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Who’s Right? Who’s Wrong?

Recently, I heard some pretty strong (but valid) criticism of The Simple Dollar (that applies to most personal finance blogs out there): You are a guy in your [thirties] who lists no credentials except the fact that you made it through a “complete financial meltdown” a few years ago. You have no professional training and …

Categories: Getting Started, Meta

Personal Finance and 1,000 True Fans

Over the last year or two, I’ve had to do a lot of thinking about where I wanted The Simple Dollar to go in the future. The site had become quite popular, but I didn’t know what that meant. I had started The Simple Dollar mostly as an outlet for my desire to write a …

Categories: Meta

Never Left a Comment Before? There’s a First Time for Everything!

Recently, a reader (CreoleIvy08) suggested that I hold a “de-lurking day” in which I encouraged readers who did not regularly comment on The Simple Dollar to leave a brief comment, in order to get a broader picture of the readership of The Simple Dollar. Why? It would give a much broader picture of the diversity …

Categories: Meta

The Simple Dollar: Best of 2008

2008 was the second full year of existence for The Simple Dollar. Over the course of the year, I posted some 700 articles – some good, some bad, and some ugly. Below, I tried to pick out most of the good ones to create something of an anthology for 2008. Hope you enjoy it! (By …

Categories: Meta

Six Ideas for Future Directions for The Simple Dollar – Your Thoughts?

Every few months, I like to open up the doors for suggestions on future directions and post ideas for The Simple Dollar. I often conceive of new areas to cover and ideas to try, but it’s really you, the readers, that decide whether or not those areas are really worth pursuing or not, because if …

Categories: Meta

Announcing My First Book, “365 Ways to Live Cheap”

What costs $7.95, makes for a great gift for all your gift exchanges, and is chock full of the good stuff you’ve come to expect from The Simple Dollar? 365 Ways to Live Cheap, that’s what. It’s my first book, due to be released in bookstores everywhere on December 17, but already available for order …

Categories: Books, Meta

I, Spender

I get emails from readers all the time encouraging me to be more playful and experimental with my writing, so here’s a little experiment, posted quietly on the Saturday after Thanksgiving when no one will be reading. It’s an adaptation of one of my favorite literary passages, Claudius’s soliloquy from Act 3, Scene III of …

Categories: Meta

Happy Thanksgiving from The Simple Dollar!

If you’re in the United States, I hope you’re off somewhere enjoying a great meal with friends and family. I sure am! Normal posting will resume tomorrow morning!

Categories: Meta

What’s It All About?

A few days ago, I had a long email exchange with a friend of mine, who seemed genuinely surprised that I had walked away from my previous career and committed to writing The Simple Dollar (and similar things) full time. I truly enjoyed many aspects of my previous job. That job gave me some seriously …

Categories: Meta

Six Ways to Make The Simple Dollar More Useful for You

The Simple Dollar receives a lot of visitors each day. Many of you pop onto the home page, see what articles are fresh and new, read through them, and bop onto another site. What you might not realize is that there are several very simple additional ways through which you can enjoy and get useful …

Categories: Meta

Two Years of The Simple Dollar: My 25 Favorite Articles of the Past Year

Today is the two year anniversary of the launch of The Simple Dollar. Last year, to celebrate the site’s one year anniversary, I selected my twenty five favorite articles of the first year of the site. I thought I’d continue that tradition by selecting my twenty five favorite articles from the second year of the …

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The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself

Over the last several days, many readers have asked for my take on the economic crisis. I’m not an economist – my opinion is just that of an average person who has read a number of economics books and talked to a lot of people from all walks of life. Here’s my humble take on …

Categories: Getting Started, Meta

What a Frugality Expert Is – And Why I’m Not One

About a month ago, Lola stunned me with this comment, and it’s taken me a while to figure out how to respond to it: Anyway, Trent can spend as much as he wants on food. My point is that a frugality expert should spend much less than average – especially when he recommends coupons, gardening, …

Categories: Frugality, Meta

What I Read to Keep Up on Personal Finance

A reader, Jimmy, wrote in with an interesting question recently. Where do you come up with your ideas? I know you read a lot, but what do you read for personal finance ideas? Just the books you review? I thought, in response to Jimmy’s question, that I’d list all of the materials I read regularly …

Categories: Getting Started, Meta

My Book Writing Journey: From a Dream to a Deal and a Finished Manuscript

A couple of days ago, I finished my first book and turned it in to my publisher. You’ll be hearing a lot more about it in a few months, but this post is for the large number of readers who have sent me all kinds of questions about the book publishing process. It was a …

Categories: Books, Meta

Rinse and Repeat

One of the most frequent complaints I get from readers of The Simple Dollar is that I often repeat some of the basic tenets of personal finance. Let’s face it – in some respects, The Simple Dollar is repetitive. By now, I must have riffed the principle of “spend less than you earn” at least …

Categories: Meta

How Do I Spend My Time?

Perhaps the most frequent question I’m asked is how on earth do I find the time to do all of the stuff that I do in a given day? I thought the best way to illustrate this would be to give an outline of a typical day so you can see what I do during …

Categories: Meta, Time Investment

Ask Me Anything You Want!

I’m going to try a little experiment here, just to see how it goes. From now until Saturday, March 8, 2008, you can ask any question you’d like in this thread – a specific personal finance question, a philosophical question, a personal development question, a pop culture question (maybe you have a video game related …

Categories: Meta

I Quit

I quit my job. It is scary as can be to write that sentence. Unbelievably scary. I’m walking away from a good paying and very stable job. I announced my resignation this week, and my final day will happen before the end of March. Why? So, why did I make this decision? There were a …

Categories: Meta