Month: May 2014

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Cleaning Wipes

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: Simple Pleasures Edition

Drinking a glass of cold water when you’re thirsty. Tossing a Frisbee back and forth with your children. Holding your wife’s hand while you’re both enjoying watching a movie. Getting into bed after a long day. Many of the best pleasures in life are very simple ones. My Kid Flooded Our Home. What’s the Worst …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Some Thoughts on Rewards Cards

Almost every day, I’ll get an email or two from a reader wanting me to evaluate a particular credit card with a rewards program associated with it. “Is the Chase Amazon card a good deal?” “Does that Target Visa really pay off?” “Is the points program on this card better than the points program on …

Categories: Credit Cards

Discretionary Spending and “Forgetfulness”

Sarah and I have a pretty solid arrangement with regards to discretionary spending that tends to work well for us. Simply put, we talk about our goals so often that we basically trust each other when it comes to discretionary spending. It works for us because we’re on the same page when it comes to …

Categories: Getting Started

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Baby Food

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: Listening

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. Saving for future dream home 2. Setting a budget 3. Forgiving loans to stimulate economy 4. Should we buy a house? 5. Best book of 2011 …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Review: Choosing Simplicity

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 most interesting realizations I’ve ever made about my money-spending habits is that, when I was spending …

Categories: What We're Reading

When Deals Become Less of a Bargain

A few months ago, I was reading an older personal finance article at the library which discussed a very specific method for getting tremendous deals at CVS (a pharmacy chain). All you had to do was follow a sequence of steps and you’d find yourself with piles of items for free! I decided to give …

Categories: Frugality

Dreams, Big and Little

My youngest child has had an intestinal illness that’s lasted for several days now. It’s involved a lot of upkeep and maintenance and attention, including lots of clothes and diaper changes and baths and sessions spent in the rocking chair, gently rocking back and forth. One of the best parts of my own childhood was …

Categories: Getting Started

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #40

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. I spent a lot of time looking at photos of autumn to help my kids with an art project. Several of them deeply impressed me with their artistry and capture …

Dinner With My Family #34: Sandwich Pockets

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 I’ve mentioned several times, Sarah and I are making a …

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Vinegar

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 …

Some Thoughts on Steve Jobs

One wouldn’t have to have read this website for very long to know that Steve Jobs, the former CEO of Apple and Pixar, is one of the people in this world I admire (in fact, I even mentioned him in the reader mailbag this morning). Earlier today, when I learned that he had passed away …

Categories: Meta

Reader Mailbag: More Fees

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 jobs and retirement plans 2. Family corporations 3. Student loan question 4. Savings targets for singles 5. Television 6. Job switch 7. Finding speaking gigs …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Reusing Ziploc Bags

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: Quiet Edition

As I write this, I’m in a quiet room with all the lights off. I’ve been rocking my youngest child for more than an hour to get him to take a much-needed nap. He’s had an intestinal bug for the last three days and hasn’t slept comfortably during any of it. The room is so …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Where Did All of My Time Go? A Recipe for Reclaiming Your Time for Success

I have, right here at my side, a list of several big projects that I’d love to take on. It’s all stored in a document on my computer. I have a video series that I’m collaborating on with a few people. I have a few standalone websites I’d like to design. I have two different …

Categories: Getting Started

Improving Your Score

Given that an article entitled “Improving Your Score” appears on The Simple Dollar, most readers might assume that the tips that follow are going to deal with improving their credit score. They would be right – at least in part. However, most of the principles one would use in dealing with a credit score are …

Categories: Getting Started

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Making Your Own Cooking Stock

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 …