Month: May 2014

Ask Your Doctor for Prescription Samples (224/365)

You go to the doctor. Your doctor writes you a prescription to cover an ongoing ailment that you’re suffering. He mentions a few side effects. You’re uncertain about taking this medication and don’t want to spend a lot of money on an expensive prescription that you might end up not taking. This is actually a …

Categories: Frugality

Now and Later

It’s really difficult sometimes to keep perspective. The things I want right now are often very hard to overcome when they conflict with the things I want for the future. Parenting is a great example of this, so let’s take a little side journey into the world of parenting. Every child in the world pushes …

Categories: Getting Started

Consider Traveling for Surgeries or Other Medical Care (223/365)

For most of us, medical care starts with our primary care physician. We visit the doctor, he or she refers us to a specialist if needed, we go to the specialist if needed, and we receive the care we need. The problem with this equation is that it just assumes that the best bargain available …

Categories: Frugality

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #86

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. Margaret Heffernan on daring to disagree Most people avoid disagreement because it’s uncomfortable and might lead to hurt feelings or arguments. However, polite disagreement, where both sides can have …

Talk to Your Doctor about Independent Steps (222/365)

Whenever people go to the doctor for an ailment, they often expect to walk out the door with a prescription in hand. Ideally, that prescription will help treat the problem. Unfortunately, prescriptions aren’t always the magic answer you need. Prescriptions often address symptoms, not the underlying cause. If you’re sick, they’ll get rid of some …

Categories: Frugality

28 Great Books You Can Read For Free

A few years ago, I received a Kindle as a gift from my wife. It’s a pretty nifty little device, perfectly designed for reading the text of books. The problem is that in order to read a lot of books, you have to buy them from the Kindle bookstore. Yes, there are other options out …

Schedule Regular Medical and Dental Checkups (221/365)

Most medical insurance packages cover regular medical and dental check-ups for the people that they cover. Even though there’s nothing wrong at all with the person under insurance, the insurance company will still cover the cost of that person getting a check-up on a regular basis. Why? It’s cheaper for them in the long run. …

Categories: Frugality

Reader Mailbag: Old School

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. Smart phones and grocery flyers 2. Building connections at conferences 3. “Culture” and home value 4. How much is “better” worth? 5. Maximum mortgage payments? 6. …

Categories: Books and Reading

Sleep More (220/365)

The National Sleep Foundation suggests that the average adult should get 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. For a long time, six to six and a half hours was a pretty typical night for me. I would go to bed at a reasonable time (between 10 and 11), but I would read for …

Categories: Frugality

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Travel Edition

Over a three-and-a-half week period, our family is jamming in a trip to northern Iowa/southern Minnesota, a trip to Seattle, a trip to Chicago, and a trip to Indianapolis. This means a lot of traveling. A lot of time spent in cars. A lot of time spent sleeping away from home. A lot of children …

Categories: Books and Reading

Eliminate Smoking and Minimize Drinking (219/365)

Whenever you consume something, it has some cost. In the immediate sense, you have to pay for what you just consumed. You bought the beverage, you bought the food, and so on. In the long term sense, you also pay for any negative health issues brought on by what you consumed. In both of these …

Categories: Frugality

Should I Give My Adult Children Cash Gifts?

Monica writes in: Some of your recent articles have touched on an issue that has really troubled me for a while. I have two children, both in college. The oldest one is starting her senior and is likely heading to graduate school, while the younger is about to be a freshman. Each month, I’ve put …

Categories: Family, Getting Started

Eat Breakfast Every Day (218/365)

How on earth is this a money-saving tip? Eating a meal that many people skip? Really? Believe it or not, eating a healthy and well-balanced breakfast can actually save you money, both on that day and over a longer period of time. The big reason? There are many studies that indicate that breakfast eaters weigh …

Categories: Frugality

Reader Mailbag: Mockingbird Hill

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. Primerica concerns 2. Different goals among partners 3. Buying a tablet 4. Ending allowance 5. Retiring young 6. Starting a community group 7. Life insurance advice …

Categories: Books and Reading

Drink More Water (217/365)

Water from your tap is perhaps the best bargain out there for your diet, your health, and your wallet. For the volume of water that a typical person drinks, it’s practically free. It’s free of calories and has almost no health-damaging additives. Your tap is probably the biggest bargain in your house. A big glass …

Categories: Frugality

Unsustainable

Have you ever had people in your life whose financial situation made no sense whatsoever to you from the outside? There’s a family I know with several children. Both parents have solid jobs, but nothing that earns a great deal. Their combined incomes are substantially less than Sarah and myself. Yet their house is larger …

Categories: Getting Started

Practice Good Hygiene (216/365)

Much like yesterday’s entry on washing your hands, this feels like a common sense tactic. Good hygiene is something most of us learned before we were in kindergarten, after all. Yet, just like washing your hands, it’s something that many people overlook. Take a careful look at the people around you. Inevitably, you’ll notice someone …

Categories: Frugality

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #85

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. Gandhi on habits It is extremely difficult to break a routine once we’ve established it. “We cannot, in a moment, get rid of habits of a lifetime.” – Mahatma …

Wash Your Hands (215/365)

Washing your hands? Really? It seems like something that’s incredibly obvious and perhaps bordering on stupid. Most of us were taught in childhood to wash our hands after using the restroom. What does that have to do with personal finance? The truth is that the simple act of washing your hands is a surprisingly good …

Categories: Frugality