Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. For many of us (myself included), one of the biggest motivations for getting our personal finances in shape is to give us more control over our lives. A big part of financial recovery is simply being mindful of your choices: your spending choices, your choice of possessions, your choice of how you spend your time. For me (and for a lot of you, too, based …

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As I mentioned a bit last week, we’re currently debt free except for our mortgage and a student loan with such low interest that it would be financially reckless to pay it back early. The CD in which we were keeping the money to pay for our Prius matured (it was earning a higher percentage return in a CD than we could get on a car loan, so cracking the CD early and paying a penalty just to pay cash …

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A while back, I came across a fascinating article at The Guardian discussing askers and guessers: This is the “disease to please” – a phrase that doesn’t make grammatical sense, but rhymes, giving it instant pop-psychology cachet. There are certainly profound issues here, of self-esteem, guilt etcetera. But it’s also worth considering whether part of the problem doesn’t originate in a simple misunderstanding between two types of people: Askers and Guessers. This terminology comes from a brilliant web posting by …

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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 (June 20 – June 26, 2009) How Low Can You Go? Moorish-Style Chickpea And Spinach Stew I thoroughly enjoyed …

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WHat’s on the table this summer? Apple Pork Chops with Garlic Baby Potatoes A few days ago, I was going through the produce section of our grocery store when I noticed a great sale on baby potatoes. They’re delicious and easy to prepare in lots of contexts, so I picked them up. Then I noticed a sale on broccoli – another sale not mentioned in the flyer – so I picked up a few heads of that for pennies. Near …

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This is the eighth entry in a fourteen part series discussing the time management classic Getting Things Done by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday afternoons and Friday mornings through July 16. So far, we’ve talked about three of the five major steps for getting things done: collecting all of the stuff you need to do, processing that stuff down, and organizing by putting all of that stuff into appropriate places. But how do you …

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Most of this article applies to any situation in which someone hires someone else to perform work, whether it’s paying someone to change the oil in their car or hiring a plumber to fix a leaky faucet. On that note, Connie writes in: Your schedule seems overstuffed. Have you ever considered hiring an assistant or a housecleaner or something? I have, actually. We earn enough right now to be able to afford hiring some additional help to take some of …

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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. Rent or buy a condo? 2. Prioritizing limited money for savings 3. Encouragement for staying at home 4. Cell phone: pay-as-you-go or not? 5. Prioritizing debts 6. Wedding gift registry etiquette 7. Worried about dad 8. Tax savings for independent work 9. Delaying student loan repayment 10. Choosing a savings account …

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Recently, I asked the fans of The Simple Dollar on Facebook what their favorite single money tip was. I got all kinds of responses from all kinds of angles. I thought I’d share some of them with you. I went through the list and started just pulling out ones that made me smile and before I knew it, I had seventeen. Here they are! (If you’re on Facebook, please become a fan of The Simple Dollar. I put up something …

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Many of the most entertaining emails I receive from readers will never pop up in the reader mailbag. Lengthy personal attacks (including threatening statements about my children and my wife). Offers for intimate “meetups.” Long descriptions of horribly dysfunctional marriages. People begging me to hire them (The Simple Dollar is a one-man shop for now, and if I do hire someone, it won’t be someone flinging a resume at me out of the blue). Dozens of bloggers asking me to …

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