Goals

How to Define and Stick To a Successful New Year’s Resolution, Financial or Otherwise

Almost every year, I define a handful of New Year’s resolutions for myself, as do many people around the world. The new year provides a proverbial “clean slate” – the turning of the calendar year provides a very clear psychological place with which to work on life changes we’d like to make. The problem is …

Categories: Getting Started, Goals

A Letter to Myself in Ten Years

Many, many people write letters to their past selves, advising their earlier selves to avoid mistakes that they’ve made. I thought it might be interesting to take the opposite approach and write myself a letter today to read on my fortieth birthday. Dear Trent, Today is your fortieth birthday. Your son is twelve years old, …

Categories: Goals, Psychology

Goals and Plans for 2008

As the end of the year approaches, we inevitably begin to look ahead to 2008 with a keen eye. Since I tend to be the goal-setting type, I’ve been thinking a lot about the goals I want to set for 2008, and I thought it might be informative (and perhaps inspirational) to share them. My …

Categories: Goals

Setting My Own Personal Finance Goals

On an earlier post about losing financial focus, Erick left the following comment: You mention that you are making progress to your goals but still have a long way to go. What are these goals? I assume reaching the “crossover point”? And I know this is nosy but when you say you have enough money …

Categories: Goals

How to Create A Nifty Visual Savings Goal Reminder

As I slowly save for a new vehicle (we’re planning on a Honda Odyssey or a Toyota Sienna), I’ve come to realize that saving for a specific goal like this often seems slow and a bit unrewarding. Sure, the bank account goes up over time, but it still seems as though the goal is a …

Categories: Goals, Planning, Psychology

A Financial (and Personal) Commitment For November

Over the last month, I’ve been re-reading Your Money or Your Life slowly and carefully for the book club, and it definitely again shifted the way I think about a lot of things, as I wrote about in the conclusion. One thing it made me realize is that I already have all of the things …

Categories: Goals, Meta

When Everyday Life Gets in the Way of Your Dreams

A reader wrote in with the following complaint: You write all the time about starting a side business and about chasing your dreams but it’s all kind of a waste of time. Chasing your dreams is childish. Adults have things that they need to do. After all, 1 Corinthians 13:11 says “When I was a …

Categories: Getting Started, Goals

What’s Your Obstacle?

No matter what your goals are, no matter what your financial situation is, some obstacle (or obstacles) sits in your way. To get started, here are my biggest obstacles: Time I have two successful side businesses right now in addition to my main job. Along with time I set aside to spend with my family, …

Categories: Goals

Should You Give Yourself Material Rewards For Meeting Certain Milestones?

I’m a very strong believer in setting personal marks of success for yourself, something that I’ve used both before and after my financial turnaround. Setting specific goals for yourself and working consistently to meet them fills you with a deep sense of accomplishment in your life. Before my turnaround, I would set achievement goals in …

Categories: Goals

My Wife And I Debate Over Investing Or Paying Off Debt

About a week ago, I mentioned my investment plans now that we have a house. This post happened to be at the top of the site when my wife visited it, and it spurred a week long discussion between the two of us on whether we should be focused on building up that investment or …

Categories: Debt, Goals, Investing

A Guide To Setting And Reaching A Net Worth Goal

A few months ago, I discussed the crossover point, the dollar amount you need so that proceeds from your investments exceed your living expenses. Here’s a visual example: In the above graph, the person is investing 30% of their income each year and receives a 4% raise each year. That person reaches a crossover point …

Categories: Getting Started, Goals

The Connection Between Financial Choices And Personal Values: The Kind Of Parent I Want To Be

Quite often, my wife and I find ourselves very thankful for the financial situation that we’re in. We’re healthy and of sound mind and we have the financial capacity to afford everything we actually need and we are able to live in a beautiful house with two healthy children. We’re lucky. One of our closest …

Categories: Goals, Parenting

Make Sure The Left Hand Knows What The Right Hand Is Doing: The Simple Dollar’s Guide To Assigning Priorities

I touched on this concept about a week ago when I discussed Maggie’s horror story, but it’s true – when one hand is doing the right thing while the other hand is making mistakes, you can end up in an even worse financial situation because of it. Take this situation that James found himself in: …

Categories: Goals

The Choices You Make, The Dollars You Make

After a weekend completely off of the internet and off of writing, I had some serious catch-up to do yesterday afternoon here at The Simple Dollar. I take this site pretty seriously as a hobby / side business, particularly as we move into a new house, and I want to consistently write high quality entries, …

Categories: Goals, Parenting

They Live On In Our Memories And How We Live Our Lives: Six Lessons Learned

On Memorial Day, I always find myself reflecting on relatives and friends who have passed away. I try to think of the things they’ve taught me about my own life, my choices, and my values. Here are a few that are particularly relevant here. My paternal grandfather taught me that being frugal doesn’t mean being …

Categories: Frugality, Goals

Why Talking About Myself Is Important When Writing About Personal Finance

I spent some time reading through the site recently and I realized how often I talk about myself and my own experiences on here, everything from my specific goals to my values and dreams, as well as a lot of the financial realities of my life. Now, given that this site focuses on personal finance …

Categories: Goals, Meta, Writing

More On 101 Goals in 1001 Days: Setting the Goals, Keeping Them, And 101 Money-Saving List Suggestions

I’ve been asked so many questions by email about my 101 Goals in 1001 Days idea that I decided a follow-up post might be in order, because many of the questions have been repeated and they are rather interesting ones. Before you read this, I’d recommend looking at the original 101 Goals in 1001 Days …

Categories: Goals

42 Ways That Going Green Saves A Ton Of Money

I admit to being an environmentalist, and a pretty “far out” one, too – I was raised with a Mother Earth News / Organic Gardening type of father who instilled a ton of basic environmentalism in me, and I try very hard to reduce my environmental footprint. Let me put it this way: one of …

What Would You Do With Your Money If You Had Only One Year To Live?

I came across this article at Grad Money Matters recently and it got me thinking about the question on several levels. First, what would I do with my money in that situation? This was the aspect that Grad Money focused on. For me, I’d do everything I could to set things up so that my …

Categories: Goals, Psychology