Almost all of the suffering we put ourselves through in life is because there’s a difference between what we want to be true and what’s actually true. During my early professional years, I watched as the gap between the financially successful person I wanted to be and the financially unsound person that I was became wider and wider. As that gap widened, I became miserable. I saw the life I always believed I was going to build for myself slowly …

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Above, you’ll see a picture of a Le Creuset 5 1/2 quart enameled cast iron pot. I picked it up at a cookware sale about a year and a half ago at roughly half off the list price. Yes, I paid around $150 for this single pot. Since then, it’s almost the only pot or pan or skillet I’ve used in my kitchen. I’ve fried eggs in it. I’ve made casseroles in it. I’ve cooked spaghetti in it. I’ve made …

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What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Relocation decision 2. Filing internet documents 3. Roth IRA novice 4. Universal life thoughts 5. Exchanging money 6. Graduation gifts 7. Cooking a whole chicken 8. Blogs and giveaways 9. Reversing charge-offs 10. Mortgage now or later? It is absolutely amazing to watch my five year old son and his one …

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An interesting question comes from Jonas: Do you read a personal finance book a week? Seriously? Are you really learning something new each week? First of all, I don’t read a personal finance book each week to find some overarching theory that will “explain” something to me. I read them for two reasons. One, I look for little ideas that I haven’t heard before so that I can toss them into the stew of personal finance ideas in my mind, …

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Over the last week, the tulips we planted in front of our house went into true bloom. The pink and red colors look absolutely fantastic, particularly when coupled with the yellow daffodils that are in bloom as well. Spring is here and our front step shouts it out to the world. The Seven Stages of Failing at Self Improvement Self-improvement isn’t just a matter of waking up one morning and deciding that some major change in your life is going …

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Amy writes in: I’ve been a paralegal with the same law firm for four years. I love the job and the work that I do. I feel like I’m genuinely helping people. In October, my boyfriend and I sat down and looked at our finances as you suggested. We came to the conclusion that we needed more income, so I took on a second job in the evenings at a local Home Depot. Since then, the extra income has been …

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It’s simple. We opened our windows in all seasons. Yep, even the winter. For the past year, every time the temperature outside is between 50 F and 85 F, we simply just open up the windows and turn off both the internal heating and cooling. A sampling of year-over-year comparisons across all seasons shows that this policy saves us an average of 30% all year round (about 10% in winter, about 20% in summer, and about 40% in spring and …

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Three and a half years ago (has it really been that long?), I wrote a post on the three money questions that will transform your life. It was part of a lengthy discussion of the book Your Money or Your Life, from where those questions derived. As I look back on the financial lessons I’ve learned over the past half of a decade, I think these three questions strike very close to the core of all of it. I’ve used …

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What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Cross country move 2. Building credit without cards 3. Quick repayment and credit scores 4. Income generation in retirement 5. 401(k) manipulation 6. What’s your day like? 7. Fix it up or not? 8. Emergency fund vs. financial aid 9. Handling proceeds from sale 10. Epic board games, not D&D I …

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Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years. I’ve mentioned more than a few times on The Simple Dollar how one of my few heroes in life is John Wooden, the basketball coach at UCLA during the 1950s, 1960s, and early 1970s. For example: Make Each Day Your Masterpiece and Making Today …

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