The People Around You

April 13 2010

The single biggest advantage I’ve had in my life is that I’ve largely been surrounded by supportive people. My wife, my parents, my closest friends – all of them have always been incredibly positive towards everything I’ve ever chosen to do. My mind continually goes back to the period in my life where I was trying to convince myself to make the leap into being a full-time writer. Rather than saying it’s something I couldn’t do or shouldn’t do, all …

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This summer, my wife and I and our three children – a four year old, a two year old, and a baby – are going on at least three different family trips. One will be to downstate Illinois, another will be to northeast Iowa and southwest Wisconsin, and the third will be to northern Minnesota. That doesn’t include multiple graduations we’re going to attend in May, either. How are we going to do this while simultaneously keeping our sanity (yes, …

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Reader Mailbag: Golf

April 12 2010

I spent a good chunk of yesterday attempting to teach my children (four and two years old) the fundamentals of golf. The results were interesting. The younger one, my daughter, thought the best way to get the ball in the hole was to pick up the ball and put it in the hole. The older one would swing every time with as much power as his little body could muster and would either miss entirely or knock the ball quite …

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Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. I’ve always found the idea of investing in stocks for dividends to be an intriguing one. In a very simplistic way, that means you buy stocks in individual companies that are very stable and have paid strong dividends for a long time. Usually, you care little about the ups and downs of the value of the stock because your primary focus is in the dividend …

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Mark writes in: I’ve been reading The Simple Dollar for a year or so and I’ve found it really inspirational. My problem is that I can’t get past the “inspirational” part. Several times, I’ve started to try to implement your tips. I’ll make grocery lists and try out lots of free activities and give up my morning coffee and start watching less television and reading more. What I find, though, after a week or so is that I just get …

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Anxiety disorder. Depression. Panic attacks. Intense phobias. Our brains are incredibly complex pieces of meat. Just like other parts of their body, they can break down and not work quite right. Yet, society often treats ailments of the mind as something either not to be spoken of or something to be looked at as an intense personal flaw. Yet, just like any other medical ailment, the cause is often out of the person’s control. I have battled depression on and …

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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 (April 4 – April 10, 2009) Trimming the Fat from Your Work-Related Spending The act of working can be …

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Rebooting Your Life

April 10 2010

Henry writes in (I edited a few minor details to help with privacy issues, because I think without edits it might be possible for people to easily figure out who Henry is): Six months ago, I lost my six figure job as a database administrator. A month after that, just before Christmas, my wife left me, taking the kids with her. She filed for divorce claiming negligence because I didn’t have a job. Soon, I was forced to move out …

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Family Dinner Night

April 9 2010

One of my readers recently wrote to me, telling me about the “family dinner night” they host. Here’s how it works. Once a month, on a set day that everyone knows about (they do it on the second Friday of each month), they have a “family dinner night.” Once you’re invited to this event, you’re always invited. “Family,” to them, includes everyone important to them, regardless of whether they’re About a week beforehand, they send out an email to everyone …

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Why Do You Buy?

April 9 2010

What’s the single most important piece of personal finance advice you would give a person? I’ve heard this question (or variations on it) many times. I have a very simple answer to it. Whenever you buy anything, ask yourself why five times. That seems really off the wall at first glance, but I firmly believe that no single piece of advice can match it in terms of getting your money under control. I’ll show you what I mean through the …

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