• The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Performance Enhancing Drugs Edition

    It’s no secret that I’ve been a life-long baseball fan, and with all of the news about the recent batch of bannings in baseball due to performance enhancing drugs, several readers wrote to me asking about my take and whether I would watch baseball with my children. My take is pretty simple. I know that …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Chores Edition

    One of the challenging parts of parenting that we’re experiencing right now is migrating our children into taking care of chores. There are many things around the house that they were once too young to handle but are now old enough to manage without help – clearing the table after a meal, setting the table …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Back to School Edition

    With Iowa’s tax free holiday coming up this weekend (more on that in a second), we’re really focused on our back-to-school lists and preparations around here. Of course, for us, that means quite a bit of reading and studying up so we can have a good strategy to minimize our costs this weekend. Here are …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Rain Edition

    We had our first nice rain in a long while on Monday evening. I went outside after the rain and you could smell everything inching back to life after a lengthy dry spell. It was wonderful. Our garden really needed it. There’s nothing better than a summer rain. Ten Things You Can Do When You …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Accountability Edition

    The best way to make sure that you actually achieve a goal you set for yourself is to let others know about it and ask them to help make sure you get there. If their friendship is worth even a little bit, they’ll help you. They’ll ask you about your goal until you ask them …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Faith and Personal Finance Edition

    Due to an upcoming presentation I’m making, I’ve been looking deeply at the intersection of faith and personal finance. Can people use their personal religious convictions as a driver to improve their money matters? I think it depends heavily on the person, but I also think the pieces are in place in many different religious …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Outdoor Activities Edition

    We’ve had this long run of gorgeous weather lately and our family has practically lived outside. During the winter and spring, I saved this huge list of inexpensive ideas for things to do during the summer… and we’ve managed to blow through most of them. A few days ago, I spent a bunch of time …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Frugal Vacation Planning Edition

    In anticipation of our travel later this summer, I’ve been reading a lot of articles on frugal vacation planning. I thought, for this week’s roundup, I’d share some of these with you. (For those unaware, Sarah and I are planning a tenth anniversary trip to Boston and rural New England later this summer without the …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Pet Rabbit Edition

    Our family now has a pet rabbit, named Oreo. He has an outdoor cage that we built ourselves. I would have expected that he would be frightened of our children, but he actually seems to like them very much. Whenever he sees them, he hops toward them and he happily eats everything that they feed …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Childhood Edition

    Every day, I look at my young children and realise that they will never be this young again. That single fact is often more than enough motivation for me to put down whatever I’m doing and go spend time with them. Before I know it, they won’t want to spend an hour playing with their …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Rains of Castamere Edition

    Over the last few days, I’ve watched as several of my friends have been completely shocked by the giant twist on the Game of Thrones television series. Since I actually read the “Red Wedding” scene several years ago, it was very entertaining to see all of the surprise from people. I’m really glad that they …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Endless Rain Edition

    Our Memorial Day weekend was filled with tons of rain. On the rare occasions when it wasn’t pouring outside, we couldn’t help but want to go outdoors and do something… after all, it’s Memorial Day weekend, the informal start of summer, right? Well, with everything being soaked, there was mud everywhere, and our children were …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Tornado Edition

    My condolences and prayers go out to the victims of the Oklahoma tornado and other weather events in recent days. We drove pretty close to one on Sunday night and witnessed an overturned semi thanks to the sheer force of what was almost assuredly a small tornado. Prayers and condolences don’t go very far, though, …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Grilling Edition

    We’ve had our first multi-day run of nice weather here in Iowa. That means getting out the grill and enjoying grilled fish, grilled vegetables, and countless other items cooked outdoors. I don’t care what it is – the smell of cooking food is tremendously invigorating, at least for me. Nothing makes the mouth water quite …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Sunburn Edition

    It’s the first truly nice day of spring here in central Iowa, so what do I do? I spend virtually the entire day outside, from not too long after dawn until sunset. It felt wonderful – except for the sunburn. Even though I used sunscreen, you can tell at an immediate glance which spots I …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Rainy Afternoon Edition

    The rain is falling from the sky. My work for the day is done and I actually have a few free hours. There is truly nothing that sounds more enjoyable to me in that situation than curl up in a comfortable chair with a great book. I’ll throw a blanket over me, get lost in …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Flood Waters Edition

    My home town just survived what could have been a potentially devastating river flood. I simply want to say that I’m genuinely impressed with the advancements in flood prevention technology over the last twenty years. Towns are now able to hold back flood waters with surprisingly little effort compared to the floods of 1993. Much …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Boston Edition

    My thoughts and condolences go out to the people of Boston this week, who are facing the type of situation that every city dreads. My wife and I had already chosen Boston as our place to visit for our tenth anniversary, and we’re more adamant about those plans than ever. The small amount we can …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Meaning of Dreams Edition

    I have very lucid dreams that I can remember in incredible detail for several hours or so after I wake up. Sometimes, I’ll even write them down. Do I think they have deep meaning or have some supernatural connection? No. I do think that dreams are one way that our subconscious throws out the mental …