Month: May 2014

Visit Your Local Credit Union (120/365)

What if you’re wanting to consolidate or reduce debts, but you don’t really have any sort of collateral? You don’t own a home or a car, but you do have some debts you’d like to manage and potentially reduce. What do you do? I found myself in this situation several years ago, even before my …

Reader Mailbag: The Joy of Anticipation

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. Roth and Traditional IRA 2. Investing for very early retirement 3. Clutter caused by family 4. Next steps for expectant parents 5. Finding direction in retirement …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Consolidate or Refinance Any Debts (119/365)

The most painful part of debt is the interest. It can be crushing. Let’s say you borrow $200,000 on a 30 year fixed mortgage at 6%. That’s a pretty typical home loan that someone might have taken out in the mid-2000s if they had decent credit and a down payment. Over the course of that …

A Little Customer Service Story

Sarah and I purchased an outdoor playhouse kit for our youngest son for his second birthday. It was on sale, we had a perfect spot for this playhouse in our yard, and all three of our children were absolutely in love with it. Several days ago, the kit was delivered in an unmarked box. When …

Categories: Getting Started

Know What You Owe (118/365)

When the bills from my debts were coming in fast and furious, the last thing I wanted to do was to think about them. At all. I would avoid the mailbox like the plague. If I had to check the mail, I’d take all of the bills and put them somewhere out of sight and …

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #71

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. Emerson on helping others I don’t think there is any such thing as true selflessness. “It is one of the most beautiful compensations of life that no man can …

Find Your Motivation (117/365)

Right now, I’m seated next to a big window that faces out into our back yard. As I glance out there, I can see my oldest son. He’s laying flat on his back out there, staring up at the sun. A few minutes ago, he said he wanted to go play out in the yard …

The Human Side

“I don’t know how you write about personal finance every day,” she told me. “That stuff is boring. The last thing on earth I want to think about is insurance. I just get that stuff out of the way as fast as possible.” I was at the library when this conversation occurred. I was sitting …

Categories: Getting Started

Don’t Upgrade Your Living Space Just to House More Stuff (116/365)

When we were first married, Sarah and I lived in an extremely small apartment. It was (very) cozy for just the two of us, but it worked. When we had our first child, we converted a small area into a spot for the bed and the crib for our baby. We literally did not have …

Reader Mailbag: Keeping a Project Secret

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. Trouble deciding how to save 2. Investing in friends? 3. Lending money to family 4. Investing in kitchen remodel 5. Endorsing a Presidential candidate 6. Tools …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Sign Up for the Do Not Mail Registry and the Do Not Call Registry (115/365)

Let’s cut right to the chase and give you the resources you need. CatalogChoice.org is a website that enables you to get off of a number of common “junk mail” lists. If you receive a piece of junk mail you don’t want, you just log onto that site, find the person mailing it, and click …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Live Baseball Edition

Several people have written me asking whether I actually go to a lot of live baseball games. I do not. For starters, I live pretty far from a major league team. The closest park is about three hours away. There are some minor league teams in the area and we’ve attended a few of their …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Unsubscribe from Charity Mailings (114/365)

Several years ago, we made the decision to donate to a particular local charity. We sent that charity a small one-time donation because we felt like the cause they were working for was a good one. Four years later, we are still getting mailings from that charity. We have long ago passed the point where …

Contentment

When I was about ten years old, I dreamed of being a major league baseball pitcher. I got a book on pitching as well as some instructional videos for my birthday and I spent most of a summer learning how to properly throw a baseball. That fall, I went back to school with my classmates. …

Categories: Getting Started

Unsubscribe from Catalogs (113/365)

I’m a pretty tall guy with a particularly long torso. That means, unfortunately, I can’t walk into most clothing stores and find things that fit me well. A few years ago, I needed a new suit for a particular occasion and I needed it pretty quickly. So, I went to a chain store that caters …

Reader Mailbag: LED Bulbs

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 in interest checking? 2. Pain management and financial discipline 3. Credit card purchasing program? 4. Family or financial security? 5. Cubs 6. GTD tasks …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Sneaky and Fun Credit-Building Lessons For Kids

While Congress has passed many measures in the last ten years aimed at reducing the opportunities for predatory credit card companies, the reality is that first-year college students and young adults ages 18-21 are still able to qualify for some cards that offer limits much higher than their incomes can realistically sustain. To be able …

Categories: Uncategorized

Read Your Favorite Newspaper Online (112/365)

It wasn’t too long ago that our family subscribed to the Des Moines Register. We enjoyed the local news for Polk County and surrounding areas. It kept us in touch with our community and what was going on around us. The only problem was that the newspapers would build up. If you didn’t read the …

Now and Later: The Great Retirement Question

Over the last few months, I’ve read several articles that center around the idea that people should be saving every possible dime that they can for retirement. For example, Daily Finance recently had an article entitled Forget the 4% Rule: Retirement’s Common Wisdom Is Obsolete: The theory was simple: If you spent a maximum of …