very painful cut. If done recklessly, …

Reader Mailbag: Alarm Clocks

For the first time in almost two years, I didn’t set my alarm this morning. I woke up about an hour and a half later than I usually do and I felt really groggy. I’m not really sure what to make of that, considering that by now I figured my biological clock would have been …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: The Little Book of Behavioral Investing

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest to readers of The Simple Dollar. If you’ve been reading The Simple Dollar for a while, you know that I love the “Little Book” series by Wiley Publishing. It’s a book series of small, relatively short hardbacks with about twenty …

The Financial Realities of Growing a Family

Anthony writes in: My wife and I have two children, ages 2 and 1. We’d like to have more; we both think that four would be a great number, although there’s no particular logical reason for that number. The problem is the expense. With daycare costs, adding each additional child will cost another $260 a …

Categories: Family, Getting Started

Other’s Priorities Don’t Have to Be Yours

Kelly writes in: In the past three months, I’ve paid off all but $2,000 of my credit card debt. I feel happier about my money than I have in a long time. The only problem is that my social life seems to be falling apart. I don’t have as much interest in the things my …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: March 13, 2010

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