• The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Organized Life Edition

    As I’ve mentioned before, my life tends to oscillate back and forth between organized and disorganized. Sometimes, I’ll feel like my life is chaotic and unproductive, whereas at other times I feel like my life is incredibly well organized and really productive. At the moment, I feel like I’m on the “productive” end of one …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Black Friday Edition

    I know several people who often use Black Friday sales as a method for reducing the cost of their Christmas shopping. They do it the sensible way, though. They already have a list of a few items that they would consider buying for the people they need to purchase gifts for, and they simply cross-check …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Thanksgiving Prep Edition

    Yes, I know that Thanksgiving is still eight days away. However, most of our Thanksgiving prep extends over several days. Our extended family will certainly be starting with some things this weekend. The reality is that if you spread out the prep time, not only can you make more things yourself (lowering the cost), you …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: No More Politics Edition

    No more flyers. No more robocalls. No more political ads on television or radio. No more emails in my inbox asking for donations. Not for a year and a half, anyway. Prep your tech for a weather emergency I do many of these things in the winter when there’s a blizzard approaching. In the summer, …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Disaster Relief Edition

    A large section of the country is reeling from the hurricane. Aside from extending sympathy from the millions of victims, I only have one small thing to say. Send aid, but be smart about it. They don’t need your “stuff.” Don’t try to send blankets or toiletries or first aid supplies. The logistics of getting …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Political Sign Edition

    I’ve become aware in the last week or two of multiple incidents of people having political signs in their yard tampered with. Someone just goes up in their yard, pulls the sign down, and usually tries to damage it in what looks like a hasty fashion. All of the signs that have been tampered with …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Funeral Edition

    Early this week, I learned that my uncle had passed away suddenly. His only living relatives were his son, who he was estranged from and hadn’t seen for a long time, and my mother. Whenever someone who’s been in your life since you were born passes away, particularly in such a sudden fashion, you’re left …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Volunteer Workers Edition

    I’ve been doing some phone banking for local political candidates over the last few months on a volunteer basis, and I’ve learned several things from this experience. For one, one big reason that campaigns do it is simply for name recognition. The more times you hear or see a candidate’s name, the more likely you …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Game Design Edition

    Over the last few months, I’ve been involved in the design and development process of a board game. It’s been an interesting experience, to say the least. For starters, a good game is simple to play, yet whenever you find a rough spot in the rules of a game you’re making, there’s a desire to …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Child Art Edition

    The walls of my office are slowly becoming covered in child art. First, I hung up a rather nice comic strip that my six year old son drew. Then, my daughter drew an enormous rainbow heart with the word “Dad” on it and asked me to hang it up. This opened up the floodgates. Now …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Parenting Is Hard Edition

    It’s easy to have a child. It’s not nearly as easy to raise one well. The key thing to remember as a parent is that children need to push boundaries sometimes. They need to do things wrong and discover the consequences of doing so. It is incredibly easy to get frustrated with this when your …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Insectary Edition

    Lately, my children have been spending their evenings catching insects of various kinds. They run out into the field behind our house, try to catch crickets and grasshoppers with their hands, and run back to show me the things they’ve captured. This has been a wonderful chance to teach them about being kind to living …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Reading Edition

    My oldest son is progressing like crazy with his reading skills. He’s reached the point where he can piece through a lot of picture books, only stopping every once in a while to ask abou a word. He seems to be devouring almost every printed thing he can find. Sarah and I are encouraging this, …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Couch to 5K Edition

    For those who’ve missed the hints over the last week or so, I’ve been working on the Couch 2 5K program. I’ve tried going through it before, but I pushed myself too hard through it and wound up with an ankle injury. This time, I’m taking it slower. If I can’t execute a week without …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Dickens Edition

    After my article last week on free online books, I wound up downloading all of the novels by Charles Dickens to my Kindle with the intent of re-reading all of them in the near future. I read them all so long ago that I only remember bits and pieces of the plots and some of …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Back to School Edition

    My two oldest children are starting school in a week or so. My oldest child is returning to school, but it’s a new thing for my daughter. In any case, school supplies and such are starting to become a noticeable expense. Both children have a nice long school supply list and their fall clothes (which …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Travel Edition

    Over a three-and-a-half week period, our family is jamming in a trip to northern Iowa/southern Minnesota, a trip to Seattle, a trip to Chicago, and a trip to Indianapolis. This means a lot of traveling. A lot of time spent in cars. A lot of time spent sleeping away from home. A lot of children …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Site Surfing Edition

    I read a lot of personal finance and personal growth sites, a list that changes all the time. My weekly links for this are harvested from that reading. For the most part, I like articles that have an angle I haven’t thought of, have a nice human touch, or else express an idea very well, …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Breakfast Edition

    I try to eat breakfast each day, but I try to not eat it right when I get up. Instead, I wait until I actually feel hungry for it (mid-morning, around 9:30) and then eat a late lunch. I’ve found this works really well for me. It actually results in me eating a smaller lunch …