Month: May 2014

When Customer Service Goes Awry

Recently, the credit union that handles our home mortgage had a bit of an issue. They called us up to inform us that our homeowners insurance had been cancelled, which was incredibly awkward considering we pay into an escrow account for our insurance and our insurance payments are taken straight from that account. What happened? …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Birthday

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. Personal loans or credit cards 2. Maximizing savings return 3. Conflicted about parenthood 4. Education or savings 5. Motivating a twentysomething 6. Piano tools 7. Mobile …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: Psych Yourself Rich

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. A couple years ago, Farnoosh Torabi wrote You’re So Money, I book I succinctly described by saying “this book pitches personal finance advice for consumerism addicts.” Nevertheless, I concluded that the book did offer some very solid advice to the …

Categories: Books and Reading

Turning Kitchen Waste Into Something Sublime

You’ve just finished prepping a meal. You have a bunch of leftover vegetable scraps – onion pieces, a bit of chopped tomato, some extra pepper, the end of a zucchini, a single garlic clove, whatever. Or, maybe you had a whole rotisserie chicken or a roast and find yourself with some leftover bones with a …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Netflix Streaming

As I’ve mentioned before, I consider Netflix to be an excellent low-cost alternative to cable. Having Netflix gives you access not only to almost every DVD known to man (sent to you in the mail), but you also have access to their extensive streaming library. In other words, if you have high speed internet at …

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: November 6, 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: Books and Reading

Homemade Gift Series #8: Personalized Cards and Stationery

How to Make Your Own Homemade Cards for the Holidays (and Any Occasion!) A few years ago, Rachel gave my wife Sarah a wonderful Christmas gift: some beautifully-constructed stationery with photos of her own choosing placed on the front of note cards, along with envelopes to mail them in. Here are three examples that Sarah …

Making It All Work – Getting Control: Applying This to Life and Work

This is the tenth 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. Allen takes an interesting detour in this chapter. Here, Allen uses the example of …

Commercials, Kids, and Materialism

Right off the bat, let’s take a peek at this “wonderful” new commercial by Toyota: I was pointed to this ad by longtime reader Beth and the AutoAdOpolis blog. If you’ve been reading The Simple Dollar for long, you’ll know that this ad takes a swing directly at a lot of different ideas I’ve shared …

Categories: Family

Reader Mailbag: Diet

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. How to find a housemate 2. Getting neighbors involved 3. Building credit from nothing 4. Charities and taxes 5. A 203(k) mortgage 6. Suggest some board …

Categories: Books and Reading

Can PMI Be a Good Thing?

This week, I’m going to take a look at a few of the longer questions that have been languishing in the reader mailbag. These questions were too long for a regular mailbag post – and deserve a longer answer – but are well worth discussing on The Simple Dollar. Nick is thinking deeply about two …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: “The Novel” Edition

If you want to follow the progress of the novel I’m writing for National Novel Writing Month, I’m posting daily updates of the work-in-progress at http://trenttsd.posterous.com/. Each day that I make notable progress, I’ll be posting a Word document that contains the whole novel to date. Hopefully, at the end of the month, it’ll be …

Categories: Books and Reading

A Rough Patch

This week, I’m going to take a look at a few of the longer questions that have been languishing in the reader mailbag. These questions were too long for a regular mailbag post – and deserve a longer answer – but are well worth discussing on The Simple Dollar. Alice writes in with a tale …

Categories: Getting Started

Making It All Work – Getting Control: Engaging

This is the ninth 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. Engaging? To put it simply, the fifth (and final) element of positive engagement with …

Financial Advice: Broken Relationship, Broken Future?

This week, I’m going to take a look at a few of the longer financial advise questions that have been languishing in the reader mailbag. These questions were too long for a regular mailbag post – and deserve a longer answer – but are well worth discussing on The Simple Dollar. Jennifer writes in with …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: National Novel Writing Month Begins

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. Trust fund family problems 2. New job, retirement issues 3. Long term care insurance 4. How do CDs work? 5. Book on blogging 6. Paying ahead …

Categories: Books and Reading