Whenever there’s a significant vote or election, I find myself tuning into the results the evening after the vote. I’ll visit tons of websites, looking for the latest results and different perspectives on what they mean. The funny thing is that it’s usually impossible to really say what the impact of a vote really is until a long while after the vote. So, why do I tune in? I guess I just like politics from a “fan’s” perspective. It often …

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For the first two years of our marriage, Sarah and I barely spoke to each other about money. We’d touch base with each other just enough to make sure the bills were paid, and that’s about all. “Honey, did you drop off the rent check?” “I took care of the bills for this month.” “Do you have your wallet handy to cover the bill?” Comments like these were the extent of our communication about money. We just trusted that the …

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“I think the girl who is able to earn her own living and pay her own way should be as happy as anybody on earth.” – Susan B. Anthony Today, I’m going to talk about my daughter. In many regards, she’s a pretty typical four year old girl – at least judging by her peers. She likes to play dress-up – in fact, we have a dress-up tub in our basement just for her. Her favorite place on our property …

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One of the best personal finance tasks I ever took on was building a personal net worth calculator. It was a simple little thing (in fact, I wrote a tutorial on how to build one in any spreadsheet program you have, very little knowledge required). All it did was add up all of my assets, add up all of my debts, then subtract my debts from my assets, leaving me my net worth. The spreadsheet simply consisted of a list …

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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. Trading cars before a move 2. Handling an old retirement account 3. State income tax after leaving 4. Student loan repayment plan 5. Unexpected job offer 6. Job change and unfinished mortgage 7. Reconnecting 8. 401(k) loan for debt? 9. Which insurance policies? 10. Best books of 2011 Yesterday, my wife …

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Yesterday, we talked about the ten second rule, which you can use to protect yourself against impulse buys that are well within the limits of your pocket money. We’re talking about things like a pack of gum, an inexpensive board game, or something like that. As I know all too well, though, many of the purchases we make are much larger than that one. I’ll give you an example: our blender. We use our blender for a lot of things: …

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Review: EntreLeadership

January 8 2012

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 written about 250 book reviews on The Simple Dollar since I started the site in late 2006. Along the way, I’ve found a few books that I just immediately recommend for certain topics. My general personal finance recommendation is Joe Dominguez and Vicki …

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I’ve been going to the same barbershop most of the time for the last fifteen years or so. We grew up in the same area, so it’s rather fun to catch up with him on things that are happening in our hometown area. He’s a good barber, so he’s also pretty busy. He also operates almost entirely on walk-in business, so when you show up, you get on a list and have to wait for about thirty minutes or so. …

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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. Recently, I was working on a project that coupled frugality tips with black and white public domain photographs. In order to find ones for the project, I spent a lot of time digging through The Commons, which is a collection of the world’s public photography archives. Along the way, I found a lot of wonderful …

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One of the most generic personal finance suggestions is to “create a budget.” The advice usually revolves around setting aside money from your paycheck for all of your known expenses, then making smarter choices with what’s left over. Here’s the problem with that suggestion: a lot of people who are in financial trouble have no idea where their money is going from month to month. I’m speaking both from my own experience and from the mountains of emails I’ve received …

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