long flat road

Assessing Your Financial Progress With Honesty but Without Negativity

I’m going to let you in on a couple of dark secrets about financial improvement. First of all, it’s a slow road. Once you get

kids flying kites

Have an Amazing Family Summer Without Breaking the Bank: 20 Low-Cost Family Summer Activities

We have three children. My wife is a teacher. I have a fairly flexible job that gives me freedom to work whatever hours I like

mustard in grocery store - paradox of choice

Seeking ‘The Best’ Versus ‘Good Enough’

Recently, I had the pleasure of reading Tyler Cowen’s excellent book The Complacent Class: The Self-Defeating Quest for the American Dream. In it, Cowen makes

ancient scriptures

Jewels of Financial Wisdom From Ancient Religious Texts

There are a few basic tenets to follow if you want to grow your wealth without compromising your integrity: Save more than you earn. Watch

student reading book

12 Non-Financial Books That Will Help You Cultivate a Mindset of Financial Independence

Over the years, I’ve written about many personal finance books that have been incredibly valuable to me and to many others in terms of helping

Galileo and pupil

Some Thoughts on the Battle Between Minimalism and Preparedness

One of the biggest struggles I have in my life is this constant battle between two guiding values: minimalism and preparedness. I see great value

frying eggs in a pan

Six Simple Steps for Cooking at Home If You’ve Never Really Done It Before

Several years ago, I wrote a brief article on the first steps someone should take if they’re new to cooking at home. For some reason,

instant pot - is an instant pot worth it

Is an Instant Pot Really a Worthwhile Frugal Purchase?

Over the last few years, a hybrid pressure cooker and slow cooker called the Instant Pot has become quite popular in some circles and, as

income streams - coins in water

A Guide for Busy People Who Want to Build New Income Streams

John writes in: Recently, you mentioned in this article that you’ve set up some additional income streams to the point “where any income stream can

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Balancing Financial Success and Life’s Big Moments

A little over a week ago, I responded to a mailbag question from Mary, who was struggling with the decision about whether to go on

arrows on a hiking trail pointing in different directions

Wealth Is Not a Route to Happiness. What Is?

I recently read a great article by Peter Singer on the general topic of effective altruism entitled The Drowning Child and the Expanding Circle, which

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Thoughts Become Desires

One of my biggest work distractions is looking at interesting websites, particularly ones that I think will help improve my life (this might sound an


The Dirty Dozen: My 12 Biggest Financial Mistakes of the Last 10 Years and How I Wish I Had Done Things Differently

When I write about my own personal finance experiences, it’s easy to report on the things I did well. Writing about the good moves makes

checklist manifesto

Putting the Checklist Manifesto to Work for Better Financial and Personal Habits

Several years ago, I read a wonderful book called The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. I thought highly enough of the book after reading it

starting keyless ignition

Eight Money Mistakes the Middle Class Keeps Making

About half of Americans lived in middle-income households in 2014, according to Pew Research. This demographic includes families with incomes two-thirds to double the U.S. median household

friends on couch

The Imitation Game

“You are the average of your five closest friends.” – Jim Rohn I often use that quote on this site because it really hits home

woman reading a book

12 Ways to Use Spring Break to Tidy Up Your Financial Life

In the coming month, many Americans of all ages – not just children – are going to be enjoying spring break. Students, teachers, school employees,

woman working on laptop work from home

How to Write a Great, Simple Business Plan for a Small Side Business

Several weeks ago, I wrote an article on starting a side business as part of my larger 31 Days to Financial Independence series. In that