Month: May 2014

Go Through the “Clutter Attractors” Regularly (111/365)

Everyone has a junk drawer. Some people have a junk closet or a junk room. I have a closet in one upstairs bedroom that accumulates random things. We also have two “junk drawers” in our kitchen. My father? He has an entire “junk garage” that’s just teeming with stuff, as well as two additional sheds …

Categories: Frugality

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #70

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 was so enamored with the beautiful weather this week – and the extensive time I spent outside – that I loaded my screensaver and rotating desktop wallpaper on my …

Start a “Mail Basket” and Process It Weekly (110/365)

On a typical day, I’ll open the mailbox and find several letters inside. On my way into the house, I’ll shuffle through them and see if there’s anything obviously important, of which maybe one or two will be. The rest are probably junk mail, but with supper to be made and kids running around, I …

Categories: Frugality

Dependency

When I was a young boy, not much older than my own oldest son, there was an adult male in my life that I looked up to a lot. For a time, he was my role model. He was a quiet fellow with an incredible work ethic. Even though I was a lot younger than …

Categories: Getting Started

Every Time You Buy an Item, Get Rid of One (109/365)

I have about two dozen shirts, all told, in my wardrobe. They have various levels of wear on them, from a few that look practically new to a few that look like they’re approaching “rag bag” level. Whenever I buy a new shirt, I don’t just toss it in my drawer and go on with …

Categories: Frugality

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. Handling surprise bonus 2. Reporting suspected crimes 3. Car purchase difficulties 4. Diversification question 5. Protein in diet 6. Investing in vintage sports cards 7. Roth …

Categories: Books and Reading

Borrow Stuff You’ll Only Use Once or Twice (108/365)

Last year, one of our younger neighbors was having some difficulty with her bicycle. She got on it, rode for a little bit, and would hop off, telling everyone around that there was something wrong with her bike. I walked over to her bike and examined it for a bit, then I told her I …

Categories: Frugality

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Strange and Beautiful Day Edition

Every once in a while, you have a day that’s so filled with strange and unusual events that you find yourself just shaking your head as you go to bed, wondering how a day that started so normally could have gone down such a bizarre path. That was my Monday. It was just one of …

Categories: Books and Reading

Trim Your Magazine Subscriptions (107/365)

I enjoy reading magazines. A well-written magazine article is a perfect way to learn something new about the world in a relatively quick fashion. A magazine article length is just about perfect for “family reading time” or for other brief opportunities throughout the day. An aside: our family has a pretty regular “family reading time” …

Categories: Frugality

The AT&T/Verizon Market Share Duopoly (Infographic)

If you’re having a difficult time understanding why you can’t get a lower Verizon bill or lower ATT bill, then take a look at this latest infographic. ATT and Verizon Combined Market Share This first infographic provides an overview of the AT&T and Verizon’s 64% control the U.S. cellular market. The graphic provides one of …

Categories: Uncategorized

Avoid Printed Documents (106/365)

For us, one of the biggest sources of clutter is printed documents. While we make an effort to keep our important printed documents filed, the sheer volume of mail and other printed documents we’ve received in the mail can be overwhelming at times. Obviously, the first step in this process is to have a good …

Categories: Frugality

Reader Mailbag: Mowing

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. Dried versus fresh produce 2. Gencon 3. Emergency fund planning 4. Figuring out primary focus 5. Baseball on the cheap 6. Spending excess savings 7. Major …

Categories: Books and Reading

Don’t Replace Clutter with More Clutter (105/365)

The first time Sarah and I did a big de-cluttering of our home, we were kind of stunned with how empty our home felt. We had become accustomed to a certain level of clutter, and without the clutter, our living quarters felt relatively empty. A few weeks later, we found ourselves at a furniture store …

Categories: Frugality

If I Had It To Do All Over Again, Would I Do Anything Different?

Jennifer sent me a great email recently that included this question: Your effort in getting out of debt has been a great inspiration to me and I know it must feel great to have finally freed yourself from the shackles of debt. If you had it to do all over again, what would you do …

Categories: Getting Started

Put a “Sell By” Date on It (104/365)

As you go through the de-cluttering process, you’re going to find things that you’re simply unsure about. Should you keep it? Should you get rid of it? It’s not something essential… but you can certainly see yourself using it again. What should you do with it? Quite often, people end up putting items like this …

Categories: Frugality

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #69

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. Kahlil Gibran on joy and sorrow Without sadness, it’s hard to feel happiness. You have to have the lows to appreciate the highs. “The deeper sorrow carves into your …

Donate to Goodwill (or Your Thrift Store of Choice) (103/365)

You’ve sold items from your clutter individually. You’ve sold some more in bulk. You’ve hosted a yard sale. After all this, you still have some items. What do you do with them? You’ve reached the point of giving them away, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still recoup at least a little value for your …

Categories: Frugality

Snippets of Frugality

I get emails and comments and tweets from people all the time who seem almost disturbed by the idea that I incorporate frugality into my life. The implication behind those comments is that my life must be incredibly austere and boring in order to pull off all of these things. Here’s the truth: the things …

Have a Yard Sale (102/365)

You’ve gone through your clutter. You’ve sold off a lot of valuable individual items that you don’t want any more. You’ve also eliminated some of your collections by selling them off in bulk. But you’re still left with a giant pile of stuff. What do you do with the remaining miscellany? Have a yard sale, …

Categories: Frugality