Ever since I was young, I have had a number of daily goals for myself. Most of them seem rather mundane: commit a random act of kindness, read for at least half an hour, brush my teeth and use Listerine twice, and so on. Most of them have a clear metric for success. However, since I’ve begun to turn my finances around, I’ve added several daily goals to my plate that directly relate to finance. Here are these goals, along …

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While I was reading a thread at The Consumerist on ways to get started with credit, I found myself repeatedly shaking my head at the number of extremely questionable ideas that people were coming up with.  Buying CDs and using them as loan collateral simply to improve your credit seems like financial suicide to me. Then I came across this comment from “Eyebrows McGee”: Incidentally, if you are going to college, you can get your first credit card and buy …

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The general premise of The Millionaire Next Door is that the pop culture concept of a millionaire is quite false and that most actual millionaires live a very simple lifestyle. The authors, Stanley and Danko, did extensive profiling of people whose net worth defined them as millionaires along with those whose salaries and age defined them as likely millionaires and, using this data, created a detailed profile of who exactly a typical millionaire is. From there, extensive interviews with these …

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As a young man still more than a year away from the big 3-0, I have most of my adult productive years ahead of me. What are my goals during these years? Here, I intend to break them down by age. For the record, I will turn 30 in one year and eight months. At age 30… I want to have a net worth of $50,000. My current net worth is approximately $16,000, after being negative less than six months …

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The peak-end rule is a psychological phenomenon that indicates which parts of a past experience we recall and use to define that experience. From Wikipedia: According to the peak-end rule, we judge our past experiences almost entirely on how they were at their peak (pleasant or unpleasant) and how they ended. Virtually all other information appears to be discarded, including net pleasantness or unpleasantness and how long the experience lasted … One everyday example of the peak-end rule is how …

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Although I (really) like to bloviate about all sorts of personal finance topics, I keep many more thoughts on my own finances to myself. I’ve found that keeping a handwritten diary of my non-numerical financial thoughts has been invaluable (for the numbers, I use a computerized ledger). I personally use a Moleskine daily planner for my diary-keeping needs. Each page is quite large and lined just about perfectly for my writing style, meaning I have plenty of room on a …

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Yesterday, I indicated some of the specific mechanics that I adopted to turn my financial situation around, and I’m happy to say that my finances have never been better. The solution to the problem, though, is much greater than mere financial tools. Even though I was able to discover and apply tools to solve my specific financial problems, the real solutions came from within, the lessons I truly learned from a lifetime on the road to financial armageddon. The most …

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This week, The Simple Dollar is conducting a detailed review of the often-lauded personal finance book The Millionaire Next Door. First published in 1996, the book has held a consistently high level of popularity for more than a decade. What valuable insights does this book contain? Let’s find out. Yesterday, we learned that the typical millionaire approaches life decisions with a steady hand and a plan, thus concluding the book. The next question to address is whether or not the …

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Saving Money on Road Trips

November 10 2006

My wife and I live more than four hours away from our hometowns, so when we visit our parents and extended family, we spend a lot of time in the car. Over the years, we have developed several techniques for optimizing the cost of the trip. Here’s what we do: Perform some basic car maintenance before you leave. Before we leave, I check the tire pressure on the car tires and take a peek at the air filter and oil …

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When I was young, my best friend’s family used to give him and his siblings an allowance based on their age (I didn’t have an allowance, mostly because there simply wasn’t the money for it). When you were ten, for example, you would multiply your age by a certain factor (in their case, $1) and that was your weekly allowance, $10. You would continue to receive an allowance until your sixteenth birthday, at which point you were considered able to …

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