Getting Started

Why Traditional Budgets Don’t Work: Wiser Actions You Can Take Instead Of Filling Out A Budget Form

Before I faced my financial armageddon, I tried several times to squeeze my life into a traditional budget. I’d fill out some spreadsheet that someone gave me, or fill out a page torn out of a personal finance workbook, and I’d start off with high hopes of organizing my finances. Everything would go well for …

Categories: Getting Started

23 Ways To Save Money This Weekend

With the big weekend coming up, many of us are sitting around plotting all sorts of activities, both fun and not-so-fun. If you’re looking for something to do, here’s a checklist of twenty three things you can work on this weekend that will improve your finances by saving you money. Each one you complete will …

Categories: Getting Started

Free Up Extra Money For Debt Payment & Investments

Every once in a while, I look through my collections of various media (more specifically, DVDs, books, video games, and CDs) and realize that it contains a lot of things that I’ll likely never look at or listen to again. I might have a sentimental attachment to some of the items, but for many of …

Reader Question: College Student Crushed By Credit Cards

Recently, I received an email from a reader of The Simple Dollar who laid out an interesting yet familiar story: My girlfriend is a junior in college and she’s managed to dig herself into about $2500 worth of high-interest debt by accumulating credit cards from retail stores (20-24% interest rates). She always makes her minimum …

The Life Map: Connecting Your Daily Activities And Spending To Your Lifelong Goals And Dreams

Over the weekend, I participated in a really interesting activity that reinvigorated me to keep working towards my lifelong goals and dreams. It took some time (about an hour and a half), but when I was finished, it was worth every second of it. The best part? I had constructed a tool that keeps driving …

Categories: Getting Started

Crisis Management: When A Disaster Causes Your Expenses To Exceed Your Income

Every once in a while, life will deal us a disaster: someone dies, the primary household income disappears, or a major benefactor stops paying for things. Suddenly, you find yourself with more monthly expenses than income and no obvious way to bolster that income immediately. What do you do? Here are eight things you can …

The Money Savvy Pig and My Son’s Allowance

Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about how to teach my son about money. I’ve looked at a lot of different resources that could teach my son about money gradually as he gets older. I have four basic criteria that I’m looking for: My Criteria for Teaching My Son Financial Literacy 1. It has to …

When Your Investment Income Covers Your Living Expenses

About a month and a half ago, I read Your Money or Your Life and found it to be a relevatory experience (check out my review of the book). One particularly interesting part was a discussion of a concept that the authors referred to as the “crossover point.” Since then, I’ve seen reference to this …

It’s Not Just Another Raise: Turning That Cost Of Living Increase Into Your Dreams

At the start of 2007, many Americans received a welcome addition to their paycheck: a cost of living raise. This raise is a small percentage (between 3 and 4%) of salary added to keep pace with the increase in the cost of everyday life in the United States. Yet, on a year-over-year basis, many of …

Categories: Getting Started

How To Get Off The Paycheck-To-Paycheck Treadmill In Just Six Months

It’s scary: according to Money Magazine, 65% of Americans are in a financial situation where they are less than one paycheck away from financial meltdown. In other words, the majority of Americans are currently living paycheck to paycheck and would be approaching a major crisis in less than a month if one of the family …

Personal Finance For College Students

A well-known writeup on software development stated the following: Your “use case” should be, there’s a 22 year old college student living in the dorms. How will this software get him laid? This frank statement hides some amazing truths inside of it, many of which relate to things far beyond software. The key principle, though, …

Emergency Funds: How and Why You Should Get Started Right Now

Over and over again, I’ve referred to the value of an emergency fund without really explaining what it is and how you can get one. To put it simply, an emergency fund is the most valuable thing you can have because it protects you from the unforeseen things that can demolish all of your financial …

Is Stock Investing Really The Best Way To Go?

Over the last several months, I’ve read a ton of personal finance material, and it all keeps coming back to the same idea that basically says if you want to make big money, you have to participate in stock investing, but as you approach your goals, you should move gradually to safer investments like bonds …

GTD, Personal Finance Style

I’ve been a long-time fan of GTD, an action management method that relies on the idea that a person succeeds when they get tasks out of their mind and get them recorded somewhere, freeing their mind for actually doing stuff instead of merely storing lists. When I saw this brilliant hacking of a Moleskine notebook …

Categories: Getting Started, Money

How To Feel Happier About Not Spending Money

There is a connection between our emotions and our money, a link that is preyed upon countless times each day by advertisers promising to trade us happiness for our hard-earned cash. Most of us have money, and all of us seek happiness; pushing the link between the two is a sure-fire way for a marketer …

How To Calculate Your Net Worth

I receive lots of emails like this one from Edward, asking about how to calculate your net worth: I love your site. I have a question. I have read a lot of posts about people’s net worth. How do you calculate your net worth? There are a lot of net worth calculators and software that …

Categories: Getting Started

Money and Depression

I have a confession to make. The last few months have been the happiest for me in several years. I am convinced that the biggest reason for the turnaround is that I finally have some grasp on my money which I never really had before. For years, I wondered seriously whether or not I was …

What Can I Do Today To Make Me Rich In The Future?

In an ever-changing fast-paced world, most of us are accustomed to doing things now, and long-term financial planning is often difficult for us to wrap our arms around. We don’t want to think about being a millionaire in twenty years; we want to start down that road now with quick actions that we can use …

Lying About Money – And Telling The Truth

In some ways, most of us lie about money. We create an appearance to others of having more than we do in order to build up a level of respect. We drive more expensive cars than we can afford, buy more expensive clothes than we can afford, and more expensive accessories than we can afford …

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