The Latest

The Thousand Mile Journey: Making Long-Term Goals Matter in Your Day-to-Day Life

I have a long term goal of publishing a novel. I’ve always enjoyed writing fiction, but I’ll often write short stories or novellas and find myself really dissatisfied with them, so I’ll toss them aside. I’ve written a few novel-length pieces too and felt the same way – I was just never happy with them. …

Categories: Getting Started

Hindsight Bias and Personal Finance

We’ve all heard the old nugget: hindsight is 20/20, right? From the perch we sit on right now, the mistakes of the past look obvious. Why couldn’t we have predicted it? At the same time, we often look back at our past successes and see them as practically inevitable. That’s just how the story goes, …

Five Weekend Adventures That Teach Your Kids Frugality

Almost every weekend, particularly during the summer when I’m working at home and Sarah is on break from teaching, we plan some sort of family “adventure.” The goal of these “adventures” is to either visit some location or engage in some large project at home that will teach the children something useful. They might learn …

Categories: Family, Frugality, Parenting

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #179

Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. 1. Thomas Fuller on the differences between people “The real difference between men is energy. A strong will, a settled purpose, an invincible determination, can accomplish almost anything; and in …

The $2,000 Question

If an emergency arrived in your life, could you come up with $2,000 in cash to cover that emergency? Believe it or not, if you’re an American, it’s a coin flip as to whether or not you could pull this off. According to this study from the National Bureau of Economic Research, “approximately one quarter …

Categories: Getting Started

Eleven Tactics from the Meal Assembly Line

A few months ago, I posted a detailed guide to making meals in advance. It’s a very useful guide for preparing full meals, but quite often that’s not exactly what you want. You want an individual meal you can pull out when you want. I want this, too. Often, I eat leftovers, but lately, I’ve …

Categories: Food, Frugality

Spending Time, Spending Money

During a given day, I spend time on a lot of things. I usually spend quite a bit of time doing things to earn an income – writing posts, sending emails, doing research. I spend some time doing household tasks, which generally don’t earn much money but don’t cost much, either. I spend some time …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Failed CEO Bonuses

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. Differing views 2. Jobs and automation 3. Investment management services 4. Handling injury settlement 5. Unusual door prize 6. Sneaking candy into theaters 7. Buy-it-for-life with …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Card Tricks and Life

When I was a teenager, I went through a period where I was obsessed with card tricks. I learned a bunch of them – some that relied on preparing the deck beforehand, some that relied on a bit of sleight of hand, and some that relied on mental math. I was always better at understanding …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Gentrification Edition

An old friend of mine bought a dirt-cheap house in a very rough neighborhood in a large city right after we graduated. He actually lived there, too, and his house was robbed at least once. Fifteen years later, his neighborhood is becoming “gentrified.” In other words, the neighborhood has seen an influx of upscale businesses …

Categories: Morning Roundup

4 Inexpensive Ways to Enjoy a Holiday Weekend

This article first appeared at U.S. News and World Report Money. With Memorial Day coming up – and with a summer that has a Fourth of July weekend in the middle and Labor Day weekend on the far end of things – there are many opportunities for people to enjoy the freedom of a three …

Categories: Frugality

The Air Conditioning Battle

Summer is approaching (though from the unseasonably cool temperatures here, you could have fooled me) and with the approach of summer means summer cooling bills. Many, many households across the United States will be trying to maximize the cooling they can get from their central air units, window air conditioning, and fans in order to …

Categories: Frugality, Housing

Best Business Credit Cards of 2014

You don’t need to have 1,000 employees and a mahogany-walled board room to reap the rewards from business credit cards this year. Small businesses with few employees, sole proprietors, and independent contractors can all use business credit cards to manage cash flow and earn rewards on their spending. In fact, even if you don’t have …

Categories: Credit Cards

What’s Left Behind

Whenever a person makes a significant change in their life, some things are gained and some things are lost. Ideally, the things that are gained outweigh the things that are lost, but that doesn’t mean that the exchange was purely positive. When changing one’s life, there are some things that are left behind. During the …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Graduation Season

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. Auto refinancing 2. New direction 3. Supporting local businesses 4. “Driving into the ground” perspective 5. Bad neighborhood, cheap rent 6. Ups and downs 7. Credit …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Some Thoughts on Marriage and Financial Problems

Sarah and I argue about politics sometimes. We have different perspectives on a lot of political issues and sometimes that will cause us to have rather vigorous debates on things. I tend to be more concerned about civil liberties than Sarah is, for example, and our different feelings on civil liberties and privacy caused us …

Categories: Marriage

Moving with Minimal Money: Nine Tactics for Frugal Relocation

The process of moving from an apartment to our home in 2007 was a big learning experience. We did some things right with that move – but some things we did quite poorly. Since then, we’ve had ample time to reflect on our own move as well as help others with their moving experiences and …

Categories: Frugality, Housing

Breaking Down Your Dreams

One of my biggest dreams when I was younger was to have a huge house. When I was a little boy, I used to draw floor plans all the time of a huge house that I would live in. There would be rooms for all of my family members, a giant library, an indoor gymnasium, …

Categories: Getting Started

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #178

Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. 1. Zig Ziglar on changing who you are “You are what you are and where you are because of what has gone into your mind. You can change what you …