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. Marie writes in: Did you ever do a cost analysis on dishwashers vs. hand …

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I woke up this morning to the first snow of the year. Thankfully, it’s going to melt away in the next few hours so I don’t have to pull out the snowblower, but I did get to have some fun teaching my one year old how to throw a snowball at his four year old sister. 7 Ways to Simplify Your Life The one that really works for me at this point in my life is “early to bed and …

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That “Someday” Thing

November 9 2011

Someday, I’d like to finish my fantasy novel, and then follow that up by self-publishing it and promoting it myself starting with an electronic version and perhaps moving to a paper version. Someday, I’d like to move forward on a long-planned series of video reviews of board games and card games that my friend and I have long discussed making and posting to YouTube. Someday, I’d like to spend some time doing volunteer work for the two charities I care …

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Karen writes in: I have a question I think it would be interesting for you to attempt to tackle. You approach so many decisions with a methodical and disciplined calculus that often leads you to great time and money savers…Can you address what I’ll call ” the children paradox” and maybe provide some insight that I am not seeing. Children paradox: “Children cost lots of time and money, so maybe on an individual basis we have incentive not to have …

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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. Gayathri writes in: Driving 1mph slower than posted speed limit. Yeah, that’s a myth. …

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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. The price of tea 2. Preemptive computer replacement 3. Retirement account confusion 4. Secret Santa thoughts 5. Infrared heaters 6. Investing in I-bonds 7. Children and television 8. Health and weight management insight 9. Goal savings when goal disappears 10. Theo with Cubs On the Saturday evening before a timeshift, I’m …

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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’ll be the first to admit that personal finance workbooks never really clicked for me. I’ve tried reading and using a few of them over the years, but virtually every time, I felt like the forms and blanks within the book were constraining me …

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A long while back (was it really 2008), I wrote an overview of the web-based personal finance tools available at that time. I didn’t really give a strong recommendation to any of them, though I did end up serving as an advisor for a time with Wesabe. Today, Mint.com is clearly the frontrunner in this field, but there are many other services that offer similar financial tools via the web. Many banks have incorporated similar tools into their online services, …

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As November rolls forward, one end-of-year task that starts floating in my mind is holiday cards. This is usually a fairly time-consuming project for us, but I consider it to be a very worthwhile one. Here’s how we do it. Send it early. With a large project like this one, it’s incredibly easy to keep postponing working on it until you’re throwing something together quickly and tossing it in the mail – or not even bothering at all. My approach …

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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. 1. Joyce Lock on strengths and weaknesses I’ve become a big believer in the idea that you should work to make your strengths as strong as possible so that they overshadow your weaknesses and eventually overtake them. Lock explains this idea very eloquently. “Build upon strengths, and weaknesses will gradually take care of themselves.” – …

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