• Ten Pieces of Inspiration #43

    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. Walt Whitman on living If you manage to do these things, you’ll live a very great life. This is what you should do: Love the earth and sun and …

  • Dinner With My Family #36: Wisconsin Farmhouse Chowder

    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. As we slip deeper and deeper into fall, our family is …

  • Little Moments

    Each day is filled with little moments. Playing “catch” with a soccer ball with my son in the back yard in the cool fall air, both of us bundled up and kicking a ball back and forth. Smelling freshly-made scrambled eggs with tarragon and salt and pepper on top. Listening to a thought-provoking program on …

  • Some Thoughts on Handling Life’s Crossroads

    Every so often, we’re met with a situation in our lives that represents a seriously life alteration. If we go one way, our whole life is going to go down a different path than if we chose the other option. These can take a lot of forms. The choice to marry someone. The choice to …

  • Reader Mailbag: Difficult Things to Write

    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 small rollover 2. Parents who don’t plan 3. Loan payoff or retirement contribution? 4. Roth conversion and inheritance 5. Setting sportsmanship example 6. Fundraising 7. …

  • Saving Pennies or Dollars? VoIP Options Versus a Landline

    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 …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Future Plans Edition

    This past week, I spent several hours putting together a detailed plan for some interesting things for The Simple Dollar through the end of 2012. Instead of focusing strictly on the writing (as I often spend my time doing), I stepped back and tried to look at the bigger picture. What do I have already …

  • Nine Things You Can Do Today to Improve Your Life

    A few days ago, a friend of mine made a comment that stuck with me. He said that his life felt like it was stuck in an endless rut and that everything he could think of to put it on a better path was so big that it seemed insurmountable. I started off writing him …

  • Some Thoughts on Magazine Subscriptions

    Kelly writes in: Do you subscribe to any magazines? Why? Do you find enough value in them to be worth the cost? This was originally a question in Thursday’s reader mailbag, but the answer became long enough that I felt it deserved a post of its own. Sarah and I get several different magazines in …

  • Saving Pennies or Dollars? Meal Mixes

    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: Occupation

    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. Student making ends meet 2. Roth and regular 401(k)s 3. Difficult career choice 4. Does frugality hurt the economy? 5. File or shred? 6. When should …

  • Review: How to Make Money with Social Media

    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 common question I get from entrepreneurial readers is how exactly people make money with social media. How can …

  • Do Something Different

    “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds” – Ralph Waldo Emerson People often ask me why I seem to enjoy frugality so much. When I tell them the real reason, they usually don’t believe me. The real reason is that I find doing the same thing over and over again boring. So, how …

  • Rethinking a Hobby

    Kevin writes in: I love what you write about keeping your hobbies and interests, but I have a bit of a different problem. When I was a teenager, I found a lot of solace in comic books. I like how they presented a world that wasn’t completely soaked in moral ambiguity and that good people …

  • Ten Pieces of Inspiration #41

    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. Sheena Iyengar on the art of choosing Why do we make the choices we make? If we’re trustworthy decision makers, why do we often second guess our choices? If …

  • Dinner With My Family #35: Peanut Butter and Apple Wraps

    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. This week’s goal was simple. What sort of healthy lunch can …

  • Saving Pennies or Dollars? Riding a Bicycle

    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 …

  • A Dose of Financial Reality

    Anna writes in: I’m amazed at how many people who write into your mailbags have enormous student loan debts and mortgages. I know that prices have increased, but whatever happened to just working at your job and using that money to pay for school and for your down payment? I know how much you like …

  • Reader Mailbag: Ankle Twist

    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. Retirement savings on smaller income 2. Focusing on health 3. Digging through debts 4. Getting started in book publishing 5. Trading board games by mail 6. …