Month: May 2014

Innovative Energy Saving

Only very rarely do I pass along a guest post, but a reader sent me such a spectacular energy saving do-it-yourself idea (and wonderful writeup about it) that I just had to pass it along. The only change I’ve made to this article is highlighting a few key pieces. This article comes from Allie, a …

Categories: Frugality

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Very Short Hair Edition

I’ve officially decided to start clippering my hair very short – and doing it at home. I used to do this in college, but since then I’ve had my hair somewhat longer. Does anyone out there have a recommendation as to hair clippers for home use that are economical and foolproof? 11 Creative Ways to …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Getting Things Done: Making the Best Action Choices

This is the ninth entry in a fourteen part series discussing the time management classic Getting Things Done by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday afternoons and Friday mornings through July 16. Over the last four articles, we’ve reviewed four of the five major components of getting things done: 1. …

How to Lodge a Consumer Complaint

In the past on The Simple Dollar, I’ve talked about how to lodge a complaint against a company if you’re truly dissatisfied with a product. I’ve always wanted to do a case study of such a complaint, but I’ve never had an experience severe enough to cause me to get involved. Until now. Pictured above …

Categories: Getting Started

Decluttering and Your Money

Connie writes in: You write a lot about how there’s a deep connection between less clutter and financial success.  I don’t get it at all.  I think the opposite is true because when you clear out a bunch of stuff you would just have the space for a lot more. This is an issue I’ve …

Categories: Advice

Reader Mailbag: Impromptu Travel

What’s inside? Here are five word summaries of the questions answered inside this mailbag. Click on the number to skip straight to that question. 1. Co-signing with bad credit father 2. How many people read TSD? 3. Removing stains from cloth diapers 4. Percentage for emergency fund 5. Personal loan for adoption 6. Gloom, doom, …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: Voluntary Simplicity

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. For many of us (myself included), one of the biggest motivations for getting our personal finances in shape is to give us more control over our lives. A big part of financial recovery is simply being mindful of your choices: …

Categories: What We're Reading

Paying Down a Mortgage or Investing for the Long Term?

As I mentioned a bit last week, we’re currently debt free except for our mortgage and a student loan with such low interest that it would be financially reckless to pay it back early. The CD in which we were keeping the money to pay for our Prius matured (it was earning a higher percentage …

Categories: Getting Started

Askers, Guessers, and Personal Finance

A while back, I came across a fascinating article at The Guardian discussing askers and guessers: This is the “disease to please” – a phrase that doesn’t make grammatical sense, but rhymes, giving it instant pop-psychology cachet. There are certainly profound issues here, of self-esteem, guilt etcetera. But it’s also worth considering whether part of …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: June 26, 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

Summer Meal Series #4: Grilled Apple Pork Chops, Garlic Baby Potatoes, and Steamed Broccoli

WHat’s on the table this summer? Apple Pork Chops with Garlic Baby Potatoes A few days ago, I was going through the produce section of our grocery store when I noticed a great sale on baby potatoes. They’re delicious and easy to prepare in lots of contexts, so I picked them up. Then I noticed …

Categories: Food, Frugality

Getting Things Done: Keeping Your System Functional

This is the eighth entry in a fourteen part series discussing the time management classic Getting Things Done by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday afternoons and Friday mornings through July 16. So far, we’ve talked about three of the five major steps for getting things done: collecting all of …

Professional Time, Leisure Time, and Wasted Time

Most of this article applies to any situation in which someone hires someone else to perform work, whether it’s paying someone to change the oil in their car or hiring a plumber to fix a leaky faucet. On that note, Connie writes in: Your schedule seems overstuffed. Have you ever considered hiring an assistant or …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Pee Wee Baseball Season

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Rent or buy a condo? 2. Prioritizing limited money for savings 3. Encouragement for staying at home 4. Cell phone: pay-as-you-go or not? 5. Prioritizing debts …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Eighteen “Best Money Tips” from the Facebook Fans (and My Comments)

Recently, I asked the fans of The Simple Dollar on Facebook what their favorite single money tip was. I got all kinds of responses from all kinds of angles. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I went through the list and started just pulling out ones that made me smile and before …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Interesting Reader Emails Edition

Many of the most entertaining emails I receive from readers will never pop up in the reader mailbag. Lengthy personal attacks (including threatening statements about my children and my wife). Offers for intimate “meetups.” Long descriptions of horribly dysfunctional marriages. People begging me to hire them (The Simple Dollar is a one-man shop for now, …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Getting Things Done: Setting Up the Right Buckets

This is the seventh entry in a fourteen part series discussing the time management classic Getting Things Done by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday afternoons and Friday mornings through July 16. So far, we’ve talked about two of the five major steps for getting things done: collecting all of …

Dealing With “Found” Cash: What’s Right and What’s Wrong?

Two readers wrote in yesterday with concerns about handling cash they found. First, James: I was at the grocery store this morning and I found a $20 bill on the floor. I picked it up and pocketed it and went home. My wife told me later on that I basically stole the money and I …

Categories: Getting Started

The Big Choice

In today’s reader mailbag, I answered a question about digging out from under a pile of debt with some comments about a big choice people have to make in their twenties: The problem you’re having is the problem a lot of people our age have: we want everything but we don’t have the resources to …

Categories: Getting Started