Month: May 2014

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Construction Progress Edition

Out of the window of my office, I’ve had the pleasure of watching an ongoing home construction project. The project has been ongoing for the past two or three months, so I’ve been able to watch almost every step along the way, from the digging and pouring of the foundation to the erection of the …

Categories: Morning Roundup

The Simple Dollar Guide to Health Insurance

The state of health insurance today is one of America’s most heated debates. The Affordable Care Act, widely referred to as Obamacare, aims to revamp the American health care industry, and some provisions of the Act are already kicking in. In this rapidly changing environment, it pays to be aware of the fundamentals. As an …

Categories: Health, Insurance

Stomaching the Roller Coaster

Jane writes in: I think you’re giving bad advice to people when you tell them not to put everything in stocks or real estate when making a long-term investment. Over a long period like ten years or more, you simply can’t beat the returns there. Long-term investing relies on several assumptions, two of which hinge …

Categories: Investing

The Simple Dollar Guide to Car Insurance

Welcome to Car Insurance 101, your primer and guidebook for understanding and navigating the exotic territory of automobile insurance. My aim is to explain everything you need to know about insuring your automobile, its occupants, and all objects in your path.   Here’s how the guide is structured: I’ll begin with an overview of the …

Categories: Insurance

The Simple Dollar Guide to Life Insurance

Forbes’s LearnVest did a nationwide study on life insurance in America that showed 57% of respondents owned life insurance but only 28% were “extremely confident” about their understanding of life insurance. 66% of study respondents had a poor understanding of how accessing payouts on their life insurance worked. Though it can certainly be confusing at …

Categories: Insurance

The Simple Dollar Guide to Home Insurance

Anyone who’s bought a house or has shopped for one knows that homeowners insurance is a fact of life – some might call it a necessary evil; others peace of mind in times of crisis. And while most people are convinced or compelled by banks to purchase insurance on their homes, few people understand exactly …

Categories: Insurance

Lower Monthly Bills Or More Long-Term Money?

Jennifer writes in: My husband and I are shopping very seriously for houses right now. We will likely be in a home by the start of the summer. I’m writing to you because we’re very unsure about the mortgage. On paper, it makes complete sense to get a fifteen year or even a ten year …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: The Innocent Man

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. Worried about student loan debt Accepting lifetime debt Community service suggestions Charity while in debt Cost of second child Starting a financially equal marriage “Freemium” Emergency fund …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

The Day of Love

This coming Thursday is Valentine’s Day, and an awful lot of couples out there are going to be spending some cash on flowers, on chocolates, on expensive dinners, and on other gifts on that day (or within a day or two of it). The entire purpose of the day is to express love for your …

The Unfinished Shelf

Recently, I stripped all of the books off of my bookshelf in our bedroom. My wife and I each have a bookshelf in there, stuffed with books and other miscellany. Many of the books I’ve already read wound up in a box headed to goodwill, with the handful of absolute “must-keeps” and the unread ones …

Categories: Getting Started

Planting Seeds

One of the best parts of gardening is that you get to watch the tiny seeds you plant in the early spring grow gradually into beautiful, blooming plants that provide food all throughout the harvest season. The smallest thing, with a bit of love and care and attention, turns into something incredible. One of the …

Categories: Getting Started

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #112

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 love looking at peoples’ bookshelves. It often opens the door to a great connection with someone. Today, I’m sharing some of those glimpses from people who have made share-able …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Building an Investing Future

John writes in: You’ve mentioned before how a person might slowly build up income-earning investments to provide an income stream for them. How would that actually work? Let’s say I can squeeze out $100 a month for this. What would I do? Okay, let’s do this. First of all, you need to have selected something …

Categories: Investing

Spending Choices and Steps Toward Maturity

At Christmas, each of our children received a small amount of money as a gift, along with encouragement for them to spend it on whatever their little hearts desired. Over the next week, the subject of spending that money came up several times. Rather than just taking them to a store and letting them go …

Categories: Getting Started

The High Cost of Low-Interest Debt

Lately, I’ve seen many emails from readers asking me whether or not I think a particular debt is “okay” now that interest rates are so low. It’s true – collateralized debt for people with good credit histories has a very low interest rate right now. You can get car loans and home loans for stupendously …

Categories: Debt, Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Old Albums

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. Starting with digital video Running for office A “rent or sell” dilemma Buying individual shares Borrowing from 401(k) Cooperative board games Starting a book club Cash or …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

The Simple Dollar Redesign to Come

I’m excited to announce a few upcoming changes to the look and feel of The Simple Dollar. Since kicking everything off at the end of 2006, I’ve pretty much kept the overall design the same, but after seeing what a redesign can do for a site, I realized The Simple Dollar could benefit from some basic …

A Month of Change

During the month of February, I committed myself to writing one long note each day to someone who I used to be highly connected with but have drifted apart from for some reason or another. Old friends. Old co-workers. Old clubmates. Old business partners. Old classmates. Once upon a time, I shared something valuable with …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Barefoot Edition

Most of the time, when I’m working at home, I’m barefoot. I don’t like wearing socks, even in the heart of winter. During the summer, this isn’t a problem. If I want to go work outside, I just go outside barefoot. This doesn’t quite work in the winter, of course, so I’ll often literally put …

Categories: Morning Roundup