The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Early Cold Edition

I seem to be getting a bit of a cold. My throat is quite sore and my nose is running. It’s the same thing both my son and my wife have right now, too. Guess I’ll be hitting the ol’ Nyquil soon!

Simple Finances: How and Why To Build Up A Cushion In The Bank This is a very gentle way of making the case for an emergency fund. (@ zen habits)

The Hard Facts of Long Term Care Insurance I think long term care insurance is something everyone should know about. That being said, I feel that the laws in the United States regarding terminally ill patients or patients with conditions that will never improve are deplorable. You can take that for what you will. (@ queercents)

Are You Ready To Be A Parent? Know The Cost Of Having Kids The cost of kids in reality is different than most people think. I found myself naturally cutting down on other things when my child was born, so the impact wasn’t the huge bomb that I was expecting it to be (though other issues caused a meltdown shortly thereafter). (@ the digerati life)

The Simple Dollar Retro: What The 1960s Taught Our Parents About Money – And Why We Should Filter Their Financial Advice This is an exercise in thinking about assumptions – and well worth reading if your parents offer you financial advice that doesn’t match your life.

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  1. Lauren says:

    TAKE COLD_EEZE or any other zinc lozenge. Take it early and for a few days. It ALWAYS works for in decreasing the severtiy and duration of my cold!

  2. viola says:

    Trent, for the cold I recommend Thera-flu. Not the syrup in the bottle either…you have to take the one in the packet & in hot water. Tastes kinda nasty but it works! A spoonfull (or 3) of sugar will help the medicine go down.

  3. imelda says:

    Trent, can I ask you a possibly stupid retirement question?

    I just graduated from college and have always read lots of PF books and blogs. Based on advice from you, Ramit Sethi, Suze Orman, and others, I opened a Roth IRA account and planned to buy into an index fund. I chose Schwab because they allow you to fund the account with $100 per month deposits.

    Then I found out that for an index fund, you have to have a minimum balance of $3K. So after much bitterness, I decided to go for a mutual fund, though it had been drilled into me that they’re a waste of money.

    Then I learned that you need a minimum balance of $1K for a mutual fund.

    I don’t have that kind of money. I could save up for 10 months, but I know that the sooner you begin investing, the better. If index funds are not an option for retirement savings, how do I begin? What do I invest in? I assume stocks, but could you advise on how to begin researching and choosing them, if that’s the case?

    Conventional PF advice these days is to stick with index funds and forget about it. I haven’t found any advice that suits me in any of the books I’ve read. Please help!

    (PS: I’ll also send this question to Ramit and the Suze Orman message boards, but since I do value your opinion so much, I was hoping you could weigh in, too!)

  4. Ugh, I’m coming off the summer cold from hades as well. If you’ve not tried it yet I highly recommend Airborne. The generic store brands do work just as well The ONLY real difference with the store brands is that they do not taste quite as good as the name brand but they do not taste “bad” either.
    Lots of rest!

  5. James says:


    T Rowe Price will allow you to open a Roth IRA and buy into a mutual find with an initial depot of $100 and minimum monthly contributions of $50. Do that until you have $3000 and then buy into the index fund of your choice. When you are just getting started it is most important to save, maximize returns after you have built up some funds.

  6. Erin says:


    An index fund is a type of mutual fund.

  7. Jeff says:

    I just read your interview. You only get 4-6 hours of sleep a night? And that’s divided into two chunks? How do you manage that?

  8. Trent says:

    It kind of seems natural. I also meditate and take occasional power naps.

  9. Imelda says:

    Erin- Whoops. By mutual fund, I guess I meant an actively-managed mutual fund.

    Either way, I can’t seem to afford them.

    I’ve been looking at T Rowe Price; from the website it doesn’t seem clear that I can buy into a fund with only $100. I still see “To Open an IRA Account: $1,000.” But I guess I can call them up and ask.

  10. bilos says:


    It boggles my mind that you’ve fallen for Nyquil’s marketing. Check out the ingredients:

    You’re paying a fortune for basically tylenol and cough drops dissolved in alcohol and corn syrup.

    Instead, save some money by doing it yourself: dissolve a cough drop in some vodka (with a chaser if you like), and then use it to wash down a couple tylenol. Stick the savings in your 529.



  11. Trent says:

    Bilos: I’m a pretty serious bargain hunter and I got the Nyquil for less than a dollar. The cost of the vodka and cough drops and Tylenol would be more than that.

  12. Steven says:


    I have been doing business with T. Rowe Price for many years. I have my roth and my traditional IRAs with them. I recommend their Index 500 fund and their Capital Appreciation Fund. The Capital fund is a balance fund with 60 per cent stocks and 40 per cent bonds.

    And yes, if you sign up to have a minimum of $50.00 per month per fund deducted from your checking account, you’ll be on your way. And no 1,000 dollar openers.

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