Month: May 2014

Paying for Meaningless Words and Phrases

Every time I go shopping for a food item or a household item, I’m always bombarded with all sorts of nonsensical and largely meaningless terms plastered all over products. The words are often tied to products that, frankly, I view as overpriced for various reasons. I decided to catalogue a few of these wonderful meaningless …

Making It All Work – The Process

This is the third entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. Making It All Work opens with what I would call three “introductory” chapters that …

The Meaning

For the past several days, my cousin and her two sons stayed at our house. It was something I’d been looking forward to for a long time, as she’d never been able to visit us until now. I was very close to this cousin of mine (let’s call her Laurie) when I was a child, …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Mondays?

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-to-own apartments and homes 2. Retire now or later? 3. Roth IRA for teenager 4. Managing money while traveling abroad 5. Life insurance misinformation 6. Moving …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: Generation Earn

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. I really enjoy reading personal finance books that target young professionals – the one group that I believe could use the personal finance help the most. So many of them are really well-written, but they each take one of two …

Scarcity and Abundance: Escaping the Scarcity Mentality

Recently, Barrie left a very interesting comment on The Simple Dollar Facebook page: I’d love to see something about scarcity vs abundance. I can’t seem to escape the scarcity thought bubble. The ideas of scarcity and abundance have bubbled under at The Simple Dollar for a very long time. Now’s a great time to talk …

Categories: Getting Started

What Does “Financial Independence” Really Mean?

“Financial independence” is a phrase often bandied about by people without any sort of consistent meaning. Does “financial independence” mean complete freedom from debt? Does it mean the ability to switch jobs without creating a financial panic in your household? Does it mean having enough money to survive without further income? Does it mean having …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: October 9, 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

Homemade Gift Series #4: Homemade Beer

I often brew homemade beer. It’s an enjoyable hobby that allows me to sometimes use items from my garden and gets me deeply in touch with the natural process of making a homecrafted beer. I have complete control over the ingredients and can make whatever variation seems good to me with whatever ingredients seem flavorful …

Making It All Work – The GTD Phenomenon

This is the second entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. Last time, we talked about procrastination and why people avoid projects that have unclear …

A Deeper Look at the “Percentage Budget”

One topic I’m frequently asked about by readers is the idea of the “percentage budget,” something that seems to largely come from Elizabeth Warren’s book All Your Worth, which I reviewed previously. In the book, Warren proposes a very simple budget for people to follow, based on percentages of their take-home income. + 50% of …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Tomorrow

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. Investment choices 2. Changing one’s mindset 3. Tea Party thoughts 4. Angry at myself 5. Thoughts on interest-only loans 6. Importance of debt-to-credit ratio 7. Free …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Doing the Math on Refilling Ink Cartridges

Many of us (myself included) have an ink jet printer at home for home printing needs. We certainly use ours for lots of things, from printing off forms to making pictures of our children for various uses. It’s also widely known that it’s possible for people to refill their ink cartridges. It’s fairly simple to …

Categories: Computers, Frugality

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Timing Belt Edition

Recently, I had to replace the timing belt on our Honda Pilot. I tried to figure out how to do it myself, but the intricacy of it was just too far over my head, so I took it to a shop instead. This is exactly why it’s good to have an emergency fund. This kind …

Categories: Morning Roundup

The Value of Reducing Stress

60% to 80% of job-related accidents are due to employee stress level. 90% of all diseases are caused by or exacerbated by stress. 60% to 90% of doctor visits are caused by or related to stress. To put it simply, stress is expensive. Very expensive. You pay in the form of lower energy, more illness, …

Categories: Getting Started

Making It All Work – From Getting Things Done to Making It All Work

This is the first entry in a twenty part series discussing the wonderful time and priority management book Making It All Work by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday mornings and Friday mornings through December 10. Earlier this year, I did a chapter-by-chapter review/walkthrough of David Allen’s excellent time management …

Don’t Rely on Social Security

This is a message to all of those people under, say, forty out there. Don’t rely on Social Security for any part of your retirement. When you’re thinking about retirement, assume that you’re going to be paying your own way. That’s not a statement that a lot of people like to think about, but the …

Categories: Retirement

Reader Mailbag: Public Cell Phone Use

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. Rebuilding a life post-divorce 2. Freelancing baby steps 3. Power of attorney question 4. Emergency fund or invest? 5. Does prayer work? 6. Getting your spouse …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: Investing from Scratch

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. This is one of those books I found digging through the personal finance section at the library. The subtitle, A Handbook for the Young Investor, intrigued me. How would this book particularly tackle the issues of the young investor? Would …

Categories: What We're Reading