Month: May 2014

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #3

Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. 1. My daughter’s enthusiasm for ballet My three year old daughter started with a community ballet program a few weeks ago. Her passion for music and dancing already seems to …

Dinner With My Family #3: Stir Fry with Asparagus

Stir Fry with Asparagus Recipe Earlier this week, I discussed using grocery flyers to plan meals and mentioned that I’d be using some of the items I discovered there to make this week’s meal. It turned out that my craving for asparagus was just too strong and I wound up using it as the foundation …

The Art of the Audacious Goal

I want to run for mayor of a large city. I want to publish a series of fantasy novels that appear in every bookstore in the country. I want to pay off the $300,000 in debt that I owe. I want to start a restaurant chain. I want to visit 100 countries by the time …

Categories: Goals

The Fundamental Ingredients for Financial Success

In today’s reader mailbag, a reader asked me if the questions I get for the mailbag make me depressed because, frankly, many of the stories I hear from readers represent a grim financial story. I told him, quite honestly, that most of the questions actually make me happy. They fill me with hope. I think …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Travel

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. Infant car seats 2. Roth and 403(b) questions 3. Paying off mortgage early 4. Managing a pay increase 5. Bonds owned by the deceased 6. Using …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

The Lifestyle You Want

For the first time in quite a while, I was watching a live program on television, meaning I couldn’t just skip the commercial breaks if I so chose. As I sat there watching the advertisements, I began to realize something interesting. Almost all of them painted a picture of some sort of idealized lifestyle. I …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Sick Boy Edition

Thanks to many of you who wrote to me expressing well wishes for our infant son. He’s doing much better today. On Monday, he was very lethargic and didn’t want to do anything but cuddle with me. On Tuesday, he acted normal when he wasn’t sleeping, but he slept a lot. Today, he’s acting pretty …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Using Grocery Flyers to Plan Meals

As I’ve mentioned many times on The Simple Dollar, one of our most frequently-used methods for saving money on food is to simply create a meal plan each week based on the sales found in grocery flyers. I then take that meal plan and prepare a grocery list based on it, which naturally includes many …

Categories: Food, Frugality, Groceries

Savings Under the Kitchen Sink

Yep, under the kitchen sink. Like a lot of people, the cupboard under our kitchen sink is chock full of all sorts of household items. A few days ago, I was searching for a replacement water filter, as we have an under-the-sink water filtration system and the filter was due to be replaced. While I …

When Everything Stops

This past weekend, our infant son fell quite ill. He got a very high fever that kept spiking up to a worryingly high number, then falling a bit, then spiking again. He was completely lethargic. He seemed most content simply resting with his eyes open while being held, which is as far away from his …

Categories: Meta

Reader Mailbag: Paper Journal

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. Fee-free prepaid debit cards 2. Peer-to-peer lending 3. 401(k)s and dividends 4. Favorite board games 5. Borrowing money and cultural conflicts 6. Preparing for a home …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: Debt Free for Life

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. I’ve reviewed a pile of David Bach’s books over the years (Smart Couples Finish Rich, The Automatic Millionaire, and several others). Why bother reading and reviewing yet another one? The title alone fairly well explains it. Rather than focusing on …

A Simple Rule for Risk Assessment

So much of life boils down to the simple idea of risk. Every choice we make has some chance of a negative result, and being able to assess the chances of that negative result helps us figure out which choice to make. In day to day life, we make tons of quick risk assessments all …

Categories: Planning

Making Good Coffee at Home Without Breaking the Bank

“Have you ever written about coffee?” Sarah asked me one morning. I haven’t written about coffee, actually, at least not in a direct way. I’m not an avid coffee drinker. I have a cup about once a month or so, and it’s usually in the afternoon. I simply don’t drink it as part of my …

Categories: Food, Frugality

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #2

Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. 1. The Social Network I finally had the opportunity to see this movie this week and it was as good as I thought it would be, if not better. It’s …

Dinner With My Family #2: Pasta with Olives and Tomatoes

Pasta with Olives and Tomatoes Our family loves pasta. Our oldest child claims that olives are his favorite food and has been known to sit and eat a bunch of them all at once. Thus, pasta with olives is something that frequently hits our table. What You Need This is a very simple dish, so …

Turning Fear into Joy

Fear drives me. I fear feeling like I did in April 2006, when I realized that I wasn’t able to pay my bills any more. I fear feeling like I did in November 2005, when I felt like I had to make a choice between my child and my career, and without the career I …

Categories: Getting Started

Scam Alert! Ten Signs to Avoid

Imagine if you had little or no ethics or morality at all. You live under the belief that if you lie and misrepresent right to a person’s face and they believe it, they deserve to have their money taken from them for being so stupid. There are a lot of people out there that fall …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Thanks

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. Selling jewelry 2. Auto loan refinancing 3. Rolling over a 403(b) 4. Next generation’s big mistake 5. Gift for newborn 6. Handling personal injury settlement 7. …

Categories: Reader Mailbag