Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. Sarah and I spent a lot of time assembling Christmas gifts this week, so our mind was on the spirit of the season. 1. ifttt Have you ever taken pictures with your camera and wished they would automatically show up on Flickr and Facebook? Ever wanted an email sent to you with a note if …

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The Soup Kitchen

December 10 2011

From about mid-October to roughly the end of March, we have some form of soup for dinner two or three times a week. It’s incredibly easy to make, has infinite variations, and is really inexpensive. What’s not to love about it? Here’s exactly how we do it. The Basic Tools Obviously, the most basic thing you need to have is a soup pot or two. We often make soup in these 5 1/2 quart enameled cast iron pots, but any …

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Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers to see if the savings is really worth the time invested. Shaun writes in: This time of year (late fall, early winter), the local hardware …

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Planning a Group Vacation

December 9 2011

Two summers ago, my wife, my children, my parents and I all traveled to Texas together, in part to visit relatives but also to enjoy the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Because we took some time to plan the trip in advance and involved everyone going on the trip in the planning, we ended up finding quite a few free and frugal things to do on the trip. We were also able to save money on the trip by only taking one …

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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. Investing in tax liens 2. How much for housing? 3. Stuck in a rut 4. Choosing an investment house 5. Turning the economy around 6. Investing for youths 7. Reactivating old card 8. Auto loan credit question 9. Handling an inheritance 10. Philosophy reading list I get two or three book …

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Laurie writes in: My main observation though is the constant path of self control and perseverance you seem to follow. I commend you highly for being able to do this. I guess my question is, even though you manage to make it all sound so (sometimes not) simple and using a lot of common sense, how does the everyday person find or learn the right mindset to stay on the straight and narrow so that it becomes more or less …

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Whenever there’s a challenge going on in my life, I find it much harder to write. I find my thoughts drifting away from the words and onto other things. For me, the best solution is to simply spend some time reflecting on that challenge. I put aside feeble attempts to work and focus on that which is bothering me. If I do that, I tend to find resolution much sooner, and once I find resolution, the words and the focus …

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Remembrance

December 7 2011

A few days ago, my wife’s aunt passed away. She was a wonderful woman. She possessed an incredibly positive spirit, even though her life had brought her unbelievable hardship through no fault of her own. She overcame more challenges in her life than anyone else I’ve ever known, and it was a privilege to have known her. I only ever had the opportunity to know this woman during her final years when her health was in serious decline. She required …

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Whenever I think of something I’d love to do if only I had the time, I write it down in a little notebook I have that I call my “someday notebook.” It’s just a long list of projects that I’d love to take on in the future. Here are a few examples from a random page: Write a novel from scratch in three weeks Make the game review video series Reorganize all of the camping equipment Completely clean out the …

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Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers to see if the savings is really worth the time invested. Chelsea writes in: I’ve always wondered if it’s cheaper to print photos from home, …

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