The Latest

The Author of The Simple Dollar Admits to Being an Idiot

That’s right, readers, I’m an idiot. There’s really not much more to say other than that. I am capable of coming up with some useful ideas and combining them into sensible plans, but in terms of putting them all together… well, the best I can say is that sometimes you have to learn from your …

The Road To Financial Armageddon #6: The Yuppie Years

On Saturday, we learned how love and marriage caused me to sink even deeper into a financial hole I was digging for myself. I had hopes that as a married couple we would begin to get our financial house in order, but it was not to be. My first big mistake is that I bought …

52 Personal Finance Books in 52 Weeks

I’m constantly astounded by the huge number of personal finance books that are out there, and it seems like every week I discover a new one or two. How on earth does a person dig through this huge pile of books, many of which offer variations on the same old advice, to find the real …

Defining eBay “Best Practices” For Dollar-Conscious Non-Professional Sellers

Over several years as a regular but non-professional eBay seller and buyer, I’ve been accumulating a set of “best practices” for online auctioneering as a seller. eBay has regularly published such lists, but these lists are often skewed towards choosing “best” practices for maximizing your profits only when they overlap with eBay’s utility and profits. …

Categories: eBay, Frugality

The Millionaire Next Door: Overview

This week, The Simple Dollar is conducting a detailed review of the often-lauded personal finance book The Millionaire Next Door. First published in 1996, the book has held a consistently high level of popularity for more than a decade. What valuable insights does this book contain? By the end of the week, perhaps we’ll discover …

Categories: Books

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Post-Borat Edition

Here are some of the gems I found stumbling around the internet this morning after a crazy weekend in which I saw Borat … more on that later, though. Let’s get to the goodies. I Call BS; The Worst Investment Advice I’ve Ever Seen provides a detailed and very specific critique of the, uh, suboptimal …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Saving Big Money on a Computer Upgrade

Recently, I provided some extensive consultation to a couple looking to upgrade their home computer. They had purchased the machine in 1999 and were looking to buy a replacement machine for it with a budget of $1000, and they wanted my advice on how to maximize their purchase. If you are a techie, please note …

Get Rid Of Your Old Stuff!

A few weeks ago, I was rummaging around in my closet looking for some old photo albums when I came across a large cardboard box with the letters PS2 written on it in huge letters. With a nostalgic smile, I popped open the box and sure enough, there was my old Playstation 2. A lot …

Categories: eBay, Saving Money

How Being a Nielsen Family Saved Us Hundreds of Dollars

Several months ago, my family was invited by the Nielsen Ratings to be a “Nielsen Family,” in other words, we were given a few dollars to spend a week filling out a booklet detailing every television program that we watched in a given week and who watched it. Given that we generally only watch a …

Categories: Frugality, Television

How I Saved $300 On Software This Year

I used to be an active follower of Microsoft Office and McAfee, but the constant upgrade cycle and payments to continue getting antivirus updates got old. So I did some research and discovered free, top-notch alternatives to these money hogs for use at home. Instead of using Microsoft Office, I’ve switched to using Open Office. …

Categories: Saving Money, Software

A Gas Station Trick That Puts Money In Your Pocket

The next time you fill up, spend an extra few minutes at the gas station performing a simple, free task, and you’ll put a few dollars right in your pocket. The secret is air. Most gas stations have a free air pump for your tires available on the side of the station. A lot of …

Categories: Automobile, Frugality

October 2006 Review – Net Worth +79%, Debt -1%

I sat down for my monthly financial review recently to see what sort of progress I’d made in the last month. I generally break things down by evaluating my assets, my debts, and then my net worth, and then using these numbers, I attempt to set goals for the coming month. This is a useful …

The Road To Financial Armageddon #5: Love and Marriage

Yesterday, we learned about my immature behavior in handling a large steady income. I was starting to sink further into debt without really acquiring any assets, and I was building up a lifestyle based around extremely poor spending decisions. Yet, I was about to embark on a path that would make matters much worse. I …

Saving On A Child’s First Birthday Party

We wanted to create a first birthday party for our child that would be full of memories for all of the attendees and would make for a great home movie for him to watch later (as he is too young to remember it himself), but since he is only one, we didn’t want to have …

Categories: Frugality, Parenting

Bought A Flawed Product? Here’s The Best Way To Handle It

Once every few months, I will purchase an item at the store, take it home, and discover a serious problem with it. The bread has a very odd taste, or the tortilla chips are very stale, or the salsa is very very watery, or the Glade plug-in doesn’t work. Most people I know react to …

Categories: Groceries, Shopping

Preparing Your Financial Information For The Inevitable

As my net worth sneaks above the break-even point, I’m beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have accumulated a small number of steadily growing assets and my primary debt at this point is student loans. As I look forward to the future, I see a house purchase and another …

How Your Local “Alternative” Newspapers Can Save You Money

In my area, there are three weekly “alternative” newspapers, supported by advertisements, that can be picked up for free in the entrance to the local grocery stores. I used to be (at best) peripherally aware of the existence of these newspapers; I’d just stroll right by them on my way in to do my shopping. …

Categories: Frugality, Periodicals

Free Toys For Your Infant Or Toddler

When my son was born, I wanted him to have the best of everything, so at first we spent a good deal of money on all sorts of stuff. Rattles, balls, play pens, and so forth – we dumped a lot of money on these things. Do you want to guess what his three favorite …

Categories: Frugality, Parenting

The Road to Financial Armageddon #4: The First Taste of Real Money

Yesterday, we watched as I stumbled through college making a series of classic financial errors. Yet I finished (albeit in six years) with a pair of degrees, and I was able to find work utilizing both of them. I was suddenly making more money per year than my parents had made combined in any year, …