Month: May 2014

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Making Your Own Noodles

Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers …

Reader Mailbag: Trick or Treat

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. Will and/or trust 2. Setting monthly savings goals 3. Buying a SUV 4. Geocaching 5. HAMP concerns 6. Credit card to fund Roth? 7. Television as …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: 18 Minutes

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. If you’ve read The Simple Dollar for a while, you know that I’m a big believer in the maxim …

Categories: Books and Reading

The Power of Your Boss

When I worked for an employer, one thing that sometimes frustrated me was having a boss. Although we had a good relationship, there were often times where I was instructed or guided toward doing something that either seemed to be way outside of my typical job (and thus way outside of my expertise) or didn’t …

Categories: Getting Started

Shifting from Short Term to Long Term Thinking

When I stand in a bookstore (or a clothing store or whatever it is that excites you) and ask myself what I want right now, that’s short term thinking. When I stand in a bookstore and ask myself what I want for my life over the next five years, that’s long term thinking. Short term …

Categories: Getting Started

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #44

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. Pumpkins Pumpkins are sitting on our front step. Our garden has more squash and similar vegetables than we know what to do with. Leaves are falling from the trees. …

The Small Economies of Pleasure

Dinner with My Family is taking a one week break this week. Most of the time, when people mention frugality, the first thing that comes to mind is doing without little pleasures. They think of giving up something that they deeply enjoy, like their morning coffee or their weekly lunch out with coworkers. I’ll be …

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Energy-Efficient Clothes Washing

Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers …

Categories: Saving Money

The Changing Value of Hard Work

I received a very thought-provoking email from Elizabeth recently: I think you’re spot on about hard work, and it’s too often overlooked. But I also think about the changing value of hard work, too. Is hard work worth less now than it used to be? The amount of work we ‘have’ to do to get …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Project Planning

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. Buy or sell townhouse? 2. Collection agency debt 3. Figuring out priorities 4. Tithing 5. Thrift store receipts 6. Repossession question 7. Steve Jobs biography 8. …

Categories: Books and Reading

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Investment Fees

Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers …

Categories: Investing, Saving Money

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Naptime Edition

Lately, I’ve been experimenting with a half-hour long power nap in the middle of the day. It’s exactly as it sounds: I’m trying to sleep for a very short period during an energy lull in my day. What I’ve found is that some days it works like a charm and I’m ready to just tackle …

Categories: Books and Reading

Playing the “What If?” Game

The “what if?” game is a scary game to play, but it’s an important one. What if I lose my job? What if I get seriously ill? What if I pass away suddenly? What if one of my children has a condition that requires constant care? What if my spouse suddenly passes away? There was …

Categories: Getting Started

The Secret Ingredient to Financial and Career Success

There actually is a single secret ingredient to financial success. It’s extremely similar to the secret ingredient for career success, too. Yet so many people overlook it or, even worse, look down upon it. The secret is hard work. I’ll give you a few examples of what I’m talking about. I’ll start off with someone …

Categories: Getting Started

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Making Your Own Salsa

Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers …

Reader Mailbag: A Weekend Away

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. Building credit 2. Commuting car for grad school 3. Favorite biographies 4. Moving back to big city? 5. 401(k) rollover or not? 6. Follow-up to Ticket …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: Willpower

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. One of the biggest keys to personal success is found in the title of this book. Willpower. Do you …

Categories: Books and Reading

Help! I Don’t Know What Retirement Plan You’re Talking About!

Connie writes in: Roth, IRA, 401(k), 403(b), FERS, TSP – what on earth does it all mean? I know they all have to do with retirement savings, but it’s all just a word salad to me. This is going to be something of a “dictionary” post where I spell out, as simply as I can, …

Categories: Retirement

Starting Something From Nothing

I mentioned a while back that I had some big plans in place for 2012 with regards to some projects for The Simple Dollar. I thought I’d share part of these plans with you today. One of my big goals for 2012 is to find a publisher for my fantasy novel. The novel is mostly …