A few days ago, I had a chat with a friend of mine who is struggling mightily with his job right now. He took a high-paying job with a rather prestigious title at a well-known company. The biggest drawback of this job is that he carries around a company phone and receives calls on it at all hours of the night. At first, this wasn’t a big deal for him. He actually only needs to be at the office a …

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Taking the Long Road

June 3 2011

When I woke up this morning, the biggest thing I wanted to do was to just curl up in a comfortable chair somewhere and finish the novel that I’ve been reading for the past several days (A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin, for those of you who enjoy knowing what other people are reading … like I do). As I sat down to work this morning, a little voice in my head kept whispering Don’t you want …

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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. Fundraising for starting a nonprofit 2. Thoughts on tiny homes 3. Financial benefits of marriage 4. Cell phone options 5. Student loan question 6. College savings 7. How I make money 8. High cost of living advice 9. Learning about investments 10. Books at library The old tradition of summer has …

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Rarely does a day go by when I’m not contacted by a reader who is alarmed about some economic fear or another. What about inflation? What about deflation? What about precious metals? What about national bankruptcy? The list goes on and on. Right off the bat, let’s make it clear that I don’t buy such apocalyptic feelings. I believe that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself, with perhaps a slight addition of fearing the consequences of …

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One area I’ve been reading about quite a bit lately is leadership. How does a person who is a bit on the introverted side and is scared of leading a social group actually leap across that chasm and lead a community organization? I’ve been reading a pile of books by John Maxwell and other such authors and I’ve mostly come to three conclusions. First, candor is almost always the best route and always the way you should go when in …

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Quite often, I mention that my wife and I are pretty diligent about planning ahead. We have frequent conversations about the future and we’re pretty much in agreement with what our financial plans and goals are over the next several years. I thought I’d share some of those plans and goals with you. Known Future Events These are some specific future events that we know are coming down the pipeline. Fall 2011: Our oldest child starts kindergarten, which will mean …

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Tammy writes in: You often tell people to put money in their savings account if they’re just saving for a year or two, but then you tell people to put money into stocks or other stuff if they are saving for lots of years. Why? It’s probably easiest to explain this with an example. Savings Accounts Let’s say that, at the start of each year, you put $1,000 into a savings account. This savings account keeps your money safe and …

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Memorial Day is a holiday that was originally created to honor deceased soldiers, but has largely grown over the years to honor all deceased people. As a way of commemorating this day, I usually spend some time thinking about what some of the people in my life that have passed on have taught me, and this year, I decided to share five of them with you. I could easily expand this list with more people – and I might just …

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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. Unplugging the microwave? 2. Morality and employment 3. Loan modification versus refinancing 4. Saving for vehicle replacement 5. Living expenses and college debt 6. Unequal chess skills 7. Handling banking errors 8. Repairs to increase equity? 9. Ahead on student loans 10. Investing without worry? The Midwest has been loaded with …

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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 picked up this book on a lark off of the shelves at a library recently. I carried it back to a chair with me, expecting to leaf through it and make a quick decision about whether to review it or not (which is …

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