A few weeks ago, I put out a call on Twitter and on Facebook for detailed posts that people would like to see. I got enough great responses that I’m going to fill the entire month of July – one post per day – addressing these ideas. On Facebook, Sherri requested a post on the topic of “how to have a food garden for cheap.” I’ll do my best, Sherri! My background in gardening is pretty expansive. Growing up, my …

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One of the most common themes I see in questions I receive from readers is an uncomfortable sense of what financial roles are in a relationship. A person lives with someone/is engaged to someone/is married to someone and is unsure about how to handle their partner’s debt/spending/shared purchases. That sentence covers the core of a lot of the questions in the reader mailbag. There are a few key elements that seem to often come up in my responses to these …

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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. Am I oversaving for retirement? 2. Same-sex marriage and taxes 3. Pricing of e-books 4. Handling a complex debt snowball 5. The very first step 6. Next steps for young programmer 7. Sharing costs of electronics 8. Calculating cost of bread 9. When should I begin investing? 10. Unexpected retirement funds …

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Mark sent me an email regarding my recent article, Some Thoughts on the Long Term, in which he asked the following question: I still don’t see any compelling reason to worry about my future more than about five years down the road. I can think about where I’d like to be in ten years, but life shifts so rapidly that no matter what I think of it won’t happen. Why should I even think for a second about anything beyond …

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I’ve been bicycling a lot this summer after previously not bicycling much at all for several years. I’ve learned three simple things that really make bicycling enjoyable for me rather than the punishing exercise I imagined it to be. Go slow. It’s not a race. You don’t have to fly along the road or bike trail you’re on. Build up a little speed, then coast for a while and enjoy the environment. Sure, if you feel up to it, go …

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What will I do with my life? How will I leave my mark on the world? These questions have been a constant part of my life since I was very young – and it’s still a guiding question in my life. Now that I’m a parent to three children and a mentor to other adults, I can see clearly how the same thoughts float through the heads of others. What will I do with my life? How will I leave …

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The Executor Decision

June 28 2011

Recently, someone I care about named me as an executor on their will. This is something of a new experience for me, so I naturally spent some time reading up on what’s required of an executor in that state as well as trying to understand what exactly they wanted to happen with their assets (which aren’t tremendous). What does an executor do? What typically happens is that, when you’re named as an executor on a will, you’re put in charge …

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Quite often, when I write answers to reader mailbag questions, I encourage people to keep pushing hard against their debts no matter the interest rate. Almost everyone agrees that it makes sense to rapidly pay off the 15% debts, but I’ll often get a lot of disagreement about the 3% debts. People will often ask why they should hurry to pay off a 3% debt. After all, they can get a better return in other investments. The reason is simple. …

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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. Student loans and retirement 2. Being a frugality mentor 3. Food shortages 4. Selling unused items 5. International transitions 6. 2011 versus 1980 7. Annuity rollover? 8. Establishing a budget 9. Wedding registry ideas 10. College savings made easy A close family member serves as the keyboardist for a great band …

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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 really enjoy it when an established author from another field writes a personal finance book because they often bring new perspectives to the table. Established personal finance writers tend to know their stuff, but they often also tend to just recycle things from …

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