girl and dog looking out window of car

In 2017, I’ve chosen to take on a number of personal challenges. I’m trying to lose weight, with a goal of achieving the same weight I had the day I graduated from high school. I’m trying to slowly read and study a set of very challenging books. I’m taking a series of online classes, too. I’m also working on a YouTube channel and a book manuscript. Whew! In the past, I’ve addressed a lot of personal challenges, some with success …

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A Financial Cleanse?

February 1 2017

An old dear friend of mine has an absolute fascination with the idea of “cleanses.” She’s constantly trying out juice cleanses and organic fruit cleanses and other such things, with the idea of clearing her body and mind of “toxins.” I’ll be the first to admit that I doubt the usefulness of juice cleanses and other such strategies for improving one’s health, as the human body is already a pretty effective cleanser of almost anything we put into our bodies. …

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Are you trying to earn and maintain excellent credit — as in a score greater than 800? Do you want to live with the peace of mind that comes from knowing your credit can no longer hold you back from the things you want to provide for yourself and your family? If so, then studying and copying the behaviors of people with great credit is a fantastic place to start. Here are four habits common among the top credit achievers. 1. They Never Miss …

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What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. The psychology of saving money 2. To refinance or not? 3. Parents selling off possessions 4. Highly repetitive meals 5. Personal growth and development books 6. Breaking online shopping addiction 7. Breaking free from excessive frugality 8. Spousal debt and rocky marriage 9. Large collection of CDs 10. …

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I’ll never forget the day my daughter and I spent 53 minutes in line at Walmart. It started innocently enough. My seven-year-old needed a new set of flip flops for our fall break trip, but we were also nearly out of food essentials like bread and milk. To save time, we opted to combine both shopping trips into one. And oh boy, what a mistake that turned out to be. Arriving at the Walmart near my home didn’t set off …

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Do you ever get sick of telling your kids “no” all the time? Do you feel bad saying “no,” even though you know you should? This is me, 24/7, 365 days per year. My five- and seven-year-old girls ask for at least 100 things per day, and get a big fat “no” around 95% of the time. It’s not that I don’t want my kids to be happy; it’s that they ask for crazy things. My oldest has a list of …

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One common strategy for saving money on food that shows up in a lot of frugality books and on many frugality websites is the idea of a “meal prep day,” sometimes simply called “meal prep Sunday” because people often use a Sunday to do it. On that day, the idea is that you’ll do all of the prep work for several meals all at once, getting those meals to the point that all you essentially have to do is reheat …

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15 Frugal Date Nights

January 28 2017

Although my wife and I have been married for almost 14 years (and we dated for six-plus years before that), we still put effort into keeping romance alive in our life. We box out time to spend together without our kids. We do things that we both enjoy and sometimes we each do things that the other one primarily enjoys. We call these our “date nights.” Once or twice a week, we’ll pencil off an evening just to do something together, …

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“31 Days to Financial Independence” is an ongoing series that appears every Thursday on The Simple Dollar. You might want to start this series from the beginning! Last time, we discussed steps that people need to take in order to use their “gap” money – the difference between their income and their spending – to begin saving for a robust retirement. Today, we’re going to look at another major goal that many people have for their lives: saving for future …

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Management training at most companies is a one-day seminar — if you’re lucky. As a result, a whole lot of new managers go directly from staff to boss, without much preparation in between. The situation creates a lot of opportunities to make mistakes — ideally the kind you learn from, not the kind that derail your career. The only upside is that you, as a new manager, are hardly the first person to be in this position. Learn about the mistakes …

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