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 …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading

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 …

Continue Reading

If you’ve read the reader mailbags for a while, you’ve noticed that I often get messages from people who have worked their way into a good financial place and now have some money to invest, often for the first time in their life. They look around, watch CNBC, read investment advice online and in books, and still aren’t sure exactly what to do. Should they keep the money in cash, or buy a CD from the bank? Should they invest …

Continue Reading

Finding the Rhythm

August 31 2010

One of the biggest things that’s changed in my life since my financial turnaround and subsequent career changes is that I’m constantly involved in a lot more self-evaluation than I used to be. I’m constantly looking at how I do things, looking for ways to improve the quality and value of how I spend my time and energy and money. Something I’ve noticed quite a lot lately is how much of my life seems to move along with a particular …

Continue Reading

Naomi is trying to get a good picture of her actual spending and is using a very good process to get there. She’s run into a bit of a snag, though. I have reached a month of collecting receipts and preparing to organise it all in an Excel spreadsheet. Categorising by what type of expense will not be the difficult part for me, however deciding weather it was a ‘necessary’ spend is. I’m finding too many grey areas. For example; …

Continue Reading

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. Adding partner to credit cards 2. Partners and rentals 3. Healthy use of emergency funds 4. Services you’re not knowledgable about 5. Short-term investment choices 6. Low-income money advice 7. Pre-tax or post-tax retirement 8. Outspending your income 9. Mortgage prepayment at low interest? 10. GTD without a partner My two …

Continue Reading

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. One of the most interesting parts of being a popular internet writer that reviews a lot of books is that, over time, I’ve wound up on the mailing lists of various publishing companies. They send me piles of books that might be of interest without me even asking – and most of them aren’t bad, but aren’t particularly exciting, either. I usually end up giving …

Continue Reading

I get a lot of emails from people with the above statement, usually followed by some sort of plea for help. I have a lot of sympathy for their situation. I can’t even imagine how painful it would be to not have a steady income, have no luck finding work, and have others depending on you to provide an income. Whenever I see an email like this, though, I usually respond with many of the same points (often tailored to …

Continue Reading

When I was sixteen, I bought a cigar box full of 1960s baseball cards for $5 from someone who was cleaning out their mother’s attic. I sold one single card in the box – a 1965 Topps Mickey Mantle in excellent condition – for $200. Several years ago, I was at a yard sale. The person running the yard sale had a box full of trading cards sitting there that her son had left behind when he went to college. …

Continue Reading

Our Featured Contributors

Simple Share Buttons
Simple Share Buttons