Month: May 2014

What Does It Mean to Be Rich?

If you wander by the personal finance section at your local bookstore, one of the first things you’ll notice is that a lot of books use the word “Rich” in the title. Rich Dad, Poor Dad. How to Get Rich. Smart Couples Finish Rich. I Will Teach You to Be Rich. Heck, one of the …

Categories: Getting Started

The Zen State of Slog Work

The people that succeed at any job are the people who get the job done effectively, even if the work happens to be incredibly boring. At one of my (many) college jobs, I would spend hours upon hours sifting dirt. I’d scoop a big pile of dirt onto a box with a screen on the …

Reader Mailbag: Balancing Act

One of the interesting things in my own life as of late has been the tricky balancing act between my professional work and my personal life. Right now, I’m in a big crunch time with my professional work, as my second book is coming out in late June. There’s a lot of book finalizing, a …

Categories: Books and Reading

Teenagers and Careers

I’m going to go a bit off the beaten path here… Why Nerds Are Unpopular by Paul Graham is one of the most thought-provoking essays I’ve ever read. I’ve re-read the thing several times over the years, each time realizing how much it actually hit upon some of the fundamental truths of my teenage years. …

Categories: Careers

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: High Alert Edition

As I write this, Sarah is actually well past her due date without a baby arriving. She’s pretty uncomfortable at this point, but is keeping up good spirits with a healthy daily dose of naps, reading, and relaxation. As for me? I’m trying to keep the ball halfway rolling until the baby arrives. Ask the …

Categories: Books and Reading

Fifteen Great Websites That Saved Me Money

At the start of 2010, I decided to start an ongoing list of websites that directly saved me money with the intent of sharing that list (and my money-saving experiences with each entry) when the list hit fifteen sites in length (perfect for a good post – not too few and not too many). I …

A Friend to Buy for You

Annie writes in with an interesting story worth talking about a bit: I don’t like shopping for cars at all. I always get overly nervous and want to run away and feel like I’m just getting manipulated by the dealership. I knew I needed a replacement car soon and, like you and your Pilot, I …

Categories: Getting Started

Who Judges You?

We’re all constantly being judged. People glance at us and form opinions about us. Our friends, our family, our vaguest associates all have ideas of what we should or shouldn’t be doing. Often, those opinions are made very clear to us – sometimes directly (when they tell us their thoughts about what we’re doing) or …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: The Trent Hamm FAQ

I receive so many questions about who I am, why I write this blog, and so on that I thought it might be worthwhile to simply answer all of them in one place. That way, when I receive such questions in the future, I can just point to this page. I suppose I might update …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: The Little Book of Bulletproof Investing

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. The Little Book of Bulletproof Investing by Ben Stein and Phil DeMuth is the most recent entry in the Wiley Little Books series and probably the most entertaining one, too. The first thing you’ll pick up from the book is …

Categories: Books and Reading

Does a Motion-Activated Light Switch Save Money?

Paul writes in: I’ve really been enjoying your recent cost breakdown posts. I’m thinking about installing a few motion-activated light switches in my home and I’m wondering if they will actually save me money. Which switches do you like? Will it actually save money in the long run? Paul is referring to a motion-sensing light …

Categories: Getting Started

What Do You Really Have to Lose?

This post goes out to all of the readers who are about to graduate from college (and from high school, for that matter) and are wondering what comes next (hopefully, you already know and have a plan for it, but if you do, you’re in the minority). A few days ago, a college student I …

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: April 24, 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

Why Do I Talk About Frugality?

Adam writes in: I’m not feeling the vibe from your recent posts about how to save a few pennies washing Ziploc bags. This won’t get me rich. Getting rich isn’t the point. One of my favorite people in the world, Rachel, currently works for a non-profit organization in the Seattle area. She works there because …

How Much Do You Really Save By Air-Drying Your Clothes?

When I was growing up, my mother always hung clothes out to dry, sometimes even in the winter. Where I currently live, there’s not really a place to install a clothesline that would catch any wind at all (I could put one at the edge of our property where it would catch a little wind, …

Categories: Frugality

Four Atypical Things to Do Before Buying a House

Most articles focus on the financial nuts and bolts of the things you should have in order before you consider buying a home. You’ve got to have good credit. You’ve got to have a down payment. You’ve got to know the housing market. And so on. Yet those aren’t the only important things to be …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Quicken

I started using Quicken 2010 recently. I like it. I don’t love it. It does enough frustrating things to sometimes make me not want to use it, but every once in a while, it just clicks and enables you to see some great financial overviews. The best part? For the first three and a half …

Categories: Books and Reading

What About Freezer Bags?

After seeing more than a hundred comments and several dozen emails about the rewashing Ziploc sandwich bags article from last weekend, I felt it was appropriate to address the most common follow-up question: You’ve mentioned yourself in the past that you re-wash Ziploc bags! What gives? I do, in fact, rewash those large, ultra-durable gallon-sized …

Categories: Frugality

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Baby Tick Tock Edition

My wife is literally due any day now. She’s no longer working as per her doctor’s request – instead, she’s staying at home, resting a lot, and doing some “nesting”-type activities to get ready for the child’s arrival. I can’t wait. Photographing Children- Portraits After my recent mention of expensive child photography in a reader …

Categories: Books and Reading