Month: May 2014

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: May 22, 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: Time Machine

Guilt and Charitable Giving

Monica writes: My biggest “financial leak” is charities. I constantly see people in need and I feel deeply guilty if I don’t help them, especially since I know I have plenty of financial resources with which to help them. The result is that I end up with less money than I expected and it’s hard …

Categories: Charity

The Moment That Changes Everything

Else stood this stone a fragment and defaced, with lucent body from the shoulders falling, too short, not gleaming like a lion’s fell; nor would this star have shaken the shackles off, bursting with light, until there is no place that does not see you. You must change your life. – Rainer Maria Rilke, Torso …

Categories: Getting Started

Convenience and Piracy

I’m going to go a little bit off of the beaten path here and talk about something not directly related to personal finance, but something that has a strong indirect relationship: piracy of intellectual property. A week barely goes by when a person writes to me asking for some sort of justification for their piracy …

Categories: Meta

Reader Mailbag: Draft Copies

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been sweating over a lot of the little details of my upcoming book. What will the cover look like exactly? What will the text be on the folds? What will the acknowledgements look like? What about a dedication (it wound up being dedicated to my high school English teacher, …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

MMOs and Financial and Personal Balance

Charlotte writes in: I just wanted to suggest that you write about MMOs. My husband and I have been playing World of Warcraft since we were in college for about five years. We play about two hours each evening and maybe three or four hours on raid nights (two nights a week). We don’t have …

Categories: Games

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Pure Imagination Edition

One of the fun things about being a parent is introducing your child to some of the things that built your own fondest memories of a child. Sometimes they react with indifference. Sometimes with a smile. And sometimes, like with the old Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory movie, they react with pure delight. Busting …

Categories: Morning Roundup

The Realities of Dropping Cable

Over the years, I’ve made a strong case for abandoning television watching as a good move for financial and career success. Not only does television offer up a lot of advertisements glorifying unnecessary material stuff and rampant consumerism, but many programs glorify it through product placement within the programs. Many programs solely exist to promote …

Categories: Getting Started

Privacy, Honesty, Marriage, and Debt

Archie writes in: In our marriage, my wife and I have agreed not to open financial statements addressed to each other. We supposedly did this so that we would be able to hide things like gift purchases from each other. Whenever we talked about our finances, we just talked about balances on accounts and didn’t …

Looking the Wrong Way

A comment I saw recently on the Bucks blog over at the New York Times really stuck in my head. In a post about Americans spending less and less time shopping for a mortgage, CG said: Why is this a surprise to anyone? You USE a car. You USE a house. That’s what you spend …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Stephen Strasburg

I’m in a pretty competitive fantasy baseball league this year. During our draft, I made the most controversial pick, drafting Stephen Strasburg (who has yet to make his major league debut) with my fifth pick in the draft. He has been utterly unhittable in the minors. Every day, I get up and look at the …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: QBQ!

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. Contemporary culture constantly seems to push us to blame others. It’s the Republicans’ fault! It’s the liberals’ fault! It’s the art department’s fault! It’s your brother’s fault! Guess what? Casting blame on others doesn’t solve any problems. It’s simply the …

Categories: What We're Reading

Finding the Fire: Nine Things I Do to Make Each Day Great

I have three kids under the age of five at home. I have a fairly demanding writing career, a marriage to maintain, a home to maintain, several community responsibilities, and a handful of personal hobbies that are very important to me. Where do I find the time and energy? Over the last few years, I’ve …

Categories: Getting Started

A Weekend Project for You

60% of Americans don’t have a will. When they die, at least some of what they hope of passing on to their loved ones will be eaten up by lawyers and distributed by judges. Handle funeral costs so your family doesn’t have to. Pretty amazing what an hour of contemplation and an hour of document …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: May 15, 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: Time Machine

Debt Consolidation and the “Orbital of Stupid”

Yesterday, I heard a very interesting story on NPR that focused on Dave Ramsey looking at Greece’s debt situation through a personal finance lens. Without going into the politics of it, Dave made the astute observation that if a person behaved in the same way that Greece (or any other nation verging on default) behaved, …

Categories: Debt

The Love and Hate of Work

I recently had a conversation with a 66 year old woman who had retired from a fairly lucrative career, only to take on a completely surprising job as her “retirement job.” She’s a grade school lunch lady. Why did she choose to take on such a job? The reason was simple, she told me. Her …

Categories: Careers

Can You Actually Make Money Chasing Rates?

One common tactic I see on personal finance blogs is what I like to call “rate chasing.” This tactic usually involves carefully watching the yield rates on savings accounts over at Bankrate.com (or a similar service), always signing up for one of the top accounts, and transferring their savings to that highest-yield bank. For me, …

Categories: Banking

Reader Mailbag: Packing Books for Trips

My wife and I recently had a long discussion about how many books we should pack for a trip. I usually tend to read more when traveling, so I usually pack one book for every two days’ worth of a trip. So, let’s say we go on a ten day trip. That would mean five …

Categories: Reader Mailbag