• Out of Control

    This past week, I had a wonderful exchange with Maggie, an administrative assistant at a Fortune 500 company. In one email, Maggie said the following, which I found quite compelling. The rest of my life feels completely out of control. My children are demanding, as are my bosses, and the demands change all the time. …

  • Reader Mailbag: Parental Visit

    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. Buying a car 2. Life insurance when uninsurable 3. Consolidating accounts 4. Selling homemade items online 5. Investing down payment 6. Credit card conundrum 7. Psychological …

  • Review: Early Retirement Extreme

    Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years. It was the subtitle of Jacob Lund Fisker’s Early Retirement Extreme that convinced me to pick it up. “A …

  • Eight Minutes to Financial Success – Minute #8: Bank on Autopilot

    This week, The Simple Dollar is running a short series on some of the key moments in my financial turnaround and how you can experience those moments as well. For a full description of this, see the first article in the series. As I began to get my financial situation under control, I began to …

  • Eight Minutes to Financial Success – Minute #7: Who Do You Love?

    This week, The Simple Dollar is running a short series on some of the key moments in my financial turnaround and how you can experience those moments as well. For a full description of this, see the first article in the series. At the low point of my personal finance situation, I spent a long …

  • Ten Pieces of Inspiration #8

    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. Vidal Sassoon on success and work This is a great little quote. The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary. – Vidal Sassoon Vidal Sassoon …

  • Dinner With My Family #7: Spaghetti di Pesto alla Genovese

    Each week, I’ll present a low-cost meal (or a meal that demonstrates a lot of options for cutting costs) that my family eats for dinner and enjoys. Many of the recipes will be vegan or vegetarian, with options to add other ingredients for non-vegetarians. I love Italian food. Sure, it can be pasta heavy, but …

  • Eight Minutes to Financial Success – Minute #6: Make a Weekend Plan

    This week, The Simple Dollar is running a short series on some of the key moments in my financial turnaround and how you can experience those moments as well. For a full description of this, see the first article in the series. My weekend planning has always followed the same general structure (at least since …

  • Eight Minutes to Financial Success – Minute #5: Reroute Your Commute

    This week, The Simple Dollar is running a short series on some of the key moments in my financial turnaround and how you can experience those moments as well. For a full description of this, see the first article in the series. When I worked at an office about thirty minutes from my home, my …

  • Reader Mailbag: Winter Recedes

    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. Refinancing questions 2. Selling stuff 3. Market price for old collectibles 4. Paying off low interest cards 5. 53, single, and moving forward 6. On Wisconsin …

  • Eight Minutes to Financial Success – Minute #4: Minimize Electronic Temptations

    This week, The Simple Dollar is running a short series on some of the key moments in my financial turnaround and how you can experience those moments as well. For a full description of this, see the first article in the series. Even after making the physical credit cards difficult to access, I was still …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Volunteer Readers Edition

    I just wanted to give a big thank you to all of the readers who wrote to me over the last week offering to contribute articles to any potential tabletop gaming site that I might launch in the future. I really appreciate all of your offers and I have filed them away in case that …

  • Eight Minutes to Financial Success – Minute #3: Block Your Cards

    This week, The Simple Dollar is running a short series on some of the key moments in my financial turnaround and how you can experience those moments as well. For a full description of this, see the first article in the series. Once I had the credit cards out of my wallet, I found that …

  • Eight Minutes to Financial Success – Minute #2: Cleanse Your Wallet or Purse

    This week, The Simple Dollar is running a short series on some of the key moments in my financial turnaround and how you can experience those moments as well. For a full description of this, see the first article in the series. Those of you who watched the television series Seinfeld are probably familiar with …

  • Eight Minutes to Financial Success – Minute #1: Ask Yourself “Do I Need This?”

    First, an explanation of this brief series. A few weeks ago, I was having a conversation with an occasional Simple Dollar reader about the challenges he was having with his financial recovery. At one point, he told me – and I’m paraphrasing here a bit – that the biggest challenge he had with personal finance …

  • Reader Mailbag: Vitamin B and Iron

    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. Older parents with money problems 2. Mother-in-law crisis 3. Reverse mortgage question 4. Is a graduate degree worthwhile? 5. Getting started with debt recovery 6. Late …

  • Review: Money Girl’s Smart Moves to Deal with Your Debt

    Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years. Whenever I stumble across a free opportunity to download a good electronic book, I usually do so. I archive …

  • Is Talking Personal Finance Like Religious Evangelism?

    Brent sent me a great email earlier this week: Have you ever noticed how a lot of the articles you write could easily appear on a religious website trying to convert nonbelievers? Just switch a few things around and you’d be there. Instead of telling people to read Your Money or Your Life, you’d tell …

  • Changing Course

    Condi writes in: Six months ago, I almost had my children taken away from me because I didn’t have enough money to pay any of the bills and keep food on the table for my children. It was the worst time of my life and since then, I’ve cleaned up my act. I’ve stopped drinking …