Month: May 2014

How Does Negativity Help You?

“I don’t really care what you have to say because you don’t have the same political beliefs as I do.” “This idea just doesn’t match my life at all, so it’s worthless.” Several years ago, my immediate circle of friends were full of people who would go out for drinks after work and spend an …

Categories: Getting Started

It’s Not About Having the Right Partner. It’s About Being the Right Partner.

I stumbled across the above quote (which I’ve been unable to source) a few weeks ago. Since then, the idea has been running through my mind as I realized how often the idea behind the quote comes up in our day-to-day lives, personally, professionally, financially, and otherwise. Simply put, none of us live in a …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Family and Friends

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. Switching credit cards 2. Accepting pay for articles 3. Building credit 4. USPS refund on principle 5. Marriage and alcoholism 6. Roth 403(b) contributions 7. Reaching …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: 168 Hours

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. 168 hours? That’s the number of hours in seven days – a typical week. The premise behind this book …

The Fear of Missing Out

A few days ago, I stumbled upon this blog post by Caterina Fake in which she discusses the phenomenon of FOMO at conferences (in this case, the SXSW conference in Austin, TX). Bear with me a bit as I go down a little bit of a side journey here. Trust me, it’ll come back around …

Categories: Getting Started

What You Are – and What You’re Not

I’m never going to play in the NBA. That’s an unrealistic goal for me, and I knew it to be an unrealistic goal when I was ten years old on the playground. I wasn’t fast enough and didn’t have the natural reflexes of the other ten year olds on the court. It was a painful …

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #11

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. Ralph Waldo Emerson on the “good old days” Unemployment is at 9% or so and the media bemoans financial apocalypse. A few years ago, unemployment was at 5% or …

Dinner With My Family #10: Curry Pumpkin Soup and Sandwiches

Vegan Curry Pumpkin Soup I’ll be the first to admit that when I heard of the idea of curry pumpkin soup, I thought it sounded dreadful. Pumpkin soup? Are you kidding? My wife really wanted to try a curry pumpkin soup recipe she found in our copy of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Some Thoughts on Balancing “Fun” Spending and Planning for the Future

One of my biggest splurges each year comes in August, when I travel to Indianapolis with a few friends and attend GenCon, a gaming convention. During a given year, my wife usually goes on some sort of trip by herself as well, often to visit family in the Pacific Northwest. I usually pick up a …

Categories: Getting Started

Making Homemade Yogurt

Yep, you read that right. Homemade yogurt, in our crock pot. Of course, before we get started, it’s worth noting that I’m sharing something we do routinely in our own home, and if you choose to do this in your own home, I assume no liability over the results. We’ve done this many times and …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Reader Mailbag: Absence

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. Banking troubles 2. Getting rid of a timeshare 3. Scholarships and taxes 4. Housing money for the future 5. Loan arrangement question 6. Where should we …

Categories: Books and Reading

Choosing Guardians for Your Children

Yesterday morning, I posted an article discussing our decision-making process with regards to deciding whether or not to become named guardians for several children. Is it something we could handle? After posting that article, several parents emailed me to state that they had been struggling with the guardianship question in their own lives. They were …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Sister-In-Law Visit Edition

My sister-in-law and her soon-to-be spouse are coming to visit us for several days starting later today. I actually quite like my wife’s sisters, as they all have fairly similar personalities, intellects, and humors, so it should be a fun period. Finding the Path Toward Your Perfect Day This is pretty similar to my oft-stated …

Categories: Books and Reading

Building Passive Income Streams

As time goes on, the value of having multiple income streams becomes more and more apparent to me. The more income streams you have, the less trouble your life will have if one of those income streams goes defunct or experiences a downturn. Thus, I’ve been thinking a great deal about developing more income streams …

Should We Become Named Guardians for Several Children?

A few days ago, Sarah and I went out to dinner with another couple that we’ve been friends with for a long time – we’ve actually known the female in the couple for almost two decades. They live several hours away from us and we don’t get to see them terribly often, but we make …

Categories: Family

Why Should a Man Get Married?

I get asked this question all the time, and I think it’s one that’s got enough cultural pressure behind it that it’s worth discussing. From a purely financial standpoint, why should a man get married? Let’s look at the reasons behind this question first. The argument against marriage for men is pretty straightforward. The most …

Categories: Family

Reader Mailbag: NCAA Tournament Predictions

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. Handling a windfall 2. Underwater on mortgage 3. The best next step 4. More for the mortgage? 5. Saving up for payments 6. Package price increase …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: Evil Plans

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. Evil Plans, by Hugh “Gaping Void” MacLeod, focuses on the desire that everyone has to do something that they …

Some Thoughts on Entering Drawings

I have several friends who have made something of a hobby of simply trawling the web, looking for sites that are offering giveaways, entering them, and then looking for the next one. After finally spending a couple of afternoons doing this at the behest of a couple of them, I find some good things – …

Categories: Getting Started