Month: May 2014

Summer Meal Series #2: Grilled Vegetable Kabobs, Barbecued Beans, and Rice

This summer, I’m going to be posting a series of fifteen low-cost, tasty, and easy-to-prepare meals that are literally straight from my own kitchen. Our meals are usually pretty heavy on the vegetables and fruits by default. Often, our main course is a meat of some sort – fish, beef, pork, and chicken are all …

Categories: Food, Frugality

Getting Things Done: Setting Up the Time, Space, and Tools

This is the fourth 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. Last time, we discussed how exactly to plan a project and fit it into the context of focusing …

Dealing with the Avalanche

As I mentioned in the mailbag this morning, my father had emergency surgery due to a massive infection brought about by a dirty fish hook that got embedded in his arm. He’s going to be in the hospital for another day or two. We have a house full of people coming to visit us this …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Distractions

Yesterday, my father had emergency surgery to relieve a big infection that started when he got a fish hook embedded in his hand and he didn’t clean the wound properly immediately. I spent most of the day distracted and worried about him (he seems to be doing okay). I mostly wandered around in a daze. …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Make Each Day Your Masterpiece

Those who have followed this blog for a long time know that I don’t have many personal heroes. There are a lot of people who have valuable things to say, but there are very few people who have reached such a trusted level with me that I tend to put extra value on the things …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Playlist Edition

With all the road trips scheduled this summer, I’ve been thinking about a song collection that both my wife and I would enjoy on the trip. So, we’ve started co-curating one, where we each add 100 songs to a playlist, then we are each allowed to delete anything we don’t like from the list. My …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Getting Things Done: The Five Phases of Project Planning

This is the third 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. Last time, we looked at the five stages of a healthy task and information management workflow (collect, process, …

Delayed Gratification and Children

The single biggest personal finance lesson that anyone can learn is that of delayed gratification. Delayed gratification means that you hold off buying that new cell phone for a while so that you can pay cash for your car in a few years. Delayed gratification means that you spend the evening reading a book or …

Categories: Parenting

What to Do When You Can’t Possibly Prepare Enough

Ellen writes in with a very difficult story: I am a huge fan of yours and have used much of your advice to simplify the money matters in my family, but my family is currently in a crisis that I have never seen discussed on your site. In early April, my family was in a …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: John Wooden

This past weekend, one of my heroes passed away. I’ll memorialize him with five of my favorite quotes from him. “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” “You can’t let praise or criticism get to …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: The Other 8 Hours

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. A while back, I reviewed Robert Pagliarini’s The Six-Day Financial Makeover and concluded that there was some very good advice buried inside a lot of marketing gloss. The core of that advice was strong enough that I kept an eye out …

Preparing Your Information for Disaster, Part Two

About a year ago, I wrote an article entitled Preparing Your Information for Disaster, in which I discussed the challenges my mother (and I, in a peripheral way) had in organizing the accounts and papers of my maternal grandmother after she passed away. The article is really thorough and I consider it to be one …

Categories: Getting Started

The Benefits of a Positive Attitude – and Five Tactics for Doing It

There are quite a few things that you can do to improve your financial and personal state without spending even a single dime. One of the biggest is simply improving your attitude – the way you interpret the things around you and the way you relate to others. Think about it for a moment. I …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: June 5, 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 #1: Honey Mustard Chicken Strips

This summer, I’m going to be posting a series of fifteen low-cost, tasty, and easy-to-prepare meals that are literally straight from my own kitchen. I have a four year old and a two year old at home. That means, at meal times, it’s often much easier to eat finger foods than foods covered in sauce …

Categories: Food, Frugality

Getting Things Done: The Five Stages of Mastering Workflow

This is the second 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. Last time, we talked about why an effective time management system is useful and also the basic ideas …

How to Handle Pets When You Can’t Afford Them Any More

Hey, look, today I’m going to wade into something that’s bound to get hundreds of angry comments! Yesterday, I read an article over at Get Rich Slowly where J.D. wrote the following (with my own emphasis added): “Thanks for finding that place,” Michael told me as he took a bite of mashed potatoes and gravy. …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: A Bit of Auden

“You need not see what someone is doing to know if it is his vocation, you have only to watch his eyes: a cook mixing a sauce, a surgeon making a primary incision, a clerk completing a bill of lading, wear the same rapt expression, forgetting themselves in a function. How beautiful it is, that …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

The Wonderful Rewards of Not Spending

Sarah and I have a lot of similar ideas when it comes to personal finance. We both believe in saving for the future. We both believe in spending far less than we earn. Here’s a tricky one, though. We don’t mind spending on the things we value, but we both cut down hard on the …

Categories: Getting Started