Morning Roundup

Take Back Toe (and Links)

Over the last several days, I’ve had a ton of fun playing Take Back Toe, a simple game that just requires forty markers (you can use anything) and a six sided die. It’s a free game – here are the rules. It takes about fifteen minutes to play and the rules are extremely simple, but …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: The Circle Edition

Recently, I read Dave Eggers’ wonderful novel The Circle, which, like every great novel, manages to simultaneously work as a page-turner and as a thought-provoker. The big ideas behind The Circle focus on privacy in the era of the internet and big data and branch out into the meaning of social networks like Twitter and …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Road Trip Edition

This summer, my family along with some additional guests are going on a lengthy road trip that will involve visiting an ocean, hitting multiple national parks, and stopping at Disneyworld along the way. Given that the group size would virtually require two vehicles, we spent a lot of time trying to find a way to …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Gentrification Edition

An old friend of mine bought a dirt-cheap house in a very rough neighborhood in a large city right after we graduated. He actually lived there, too, and his house was robbed at least once. Fifteen years later, his neighborhood is becoming “gentrified.” In other words, the neighborhood has seen an influx of upscale businesses …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Storm Night Edition

A few days ago, an incredibly powerful series of storms hit our town in the middle of the night. There were tornado warnings, severe thunderstorm warnings, loud wind, crazy lightning and thunder, hail, and more than a few items tossed around outside by the weather. Eventually, Sarah and I decided to have our family camp …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Cookbook Edition

The internet provides an absolute mountain of recipes for people who want to find them. There’s a recipe out there for almost anything you want to cook. So why do I still love cookbooks? Honestly, I haven’t found a better system for browsing cohesive organized recipe collections. I can get close to that experience by …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Library Edition

Once every few weeks, I spend an entire morning and early afternoon at the library. I take a notebook with me, grab a pile of personal finance books, and hide in the corner for several hours. I usually grab several newer books that I’ve never seen before along with some old favorites like Your Money …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Child Medical Issues Edition

At almost the exact same time, our youngest child got a large facial rash and our daughter got an extremely sore baby tooth. This led to medications. Doctor’s appointments. Worry. Being a parent would be far easier if you could simply rely on perfect health from your children. Human lives are fragile, though. I am …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Take Action Edition

A friend recently pointed me to the research work of Jennifer Aaker, a researcher at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. From the article: “The results show that acts designed to improve the well-being of others will lead to greater happiness for givers when these acts are associated with concretely framed, prosocial goals as opposed …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Focus on Happiness Edition

Try this little experiment. For the rest of the day (or tomorrow, if you’re reading this late in the day), whenever you interact with someone, take just a second and ask yourself what you could do during that interaction to make that other person walk away happier. Then, try to do just that. Offer a …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Teaching Games Edition

My oldest son is on a board gaming kick as of late. Most days, when he gets home from school, he requests that we play a board game. He’s able to pick up the rules of many of the games in our family’s collection, more than I would have guessed a few months ago. We’ve …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: March Madness Edition

As usual, I submitted the same exact bracket to a bunch of different NCAA bracket contests. This year, I’m doing really, really well, though I’m not perfect. My bracket percentage is 90.3%, believe it or not, as I have guessed 47 of the 52 winners so far correctly. I guessed right on most of the …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: OneNote Edition

Evernote is a software package I use several times each day. I use it for quick note keeping and some simple project organization. However, before I switched to using Evernote, I was a big user of Microsoft OneNote. I actually used that package for casual notes as well as organizing tons of different projects. Why …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Daylight Savings Time Edition

The clock shift in the spring is almost always difficult on our family. However, this year showed us a great little trick that really helped with the switch. It turned out that Sunday – the day after our clocks moved forward an hour – was a really nice day outside. We spent quite a few …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: One Percent Edition

One interesting part of writing a blog on personal finance is that I’m constantly on the periphery of ideas like “the 1%” – the idea that the people in the world who are in the top 1% in terms of wealth have different motivations than the remaining 99%. The advice I give is all about …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: How to Be a Friend Edition

Over the last week or so, I’ve watched my children each struggling with friendships. What does it mean to be a friend? How should a friend treat you? How should you treat a friend? When should you end a friendship? In one case, a new friendship is being built in a (somewhat) unexpected place. In …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Winter Blues Edition

Most winters, I get a strong case of the “winter blues.” It usually manifests itself in a sense of feeling really tired, particularly in the darkest parts of winter. This winter, strangely enough, I’ve barely had any blues at all. I’ve felt largely normal throughout most of the winter. This is particularly strange, because this …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Long News Edition

I’ve come to find that I trust short news stories very little. The little segments that you hear on news breaks on the radio or on cable news programs are often so short that all you hear are a few selected elements of a story and that rarely gives you the full picture, and most …

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The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Routine Reboot Edition

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been trying to slowly adjust my daily routine to incorporate some new habits. The biggest challenge I’ve found is that it’s really easy to slip back into old patterns without thinking about it. My solution? I’ve set up “reminder” software on my computer – a mix of Fantastical and …

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