The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Controlling Creative Writing Tendencies Edition

Sometimes, I get the urge to write articles on here that are so far removed from personal finance that it would likely drive away a big chunk of the people that come here for personal finance stuff. For example, I was strongly tempted yesterday to write a lengthy diatribe about the season finale of Lost, but I resisted the temptation and instead wrote about gardening tools. About a week ago, I thought about hammering out a lengthy paean to my favorite musical group of all time, but then I wrote about goals instead.

How To Calculate Your Net Worth I wrote about this a while back, but Flexo writes a great summary for those who want a different perspective. (@ consumerism commentary)

Almost Debt Free: Organize Finances With Goals and Simple Repeatable Systems This is a very smooth way to organize one’s finances. (@ queercents)

Will Future Stock Returns Be Less Than 8%? I don’t think they’ll be as strong as they have been the last decade or two as a whole, but I think 8% is a bit low, too. (@ my money blog)

The Simple Dollar Retro: Calculating Phil Town’s “Sticker Price” This is a real-world example, explained in detail, of how to analyze an individual stock and determine whether or not it’s a good buy.

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  1. Joy says:

    I want to hear your Lost diatribe! :)

  2. beloml says:

    It’s simple–add a separate section for non-financial writing. Also, where’s your PayPal button so we can help you buy all those tools? Keep up the great work!

  3. Tyler K says:

    Why don’t you start another off-topic blog? Then you can just link from here to the articles there, and people who are interested can go read it if they want to, but won’t have their feeds cluttered up if they don’t.

  4. guinness416 says:

    Can’t guarantee I’d like them – no interest in Lost for example – but I would certainly read your other pieces. From my POV this is your space, so write what you feel like. Your readers aren’t all about their finances (as the comments show clearly) any more than you are. You could always create a “Simple Dollar Annex” at a separate page or something. Or just hide all the text behind a “more inside” so any money-obsessives subscribing can ignore it and the rest can read.

  5. Madame X says:

    I know what you mean… but you could probably find some info to slip in about how much money your favorite band makes, or how to get cheap tickets to a concert, or the ad revenue for the finale of Lost. Dare to be off-topic, I’m sure we’d all enjoy it!

  6. Ryan says:

    “Diatribe” about Lost? I loved the episode. When I heard they were going to be on for another 3 years I was actually bummed because I felt things had been dragging – I wanted them to wrap it up already and reveal some answers. The new questions that arose in the finale should keep me guessing for the next few seasons. AND the action scenes were intense. You could always post your review in here!

  7. Brett McKay says:

    What is your favorite musical group of all time?

  8. Tyler says:

    Thanks for holding off. The Simple Dollar is now known to be about money and productivity and other things. Entertainment doesn’t jive with this theme. Thanks for keeping the quality articles!

  9. Canadian says:

    I agree with Tyler. Thank you for keeping yourself in check! As others have said, start another blog if you need to get these things off your chest. I go to specific blogs for specific purposes.

    P.S. I do happen to watch Lost but only on DVD so I am a season behind… so I don’t go to blogs which might spoil things for me!

  10. Ted Valentine says:

    No need to start another blog. Why not just contribute your off topic thoughts on your interests to another fan’s blog or message board?

  11. Erin says:

    I’m feeling your Lost pain, but I also held off and stuck to a post on my debt plan instead. I suggest you join the Lost Bitterness Fiesta at (it’s in the Lost forum). I don’t participate, but just reading along and nodding makes me feel better.

  12. Leslie M-B says:

    I would love to see your Lost diatribe, but it probably does belong on another blog. . .

  13. chris says:

    Just use the magic of web 2.0 create entries tagged something like “A simple diversion” and allow them to be easily filtered out of appearing on your site at the press of a button. I for one enjoy your style of writing and would not mind at all to see how your style translates to other topics.

    I don’t think you’d really cheese off too many people, there are the odd few who would stop reading you entirely if they disagreed with your opinions, and the other odd few who would stop reading the articles they liked if they had to skip past the articles they weren;t interested in.

    Most people however are capable of simply ignoring posts they don’t want to read. I’m not interested in the book reviews on the site, mostly because I have too big a backlog of books to read myself, I don’t want to get inspired to put even more on it. so I skim past them very quickly.

    I also have a feeling you’d pick up as many new viewers as you’d lose by adding in random subjects. I Found you through lifehacker while I was looking for cool new software to download and happened to find a new subject (personal finance) to get into. Just imagine getting a new reader from a random link from a lost blog or whatever.

  14. clkl says:

    There must be a way to work at least *some* of those posts into goals and gardening…

    Congratulations on the accepted offer!

  15. Jason Seifer says:

    I agree with some of the other comments here — write about what you would like. I personally would have welcomed any of those topics, but it is your blog so make what you like of it. Diverse topics can only increase your readership and current readers can always choose to ignore articles whose categories they don’t care for.

  16. Dean says:

    If you start writing non-pf stuff on this blog, could you create a separate tag + RSS feed that encapsulates all of the current themes/topics of the site?

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