The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Spurring Discussion Edition

Lately, I’ve been choosing to write posts that don’t always have a clear-cut answer, or have another perspective or two that aren’t in the post. Why? They spur discussion, and frankly, the comments on many posts are at least as interesting (if not more so) than anything I write. That’s because of the passion and interest of you readers. Along those lines, I am thinking of starting a Simple Dollar forum to channel some of this discussion… is this of interest to anyone?

15 Tips On How To Deal With Car Dealers And Salesmen This is the fourth part in a fantastic series on buying used cars (the first three parts: Classic Confusions, Understanding Vehicle History, and How to Inspect a Used Car). I’m a big fan of buying late model used automobiles (cars fresh off of a lease) and this is a wonderfully in-depth guide to the buying process, well worth reading for anyone who might also be interested in such purchases. (@ money, matter, and more musings)

Getting The Guts To Relocate To A Cheaper City There are a lot of interesting cities in the Midwest with a low cost of living. Seriously, check out Madison, Wisconsin or Minneapolis, Minnesota, just for starters. They both have wonderful cultural sensibilities, lots of interesting stuff going on, and are rather inexpensive, too. (@ get rich slowly)

The Simple Dollar Retro: An Average Day: Ten Tweaks I Made To My Daily Routine To Start Saving Money These little changes in my routine – none of which bothered me much at all once I got out of the rut – made a huge difference in my financial state.

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  1. Jeremy says:

    Hey Trent,

    Discussion boards are not as up to date – often – as a lively blog / site like this one. They also tend to attract more spam like comments.

    My advice, stick to what you’re doing – some people will clamor for a discussion board, but it won’t add too much to your site – at least that’s what I think.

  2. Seth Miller says:

    My wife and I were just talking about checking out Madison a little more closely as we are looking for a completely different place to try for grad school. I’m glad to hear it has your support as well.

  3. Dave M says:

    I agree wholeheartedly with Jeremy – keep the post-and-comments format!

  4. Tim says:

    Yeah, don’t bother with the forum, IMO.

  5. Lauren says:

    This is the first site My husband and I have really stuck with and we agree we think its wonderful the way it is!

  6. christiana says:

    Um. Unless I’ve been taking crazy pills, Minneapolis is definitely NOT cheap. Sure, it’s a little less expensive than Chicago, but not by much.

    (I defintely don’t think a median home price of $298k is ‘cheap’.)

  7. I’m going against the grain on this one apparently, and strongly recommend you create a board/forum. Leo at ZenHabits did this recently and it’s been a positive success so far. I feel you’ll be limiting discussion here by not opening a board.

  8. Tyler says:

    Copying JD? Don’t! You are doing fine as it is. All a forum is going to do is lead others away from your main posts. Keep everything the way it is – if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it!

  9. Trent says:

    That’s why I mentioned the thought here rather than just going ahead and doing it, to see what the readers think – you guys are at least as important as I am to the success of TSD, so your input is valued.

  10. TylerK says:

    I think a forum would be a good idea. Your posts tend to spark related but separate ideas, and a forum would be a good place to discuss them with like-minded people.

  11. guinness416 says:

    I would probably read and post on a forum, but agree with the person above who suggests your time might be better spent here. I’m not tremendously impressed with the getrichslowly forum, which often seems to me to be the same 10 people posting in every topic, and the Iwillteachyoutoberich forum is dead.

  12. Matt says:

    In the last Money Magazine, Middleton was named the best small town to live in. That’s sort of funny because Middleton is effectively just part of Madison. You can drive from one block to the next and cross from Madison to Middleton without realizing it. Madison is actually made up of several smaller towns like Middleton, although the population for Madison itself is a little over 200,000.

    I would keep the current format which makes it easy to read and view the comments.

  13. Louise says:

    Median price of a home under $300,000? Yeah, I’d consider that cheap.

  14. Sabrina's Money Matters says:

    With home prices like that elsewhere it really lights a fire in me to get after real estate investing here in Texas, I just bought new construction for $134,000, Boy do I feel lucky!

  15. Sabrina's Money Matters says:

    Speaking of real estate investment, would you invest if you were in debt?

  16. Farley says:

    Personally I like the idea of forums. I use them a lot for other subjects and while it is often the same group of people posting in most topics it is still a more diverse pool of opinions.

    I would now want you to stop doing your posts though. One of the nicest things about TSD is that there are frequent updates which makes it more fun to check a few times a day.

    Thanks for all the hard work.

  17. Marta says:

    I vote not to have forums – they tend to be overrun by the same people.
    As a Minneapolis resident, I’d say you can find a pretty nice house for $300,000+ in the city in a decent neighborhood (probably South Mpls or Longfellow area). In the outer suburbs you could easily get a good-size home for $200,000-$225,000. And I agree, compared to major metropolitan areas, Minneapolis is cheap.

  18. MVP says:

    Nah to forums. I don’t have time to check out all the various possible forum topics and posts. I do however have time to look in on PF blog posts day to day. I’d much rather comment on YOUR posts and read other commenters, er, comments. Hope that makes sense…

  19. Anna says:

    Agree with MVP. My time is limited (that’s why this post is short). It’s much more efficient to look in on recent posts and comments. You can get lost wandering in forums.

  20. m360 says:

    I wouldn’t mind seeing forums on this site. Trent has a lot of great ideas/info to share and we can still post to the daily blogs, I hope, but it might be fun and informative as well. I have found that sharing opinions, hints, etc. with each other can help build an individuals knolege and get people thinking. A colaborative approach could benefit readers and Trent too. Although posting comments to the articles is good, it’s one sided. If I wanted advice feedback, etc about a topic, I could post it and get a variety of responses and Trent could look at all the forums and get ideas about topics and give his feedback as well. It’s worth a try at least.

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