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The Road to Financial Armageddon #9: The Road to Recovery

Yesterday, I described my financial meltdown, when I reached a point where there was more money going out each month than coming in with no real hope for redemption without a change from within. Then, thanks to some inspiration, I made that change. The first thing I did was I laid out every single expense …

The Inspiration For The Simple Dollar

Today, I thought I would introduce you to the inspiration for The Simple Dollar. It’s not my own money, or someone else’s money; it’s a person. Joe is a little boy who just turned one year old. Just one year ago, I was sitting in a hospital holding him for the first time. As I’ve …

Categories: Meta, Parenting

The Millionaire Next Door: On Living

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: What We're Reading

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Lost Season Finale Edition

The Lost season finale (or midseason finale… or whatever) was underwhelming to say the least. The show seemed to culminate with the second season finale and has just been spinning its wheels this entire season so far. Bleh. Let’s talk about personal finance. Old Credit Cards Never Die, They Just Fade Away Even if you’ve …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Jim Cramer’s Cult of Personality

You almost can’t avoid that face, can you? He’s on three times a day on CNBC hosting Mad Money, plus his book Jim Cramer’s Real Money, featuring his smiling face on the cover, is almost ubiquitous if you go anywhere near the personal finance section of a bookstore. If you’re concerned about your money and …

Categories: Jim Cramer, Television

Remembering A Painful Childhood Experience

I was recently working on a self-evaluation exercise in which I was asked to consider memories from my childhood that had to do with money. These memories would then be used as a reflection on which to see my own personal finance biases today – and thus the connection would enable me to strengthen my …

Categories: Family, Psychology

Introductory Credit Card Offers As Profit: Risks and Rewards

One advantage of building a strong credit rating is that you begin to receive many credit card offers with introductory 0% APR for six months or a year. These cards are great if you’re carrying a balance on another card; request a balance transfer when you sign up and the interest goes away. Of course, …

The Road to Financial Armageddon #8: Meltdown

Yesterday, I detailed the impact of a baby on my downward financial spiral; suffice it to say, the finances were not good. Everything was set up for a collapse and I inched up to the precipice, largely oblivious of how close I was to the lip of Mount Doom. The most fundamental problem was that …

The Millionaire Next Door: On Learning

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: What We're Reading

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Republican Apocalypse Edition

Welcome to a Democratic-controlled Congress, folks (assuming, of course, that the recounts hold firm with the current results, but we should know this very shortly)!  The next two years, I predict, will see a lot of presidential vetoes; if the Democrats play this right, the White House is theirs for the taking in two years.  …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Rules For Handling Financial Issues With Extended Family

Recently, I’ve had several opportunities to seriously consider how money impacts the relationships within my family, and it’s made me develop a number of “rules” with which I interact with my family on a financial basis. The first situation occurred several months ago, when one of my siblings was suddenly unable to take care of …

Categories: Family, Planning

Two Banks Enter, One Bank Leaves: ING vs. HSBC in … Direct Thunderdome

Over the past few months, I signed up with both ING Direct and HSBC Direct in order to try out their online savings offerings. I had heard many positive reviews of the service at ING, but I was also stunned at the 5.05% APY interest rate being offered at HSBC. To make up my mind, …

10 Firefox Plugins That Save You Money

For those of you out there who are still using Internet Explorer, there is another option that won’t open your computer to all sorts of security holes. Better yet, it will automatically kill most pop-up windows and, when you switch to it, it will incorporate all of your bookmarks from Internet Explorer. I switched years …

The Road to Financial Armageddon #7: Here Comes Baby

Yesterday, I talked about the period in my life where my wife and I spent money like it was going out of style in order to obtain a “yuppie” lifestyle. Then, that magic moment happened: we took a home pregnancy test and discovered that a little one was on the way. I can remember that …

The Millionaire Next Door: On Spending

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: What We're Reading

The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Midterm Election Day Edition

If you live in the United States, whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat or an independent, get out and vote today. The next several years are among the most crucial in our nation’s history and you have the power to say whether we should stay the course or change direction. Don’t miss that opportunity …

Categories: Morning Roundup

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 …