Month: May 2014

Our Financial Plan for the Next Ten Years

Quite often, I mention that my wife and I are pretty diligent about planning ahead. We have frequent conversations about the future and we’re pretty much in agreement with what our financial plans and goals are over the next several years. I thought I’d share some of those plans and goals with you. Known Future …

Categories: Getting Started

Savings for Short Term & Investments for Long Term

Tammy writes in: You often tell people to put money in their savings account if they’re just saving for a year or two, but then you tell people to put money into stocks or other stuff if they are saving for lots of years. Why? It’s probably easiest to explain this with an example. Savings …

A Memorial Day Tribute to Five People That Mattered to Me

Memorial Day is a holiday that was originally created to honor deceased soldiers, but has largely grown over the years to honor all deceased people. As a way of commemorating this day, I usually spend some time thinking about what some of the people in my life that have passed on have taught me, and …

Categories: Meta

Reader Mailbag: Bizarre Weather

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. Unplugging the microwave? 2. Morality and employment 3. Loan modification versus refinancing 4. Saving for vehicle replacement 5. Living expenses and college debt 6. Unequal chess …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: The 5 Lessons a Millionaire Taught Me

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. I picked up this book on a lark off of the shelves at a library recently. I carried it …

Categories: What We're Reading

Theming in Personal Finance: Do Dave Ramsey and Larry Burkett Work Without Jesus?

A few days ago, I met an employee of a local Christian talk radio station. We had a nice conversation about a variety of things, ranging from the programming on the station he manages, people we both knew, and so on. At the end of the conversation, this person gave me a pamphlet describing a …

Synchronicity

Synchronicity, in the words of Wikipedia, is “the experience of two or more events, that are apparently causally unrelated or unlikely to occur together by chance, that are observed to occur together in a meaningful manner.” It’s an idea that first popped up in psychology in the 1920s (thanks to Carl Jung). Synchronicity is something …

Categories: Getting Started

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #21

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. An afternoon at the park I came across this picture from last spring that shows my wife and my two oldest children playing together at the park on a …

Dinner with My Family #17: “Magic” Jambalaya

Vegetarian Jambayala Karen writes in: I really like it when you show meals that you can use bits of leftovers in easy. Could you do some more of those? Sure! We do meals like this all the time at our house. One of our favorites is what I like to call magic jambalaya. All you …

The True Nature of Fulfillment

One of the best things I’ve ever posted on The Simple Dollar (in my opinion, anyway) was an article entitled “Some Thoughts on the Fulfillment Curve.” From that article (where I’m referencing the book Your Money or Your Life: The middle portion of the first chapter focuses on the “fulfillment curve,” which basically refers to …

Categories: Getting Started

Self Discipline and Habits

This morning, I answered a question in the latest Reader Mailbag on self discipline and habits. I’ll reprint the question and answer here for your convenience. Q1: Self-discipline or habits? I’m an avid personal finance reader/thinker, and an avid runner, and lately I’ve been struggling with the question of whether my success has been due …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: The “Good Old Days”

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. Self-discipline or habits? 2. Handling job loss 3. Basic blogging questions 4. Graduate school options 5. Handling old medical debts 6. Renting a home in limbo …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

It Adds On To Your Career

If I were to go sell my Honda Pilot right now for a new vehicle, I might drive in a bit more comfort, I suppose. However, that $25,000 invested would have to come from somewhere. I can think of several gadgets that might be fun to have around the house, but they would cost thousands …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: No Perfect Diet Edition

The more you evaluate the ins and outs of particular diets, the more you discover that there is no “perfect” diet. No matter what “rules” you apply to your eating, there is always a study or two contradicting it. The only thing I’ve seen that seems to be universally agreed upon is portion control. Don’t …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Robinson Crusoe and Our Journey

This past weekend, I spent some time re-reading a large portion of Daniel Defoe’s classic novel Robinson Crusoe, which you can read in its entirety here. Most of us are familiar with the basic outline of the story. Crusoe is shipwrecked on an island and, after overcoming his initial grief, he manages to build a …

Categories: Getting Started

Ten More Giant Money Wasters

A few days ago, CNN Money posted an article listing ten giant money wasters. Here they are, in summary form: 1. ATM fees 2. Lottery tickets 3. Gourmet coffee 4. Cigarettes 5. Infomercial impulse buys 6. Brand-name groceries 7. Eating out 8. Unused gym memberships 9. Daily internet deals 10. Bundled cable or phone services …

Categories: Frugality

Integrity and Your Goals

Have you ever noticed that, when you’re trying a new diet or a new exercise routine or new spending habits or some other significant restrictive change in your life, it often only takes one mis-step for the entire program to fall apart? Once you’ve skipped an exercise session or eaten an entire Sara Lee poundcake …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Weekend Switcheroo

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 question 2. Preparing for marriage 3. Used car buyer’s remorse 4. Credit score questions 5. Child cost question 6. College savings question 7. Handling …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: Do the Work

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. A while back, I reviewed Steven Pressfield’s wonderful book The War of Art. In it, Pressfield discussed not only …

Categories: What We're Reading