After reading through my recent series on Getting Things Done, Calvin took action and then had a few questions: I picked up the book, read it twice, and set aside a weekend to get started. It really works! I feel like I’m getting so much done now that it’s crazy. I guess my question now is what comes next? If I’ve learned anything over the past couple of years it’s that everything in life is a journey and there is …

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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 (July 18 – July 24, 2009) Ten Unusual Ways to Improve Your Appearance of Confidence That Really Work I …

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What’s on the table this summer? Homemade Calzones Homemade pizza is a big hit at our house (here’s a picture-filled post about our homemade pizzas). We all love our every-other-week-or-so homemade pizzas where we often experiment with ingredients and enjoy from-scratch crusts. The problem with pizza, though, is that it’s not very portable. It doesn’t make the best picnic food (unless, I suppose, you order from Pizza Hut and take it to the park with you, but then you lose …

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Avoiding Spending to Appease Others I used to focus entirely too much on what other people thought of me. Throughout my teen years and adult life, I bought many, many things with an eye almost exclusively on what others thought of me. My clothes. My education and career choices. My gadgets. My housing. My automobile. My golf clubs. My meals. I believed that somehow I could create a more positive image of me through others by buying things or doing …

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If you want to find scapegoats in your life, almost everyone can find a lot of them. At the start of my financial journey, I blamed others for the challenges in my life. Avoiding Blaming Others for Your Decisions You are the Key to Solving Your Problems I was born with legal blindness in my right eye, deafness in my left ear, and a nonfunctional thyroid. I spent much of my childhood with various sorts of surgeries, surgical recoveries, and …

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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. Handling house sale proceeds 2. Helping a declining parent 3. Chasing a dream 4. Moving forward with bad policy 5. Spending choices on children 6. Cashing out stock options 7. Who is Trent politically? 8. Soda 9. Handling a small windfall 10. Creepy emails Remember my complaint about soda about a …

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Avoiding the Trap of Credit Card Debt I spent more than I earned and made up for the difference with credit cards. How I Accumulated Credit Card Debt It started in college. The bookstore offered a discount on textbooks if you signed up for a card. I signed up. Later, I used that card to buy video games, starting with The Ocarina of Time. When I graduated from college, I had a small amount of credit card debt – nothing …

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It’s raining outside. My children want to go to the park. That means it’s time to come up with an indoor solution. That means, of course, that it’s time for an elaborate blanket-and-chairs fort in the living room. Live Within My Means? How? It’s not too hard to live within your means if you just follow one rule: spend less than you earn. The hard decisions of what to cut are up to you. (@ studenomics) With perspective, it’s normal …

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This past weekend, my family and I travelled to Chicago to visit one of my first cousins and her two children. We stayed at their house and enjoyed a few activities in the Chicagoland area. I had originally planned on doing a Chicago-themed follow up to last year’s article, Frugal Vacation Notes: Great Free Things to Do in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area. However, as the long weekend rolled on, I realized that several other things popped into mind that were …

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Avoiding the Trap of Choosing Money Over Passion I chose a career path for the money instead of one that matched my passions and skills. During my high school years, I felt fairly certain what I wanted to do with my life. I wanted to be writer, preferably a science fiction writer. I was absolutely enamored with the novels of Kim Stanley Robinson, Robert Heinlein, Philip K. Dick, Samuel Delany, and countless others who made a life out of meshing …

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