Month: May 2014

When Partners Don’t Cooperate With Setting Goals

Yesterday, I posted an article about setting goals with your partner. In the comments, Brittany left a wonderful question that I felt deserved a post all its own: What if you have your shared goals, but one partner doesn’t have the financial gumption to see it through? I’m not married, not even engaged, but I’m …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Notes and Some Questions on the “Getting Things Done” Series

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. GTD and privacy 2. Planning for a long trip 3. GTD and prioritizing 4. Overcoming jaded partner’s money attitudes 5. GTD and daily routines 6. Hopping …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: The Smartest Retirement Book You’ll Ever Read

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. Daniel Solin’s series of The Smartest X Book You’ll Ever Read have turned me off for their title alone, and thus, to this point, I’ve not read them. The title set off a big “questionable investment planning” warning light inside …

Setting Goals with Your Partner

As I’ve said many times on here, my wife and I have a small handful of major goals that we share going forward in our lives. We both want to eventually live in the country with some wooded area and a small barn. We both want to focus on raising our children as well as …

Categories: Goals, Marriage

Money and Basic Math

Lately, I’ve been reading the very enjoyable book Stop Getting Ripped Off by Bob Sullivan of The Red Tape Chronicles (a full review will come in a week or two). The first section of the book discusses at length how people are often stymied at personal finance due to basic math skills. Here’s a quote, …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: July 10, 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 #6: Simple Homemade Pasta and Pizza Sauce

What’s on the table this summer? Homemade Pasta Today’s meal looks like a simple pasta… … and it is, except that we do something a little different than most people seem to these days. You see, we’re pretty picky about our sauce. We have found a few store-bought pasta sauces that we like, but they’re …

Categories: Food, Frugality

Getting Things Done: The Power of the Next-Action Decision

This is the twelfth 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. One key theme in this book is the importance of coming up with a “next-action” list, which is …

Some Thoughts on DINKs (Dual Income, No Kids)

A couple weeks ago, I posted some links to a discussion concerning whether it was smart or selfish to not have children, as well as a response to that issue. Since then, the whole matter has stuck in my head. Is it smart or selfish to have children? Several readers have emailed me their thoughts …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Singing Bedtime Songs

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. Borrowing against life insurance 2. Splitting a property 3. Bankruptcy and loan modification 4. Tracking weight loss 5. How much down payment? 6. Helping someone drowning …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

The Simple Dollar Is in Bookstores Today… And Here’s Some Free Bonuses for Buyers!

My new book, The Simple Dollar: How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of His Dreams, is now available in bookstores (I just saw it at a Barnes and Noble in the Des Moines, Iowa area and at the Borders in Ames, Iowa)! You can also buy it right now at …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Link Choice Edition

A fellow blogger wrote to me asking me how I go about choosing the articles I include in my weekly roundup each week. What I basically do is read a lot of blogs and news sites throughout the week (including ones that bloggers send to me) and bookmark articles that made me think. I save …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Getting Things Done: The Power of the Collection Habit

This is the eleventh 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. Allen concludes the book with three short chapters discussing the power of various aspects of the GTD system. …

Making Your Time Less Money-Dense

One of the biggest ways to leak money is to spend your time in money-dense ways. The easiest way to explain it is to just show you a bunch of examples. Spending eight hours at Disney World with the requisite food, drink, and souvenir purchases costs about $200. The cost per hour of this event …

Promises, Promises (To Yourself)

Connie writes in with a great question whose answer got far too long for the Mailbag: My biggest problem with money is that I lie to myself. I keep telling myself everything is going good and at first it is. Then I start slowly falling back into old habits but I keep telling myself everything …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Vacation Monday

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. Help an unlucky friend? 2. Are rent-to-own homes worthwhile? 3. Maximizing value of college 4. Post-graduation options for teachers 5. Secured loan or credit card? 6. …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: The Investor’s Manifesto

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. The Four Pillars of Investing, an earlier book by William Bernstein, was one of my favorite books I’ve ever read on investment topics. It was intellectually challenging, offered great investment advice, and stuck to reasonably conservative investment plans – in …

Nine Thoughts on Personal Finance from America’s Founding Fathers

Let’s celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence by celebrating some of America’s founding father’s thoughts on personal finance. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest. – Benjamin Franklin One thing that I feel is never wasted is money and time spent on purposeful education. If you’re genuinely engaged in learning about …

Categories: Getting Started

Starting Food Preparation at Home

Connie writes in: I just moved in with my husband-to-be and we’re discovering that we have very different lifestyles in some regards. The biggest challenge has been food. My husband is absolutely convinced that it is actually CHEAPER for us to eat out for every meal than prepare food at home. We have everything we …