The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Christmas Week Edition

Over the next seven days, I am celebrating Christmas with four different families: my wife’s grandfather, my wife’s parents, my parents, and my own family. It’s going to be a week filled with traveling, meeting people, exchanging hugs, exchanging gifts, and eating great food. I can’t wait. (And neither can my two year old, who wants to open the presents under the tree every evening.)

Susie Bright on Suze Orman: The Lesbian Approach to Getting Rich This is a really interesting re-reading of Suze Orman’s personal finance writings that casts her advice in an unexpected light. I actually went back and read through some older Orman stuff because of this article. (@ queercents)

Manage Your Finances Together This is a great post on the reasons for and the art of managing personal finance together as a couple. (@ gather little by little)

The Simple Dollar Retro: Six Habits I’ve Given Up In Order To Save Money – And How Much It’s Saved Me This Year The best part is I haven’t regressed on any of these. It’s amazing how much money I used to waste.

When Beating the Stock Market is Really an Illusion This is an interesting way of looking at investments, considering that in fact most people do have the vast majority of their wealth in cash or other low-appreciating assets. (@ the digerati life)

Bodega: Cheap Eats and Social Commentary for 25 Cents This article asks an astute question: if your income is limited, why would you not buy the cheapest calories you can? (@ my money blog)

Overspending for the Kids Thankfully, my children are young and this isn’t a concern, but I wonder what will happen as they grow older. (@ consumerism commentary)

The Simple Dollar Retro: How to Balance Your Checkbook in the Era of the Debit Card Given that so many of us rely on plastic for our day-in day-out expenses, it’s often a trick to maintain good accounting of our actual personal finance standing at any given time. Here are some tips to make it easier.

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  1. paidtwice says:

    I really enjoyed that article on gather little by little as well.

  2. We stopped using our Debit Card and wen to Cash envelopes for most everyday purchases. Contrary to popular belief (or at least the stupid Visa commercial) this takes less time than swiping the card because we don’t have to wait for the register to process the transaction.

  3. glblguy says:

    Thanks for the link Trent. Hope you and your family have a very Merry Christmas!

  4. fn says:

    Article headlines that reinforce beating the market is an illusion frustrate me. I’d rather encourage those who prudently start out picking stocks with a small percentage of their overall portfolio, to slowly up that percentage as they get better at managing how they deal with their own greed/fear issues.

    The linked article indicates that the individuals did well, only that their gains were so small relative to their whole money pie.

    Without individual stocks, my net worth would not be what it is.

  5. CL Talbert says:

    I enjoyed reading the information on your blog. Thank you for sharing!

    CL Talbert
    Healthy Moms

  6. turbogeek says:

    The Saving Freak and I apparently have some things in common. (Freaks and Geeks — birds of a feather.)

    We also went to cash, and in our case it is for all daily purchases (except gas for my wife, so she can pay-at-the-pump). It’s faster, and we know precisely where all the money goes. Cash comes out of an envelope and a receipt goes in. At the end of each month I take the 1 to 2 hours to tally my receipts, balance my checkbook, and then my wife and I set out our budget for the next 30 days.

    We plan discretionary spending 30 days at a time, semi-flexible spending (utilities, cable TV, etc…) on a 12-month plan, and everything else using a 5-year model (investing, new car, pay down house, etc…). Works like a champ.

  7. Anna says:

    I can’t wait a whole month to do the receipt work. My receipts are processed every day (well, sometimes every other day if I am frantically busy). ATM receipts are entered immediately in the checkbook and tucked in behind the checks to await the bank statement and account balancing.

    I also keep a log of cash expenses for the month, broken down by categories (food, household, personal, car, cat, gifts) and maintain that daily (or every other day if I’m too busy). All this is done by hand, not on a computer spreadsheet, and it takes very little time and effort. The reason and the payoff? I always know exactly where I stand financially. I can’t afford not to know.

  8. Flexo says:

    Thanks for the link, Trent. Good reads, all around.

  9. Debbie says:

    I do a different type of envelope system with When a deposit comes I divvy out the money into different electronic envelopes. My checking account updates each day and when my bills, debits, etc come through I just move that transaction to my electronic envelope and it does all the math. I love knowing exactly how much I have for each bill, groceries, eating out, savings for vacation, etc. This system really has made me save money since I am paying attention to my budget, money is not slipping through my fingers.

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