• 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • When Everyday Life Gets in the Way of Your Dreams – And A Plan To Get Past It

    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 …

  • 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, …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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: …

  • 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, …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • 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 …

  • The Big Battle: Money Versus Job Satisfaction

    Over at Get Rich Slowly, J.D. wrote an interesting article about the relative importance of money and job satisfaction, which was itself a continuation of a pretty large online discussion on the topic: – The Brazen Careerist gives five reasons not to change careers – Paul Graham talks about how to do what you love …

  • Celebrating a Successful Completion of a Goal

    When a significant goal is reached, many people often feel the desire to celebrate in some fashion. However, I’ve often noticed that the “celebration” goes quite a long way towards undoing some of the good work of reaching the goal. Believe me, I’ve fallen into that trap, finding excuses to “celebrate” everything whether it was …