I stumbled across the above quote (which I’ve been unable to source) a few weeks ago. Since then, the idea has been running through my mind as I realized how often the idea behind the quote comes up in our day-to-day lives, personally, professionally, financially, and otherwise. Simply put, none of us live in a bubble. We’re constantly interacting with others – our friends, our spouse, our children, our boss, our coworkers, our pharmacist, our doctor – the list goes …

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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. Switching credit cards 2. Accepting pay for articles 3. Building credit 4. USPS refund on principle 5. Marriage and alcoholism 6. Roth 403(b) contributions 7. Reaching a teenager financially 8. Student loan repayment 9. Victim versus doing it yourself 10. Meatie versus veggie From Thursday through Sunday, we had two houseguests …

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Review: 168 Hours

March 21 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. 168 hours? That’s the number of hours in seven days – a typical week. The premise behind this book by Laura Vanderkam is that we misuse a lot of the time during that week, either through excuses or sacrifices or misplaced priorities. Because of …

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The Fear of Missing Out

March 20 2011

A few days ago, I stumbled upon this blog post by Caterina Fake in which she discusses the phenomenon of FOMO at conferences (in this case, the SXSW conference in Austin, TX). Bear with me a bit as I go down a little bit of a side journey here. Trust me, it’ll come back around to something useful. FOMO, of course, refers to the fear of missing out – a sense that you’re at the wrong conference session, attending the …

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I’m never going to play in the NBA. That’s an unrealistic goal for me, and I knew it to be an unrealistic goal when I was ten years old on the playground. I wasn’t fast enough and didn’t have the natural reflexes of the other ten year olds on the court. It was a painful thing for me to realize. I loved playing basketball. I still do. For me, basketball is a beautiful game. The realization that I wasn’t NBA …

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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. Ralph Waldo Emerson on the “good old days” Unemployment is at 9% or so and the media bemoans financial apocalypse. A few years ago, unemployment was at 5% or 6% and everyone talked about prosperity. I don’t seem to remember having mountains of money then, and I certainly don’t have mountains of money now. …

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Vegan Curry Pumpkin Soup I’ll be the first to admit that when I heard of the idea of curry pumpkin soup, I thought it sounded dreadful. Pumpkin soup? Are you kidding? My wife really wanted to try a curry pumpkin soup recipe she found in our copy of Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, though, and we often eat each other’s culinary experiments. I was shocked when I found out the soup was good. I was doubly shocked when …

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One of my biggest splurges each year comes in August, when I travel to Indianapolis with a few friends and attend GenCon, a gaming convention. During a given year, my wife usually goes on some sort of trip by herself as well, often to visit family in the Pacific Northwest. I usually pick up a new game and a new book about once a month, on average. Sarah’s more of a reader and tends to pick up two or three. …

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Making Homemade Yogurt

March 18 2011

Yep, you read that right. Homemade yogurt, in our crock pot. Of course, before we get started, it’s worth noting that I’m sharing something we do routinely in our own home, and if you choose to do this in your own home, I assume no liability over the results. We’ve done this many times and have never had a problem, but if you were to use unclean equipment or use old milk or something, you could create something inedible in …

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Reader Mailbag: Absence

March 17 2011

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. Banking troubles 2. Getting rid of a timeshare 3. Scholarships and taxes 4. Housing money for the future 5. Loan arrangement question 6. Where should we keep savings? 7. Wanting to be a parent 8. Savings account activity fee 9. Prioritizing low interest debt 10. Closing credit card impact My children …

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