Month: May 2014

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Hot Tub Usage

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 Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Alternating Nights Edition

Sarah and I take turns handling the bedtime routine of our three children. One of us will make sure the kids get their teeth brushed and take their vitamins, read them their bedtime stories, sing songs for them, then hang out near their bedroom to handle the inevitable post-bedtime requests. The other parent essentially has …

Categories: Books and Reading

Putting Off the Important Things

One of the biggest challenges when it comes to personal finance is that most of the personal finance tasks a person might do are not urgent. It’s that lack of urgency that often convinces people to indulge in bad personal finance behavior. Important and Urgent Tasks What do I mean by not “urgent”? Every task …

Categories: Getting Started

The Christmas Spirit All Year Round

One of the best parts of this time of the year is the handful of days we spend decorating our house for Christmas. All of us are involved in the process, even our littlest one, who struggles with the hand-eye coordination needed to put ornaments on the tree. My oldest child and I spend hours …

Categories: Getting Started

Some Thoughts on Careers and Cyber Monday

A few days ago, I was chatting with someone who was telling me how he only shopped for Black Friday sales online. He didn’t like to go out to the stores, and I completely agreed with him. After that, the conversation switched to Cyber Monday, and he told me of the long checklist of websites …

Reader Mailbag: Some Homemade Gifts

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. RRSP question 2. Inadequate income for student loans 3. Emergency fund question 4. Taxes or other uses? 5. Sales over the weekend 6. Multiple student loan …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: How to Have More Than Enough

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 first books I reviewed on The Simple Dollar was Dave Ramsey’s More Than Enough. I found …

Categories: Books and Reading

What’s In It For Them?

Every time you interact with a business, you’re trading something of value for something of lesser value from them. If that were not the case, then the business could not continue to operate. Businesses cannot make a profit if you’re getting equal or greater value from them. So, every time you use a product or …

Categories: Getting Started

The Seven Attributes That Matter

A while back, I sat down to make a list of the attributes of the people I consider to be great people. I could give you a long list of them, from Theodore Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi to my dad, but the point isn’t so much the list of people but the attributes of those …

Categories: Getting Started

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #48

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. Kathryn Schulz on being wrong Being wrong isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Being wrong is just as important as being right. Being wrong is the ultimate feedback on the …

Dealing with Thanksgiving Leftovers

Instead of a “Dinner with My Family” this week, I thought I’d discuss how to deal with the mountain of Thanksgiving leftovers that many families find themselves with today. Each year, my mother takes charge of preparing a huge family Thanksgiving meal. Each year, there’s a small mountain of leftovers to deal with. I know …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Used Books

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 …

Happy Thanksgiving from The Simple Dollar!

Today is a day set aside for reflecting on the things most important to us. Many of us (including me) are sharing today with our familes and closest friends. Here’s hoping that your Thanksgiving is a wonderful one. The Simple Dollar will return to its regularly scheduled programming tomorrow morning.

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Whole Chickens

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 Sentences Edition

One of the most enjoyable parts of parenting a toddler is watching words and then eventually phrases and sentences start to emerge out of a verbal muck of sounds and noises. One day, your toddler is making nonsense sounds. The next, it seems that they’re making coherent words, and then pretty quickly after that, the …

Categories: Books and Reading

The Unemployment Plan

Craig writes in: I just found out that I’m being “downsized” at the end of the year. While I have a small emergency fund, I do have a mortgage and a bit of credit card debt. I also have three kids at home. My wife will continue to work, but she has only a part-time …

Categories: Careers

The Cost of Maintenance and Defense

Based on the title of this post, you might think that I’m delving into politics or the federal budget, but I’m not. Instead, I’ll start off with three little stories about Sarah and our family. 1. When Sarah and I were shopping for a house in 2007, we looked at a lot of them. We …

Categories: Getting Started

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Light Bulbs

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: Frugality, Saving Money

Reader Mailbag: A Holiday Week

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. Friendship and money 2. Home sale and mortgage question 3. Multiple savings accounts 4. Used car question 5. Refinancing conundrum 6. Fast elimination of student loans …

Categories: Books and Reading