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. Melissa writes in: I’d be interested in knowing if its economical to make your …

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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. Will and/or trust 2. Setting monthly savings goals 3. Buying a SUV 4. Geocaching 5. HAMP concerns 6. Credit card to fund Roth? 7. Television as cheap hobby 8. On depressing career track 9. Online personal finance software 10. Splitting IRA and loan payments Several parents wrote to me and asked …

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Review: 18 Minutes

October 31 2011

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. If you’ve read The Simple Dollar for a while, you know that I’m a big believer in the maxim that time is money. I’m quite passionate about time management, because I see it as a way to maximize what I earn from the time …

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The Power of Your Boss

October 30 2011

When I worked for an employer, one thing that sometimes frustrated me was having a boss. Although we had a good relationship, there were often times where I was instructed or guided toward doing something that either seemed to be way outside of my typical job (and thus way outside of my expertise) or didn’t seem to be an efficient use of my time. Naturally, I did these things. I might not have felt it was my job to do …

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When I stand in a bookstore (or a clothing store or whatever it is that excites you) and ask myself what I want right now, that’s short term thinking. When I stand in a bookstore and ask myself what I want for my life over the next five years, that’s long term thinking. Short term thinking leads to a better moment. Long term thinking leads to a better life. One of my biggest personal goals over the past few years …

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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. Pumpkins Pumpkins are sitting on our front step. Our garden has more squash and similar vegetables than we know what to do with. Leaves are falling from the trees. Yes, October is here. Thanks to Yaxzone for the great picture (better than my own of the pumpkins on our front step). 2. Garrison Wynn …

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Dinner with My Family is taking a one week break this week. Most of the time, when people mention frugality, the first thing that comes to mind is doing without little pleasures. They think of giving up something that they deeply enjoy, like their morning coffee or their weekly lunch out with coworkers. I’ll be completely honest: this was my first impression of frugality, too. When I was starting to feel some financial bumps because of my overspending in late …

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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. Aimee writes in: how many loads of laundry do i need to do to …

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I received a very thought-provoking email from Elizabeth recently: I think you’re spot on about hard work, and it’s too often overlooked. But I also think about the changing value of hard work, too. Is hard work worth less now than it used to be? The amount of work we ‘have’ to do to get by or do well is always fascinating to me. On one hand I feel that people don’t look at their ‘needs’ in a realistic way, …

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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. Buy or sell townhouse? 2. Collection agency debt 3. Figuring out priorities 4. Tithing 5. Thrift store receipts 6. Repossession question 7. Steve Jobs biography 8. Rent versus buy 9. FSA question 10. Ethical question Lately, I’ve been planning a pretty large project with a lot of different dimensions (it’s more …

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