putting post-its on a whiteboard

Applying SMART Goals to Personal Finance

A few weeks ago, I was chatting with an old friend of mine about personal finance and The Simple Dollar. He was familiar with the

california family during great depression

Why Bother? Digging Into the Purpose of Personal, Financial, and Professional Success

“We’re the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our Great War’s a spiritual war…

mustard seeds

Thoughts on the Parable of the Mustard Seed

Recently, I attended the baptism of a beautiful baby girl. During the reading of the scripture, a passage from the book of Matthew was read

Photo: Mike Petrucci

How to Use a Simple Pocket Notebook to Change Your Life

A few days ago, in Monday’s Reader Mailbag, I made an off-hand reference to my own use of pocket notebooks, where I wrote a paragraph

ceiling fan

Ceiling Fan Hacks to Save Energy (and Money)

Summer’s just about here, and you’ve probably had to kick on the air conditioning a few times already. For some people, that’s the beginning of

Skills & Decision Making Process

How Financial Security and Useful Skills Change Your Decision-Making Process

A few weeks ago, an interesting event occurred in one of my old hobbies that sheds a wonderful light on how decision making processes of

woman with head in hand

Handling the Hardest Moments of a Financial Turnaround

It’s an experience common to a lot of people. You overspend for years and don’t really think about your finances. Something changes and you begin

Using Software Developments

Using Software Development Concepts to Improve Your Financial State

In my previous professional life, I was a software developer. In fact, it was the actual software development part of my work that I truly

figurine stepping on a dime

How Your Perspective on Wealth Changes as You Achieve Financial Goals

I still have a big pile of my old journals, dating all the way back to junior high. Those things are literally more than half

Handling Future Uncertainty

Handling Future Uncertainty

Alex writes in: I am 26 years old. I have paid off all of my student loans and am looking forward to the future. I

students in classroom

The ‘What Should I Major In?’ Question

Every once in a while, I’ll get an email from a high-school-aged reader – or the parent of a high-school-aged student – who is looking for

woman climbing subway steps

10 Strategies for Handling the Stress of a Financial Crisis

When that moment comes when you realize that you need to make major changes in your life, it’s incredibly stressful. Often, it’s the culmination of

kid doing home depot project

20 Ways to Make a Great Birthday for Your Child When Money Is Tight

One of the most difficult experiences when you’re a parent is not having enough money to make your children’s special days feel very special at

The Decision Spiral

Most of us are pretty familiar with the concept of a downward spiral of decisions. When we make a bad choice, it puts us in

writing in a notebook

Finding Happiness for Free

A few weeks ago, I listened to a podcast episode – I’m truly sorry, I don’t know which episode or even which podcast it was,

fancy candlelight dinner

Money Management 101: Why You Should Track Your Spending

Do you ever wonder why you run out of money by the end of the month? Do you earn plenty but still live paycheck to

school bus

The Problem with ‘Living for Today’ With Your Money

Yesterday, I was up on top of my garage roof removing some of the cables from our winter decorations. I could have fallen off the

10 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

In the summer of 2007, my wife and I purchased our first home. As a first-time home buyer, I knew we needed to spend a

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