Month: May 2014

Car Finance: The Math on Why You Should Pay Cash for Your Next Car

Quite often, I get emails from readers asking about car finance. What is the “best” way to purchase a particular car that they want? They have their eye on some new model and want me to essentially tell them that it’s okay to purchase it. When Is It Ok To Finance A Car? I rarely …

Categories: Automobile, Debt

Making It All Work – Getting Perspective at Fifty Thousand Feet: Purpose and Principles

This is the seventeenth 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. Why am I here? What is the purpose of my life? How do I …

The Egg Nog Dilemma

This past week, we spent quite a bit of time visiting Sarah’s parents. Her mother kindly bought several items that I would be able to eat or drink throughout the week in advance of our visit (yes, I actually like my mother in law!). One of the things she picked up for me was a …

Categories: Food, Frugality, Shopping

Reader Mailbag: Black Friday Results

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. Car trade-in math 2. Putting others at ease 3. Safe savings 4. Refinancing timing question 5. Board games for young ones 6. Retirement account diversity 7. …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: The Cheapskate Next Door

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. A few years ago, I reviewed Jeff Yeager’s excellent book on frugality The Ultimate Cheapskate’s Road Map to True Riches. Quite simply, it was one of the best books on frugality I’ve ever read, with a healthy dose of humor …

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: November 27, 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

Making It All Work – Getting Perspective at Forty Thousand Feet: Vision

This is the sixteenth 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. “What would long term success look, sound, and feel like?” Again, Allen opens the …

Ten Things I’m Thankful for This Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving! Today’s a great day to step back and reflect on the positive things that have happened in our life over the past year and the things that bring joy into your life. Here are ten things I’m thankful for today. I’m thankful for the laughter of my infant son, the bright smile that …

Categories: Meta

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Turkey Day Edition

For this week’s roundup, I dug deep into my own site archives as well as the archives of other sites for some great articles about the upcoming holiday – saving money on it, utilizing resources effectively, and making the day as valuable to all involved as possible. Enjoy, and have fun tomorrow. 5 Ways to …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Handling the “Estate Meeting”

Sometime during this week, I’m planning on sitting down with my siblings and my parents and hashing out the specific details of their estate – who will be the executor, how it will be split up, and so on. My parents don’t have a large estate, but they do have a number of personal items …

Categories: Planning

Making It All Work – Getting Perspective at Thirty Thousand Feet: Goals and Objectives

This is the fifteenth 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. “What do I want to achieve?” Allen opens the chapter with this question and …

Minimizing the Cost of Holiday Car Travel

Like a lot of people this week, our family is traveling by car to a number of Thanksgiving dinners. As I taught the children to sing recently, “On the interstate and across the bridge, to Grandma’s house we go!” Of course, when you’re traveling during the holiday season, you’re opening the door to some potential …

Reader Mailbag: Thanksgiving Week

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. Repetitive car repairs 2. Keeping oldest credit card 3. Rethinking decision to buy home 4. Thanksgiving place settings 5. Eliminating debts before grad school 6. Dividing …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: The Drunkard’s Walk

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. One of the key points in my book The Simple Dollar is that our lives are far more random than we think and that we compensate for that randomness in the wrong way. We should spend less, not more. We …

Categories: What We're Reading

What’s Next? Thinking About the Future

This weekend, I did one of my “big life reviews” that I do about three or four times a year. During these (as I’ve been discussing during the “Making It All Work” series), I sit down for a few hours and take stock of everything going on in my life. What do I want to …

Categories: Getting Started

A Deeper Look at Quibids … and Why I Don’t Think It’s Worth It

In Thursday’s reader mailbag, a reader asked me about my opinion on Quibids, an auction site where you have to pay for your bids, but bids only make the auctions go up in $0.01 or $0.02 increments. I told them, basically, that my back-of-the-envelope math makes the site not worth your time. Several readers wrote …

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: November 20, 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 #10: Homemade Cookies and Gift Bundle

In the coming week, we’re going to be giving a few early small seasonal gifts to people, so with that in mind, we put the final finishing touches on our first gift basket, utilizing some of the items we already made. One component of many of our baskets this year is going to be cookies. …

Making It All Work – Getting Perspective at Twenty Thousand Feet: Areas of Focus and Responsibility

This is the fourteenth 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. What, exactly, are areas of focus? I think the best way to spell this …