Many of the most entertaining emails I receive from readers will never pop up in the reader mailbag. Lengthy personal attacks (including threatening statements about my children and my wife). Offers for intimate “meetups.” Long descriptions of horribly dysfunctional marriages. People begging me to hire them (The Simple Dollar is a one-man shop for now, and if I do hire someone, it won’t be someone flinging a resume at me out of the blue). Dozens of bloggers asking me to link to them – and some enraged emails when I don’t. Countless corporate folks asking me to shill to you on behalf of their product. Conspiracy theorists writing long diatribes about their pet ideas about global hegemony and demanding that I inform my readers of the great danger. My favorite recent one was a person who kept saying I was clearly Aryan and out to oppress her and other people, including a defacement of my picture that she found somewhere online to include anti-Semitic tattoos (I’m tattoo-free, but I admire well-done body art). I’m not exactly sure how The Simple Dollar is an “engine of oppression,” but I’ll take her word for it.
That’s just a sampling of the joys that come from reading my email every day. (Trust me, most of them aren’t this weird and negative, but there’s more than enough to spice up the mix.)
Reader uncluttering strategy: Buy back your stuff I really like this strategy because it can reveal some deep connections between whether we’re just attached to something out of routine or whether we actually value it to any significant degree. (@ unclutterer)
Why Focus on the Numbers? I really like using numbers to express the specifics of a goal. It gives me a metric for success. Of course, it doesn’t mean much if the number itself doesn’t represent something worthwhile. An example: setting a goal of a number of hours of piano practice provides the real accomplishment of becoming a better piano player. Setting a goal of a number of hours of exercise provides the real accomplishment of being in better shape. (@ the art of nonconformity)
Bigger Isn’t Always Better: Remembering to Appreciate What I Already Have I don’t want a house any larger than the one we’ve currently got. The only thing I wish were different about it is location – I would love to have this house in the country somewhere. (@ get rich slowly)
Do Women Still Want to Marry for Money? Some do. Some men want to marry for money, too. I think that financial success is often a sign of a mate that has their act together, at least to an extent. (@ one frugal girl)
With Rates This Low, Should You be Borrowing to Invest? I agree with his answer. I’d add that it’s all about the risk, and when you take on debt to invest in the stock market, you take on multiple layers of risk. I don’t think that’s a healthy situation for Joe Average who dreams of being an investor. (@ darwin’s finance)
The Things Money Can’t Buy, and a Few Things It Can Money cannot buy happiness. If you’re unhappy and are telling yourself that happiness would come if you had a little more money, that’s a false promise. Money can only buy you more options. (@ frugal dad)