Review: Debt-Free U

September 5 2010

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. When I went to college back in the late 1990s, my school was pretty much selected for me due to the scholarships I received. I didn’t have any financial resources of my own to help me get into college, nor was the internet widely available and full of easy resources to learn more how to acquire them. In short, I was left with a decision …

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About three months ago, my four year old son saw a toy at a store. He mentioned that he had played with it at a friend’s house and that he wanted one. But rather than demanding it this minute, he asked how much it would cost. Then, he asked how many allowances he’d have to save to be able to afford it. He waited the necessary six weeks’ of allowance (plus some pocket money put into his bank by Grandma), …

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Last weekend, I wrote a review of 9 Steps to Work Less and Do More. In that book, the author, Stever Robbins, suggested something he called a “daily action pack.” Here’s my mention of it from the review: For every short-term and medium-term project you have going on (everything less than a few months down the road), perform an action related to that project every single day without fail. He calls it an “action pack” – I call it a …

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Many newer readers of The Simple Dollar haven’t been exposed to the hundreds of great articles in the archives of the site, so this is a weekly series that highlights the five best posts from one year ago this week, two years ago this week, and three years ago this week. I call it … the Time Machine. One Year Ago (August 29 – September 4, 2009) Revising My Money Goals – And Setting New Ones This isn’t just a …

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What’s on the table this summer? Chicken Pie One of the fun things about the end of summer and the start of fall is that, if you have a garden, lots of vegetables are starting to come in. Depending on your garden, you can be producing all kinds of things: tomatoes, sweet corn, peas, green beans – the list is nearly endless. Thus, in the late summer and fall, we tend to cook dishes that have really flexible vegetable requirements, …

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Frugality and Accumulation

September 3 2010

The other night, I watched a couple episodes of the A&E documentary series Hoarders. For those of you who haven’t seen it, Hoarders is a documentary series that focuses on the struggles of people who suffer from compulsive hoarding. One thing that struck me over and over again was that people were saying things along the lines of, “I can’t get rid of this stuff because I might have a use for it some day.” Of course, they were making …

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Katie writes in: The article on budgets was *great.* I’ve long felt guilty for not doing the whole formal budget thing, especially since I always liked and did well at math. (Like you, however, spreadsheets cause my eyes to roll back in my head.) But here’s a question/comment on one bit. You said: “First, this doesn´t work if you´re already spending more than you make. That type of behavior is not sustainable. If your credit card balance is going up …

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Reader Mailbag: Dream House

September 2 2010

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. 401(k) profit sharing 2. Online job application tips 3. Illness and challenges 4. College freshman advice 5. Mortgage decisions 6. Annuities for retirement? 7. Refinancing questions 8. Universal life policies 9. Using self-help advice 10. Getting started with credit Two readers this past week wrote to me asking if I would …

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Yard Sale Ethics

September 2 2010

In my recent post about cultivating your own knowledge for fun and profit, I mentioned that you should hit yard sales, consignment shops, estate sales, and so forth as a way to put your knowledge to work for you and take advantage of underpriced items. A few commenters thought that this was unethical, so I thought I’d look at that particular point a bit more deeply. I’ll start off by giving you a specific example of a situation where I …

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After the universal positive response to my idea of doing a chapter-by-chapter discussion of David Allen’s Making It All Work, I’ve decided to go ahead with it. Expect it to begin in a few weeks (I usually like to have several posts already in the bag for series like that before I start posting them). Meanwhile, here are some interesting articles I’ve read from around the web this week. Professionals, Amateurs, and the Great Unwashed Which are you? And which …

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