What Would You Like To See At The Simple Dollar?

Now I turn to you, the reader of The Simple Dollar, and ask, “What would you like to see posted about at The Simple Dollar?” I’d love to hear some of your ideas; please, leave a comment on this post or send me an email or an IM with your ideas for posts or post series.

I’ve never had much of a problem with coming up with ideas for the site, but sometimes I have a “drinking from the firehose” effect, where I have so many ideas that I am unable to determine what the “good” ones are and just write whatever interests me most at the moment. To a degree, this triggered my Building a Better Blog for 2007 series.

One series I am considering is a ten part series outlining the books that have truly affected my life and have molded me into the penny pinching person you see today. Most of them do have a pretty direct connection to my personal finance philosophy (though not all), and they all provide some insight into the mindset that makes successful personal finance management work for me. Only one of them, alas, is a “typical” personal finance book; if more of theme were so, I probably would have already started the series. Is this series of interest to you? Or does it seem like a bad idea?

Any thoughts, comments, or ideas you have on articles or other features or aspects of The Simple Dollar are welcome in this thread. Thanks for reading!

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  1. Ellen says:


    I have to say that I really enjoy the posts where you talk about everyday saving solutions–for example, the one where you talk about how to make fast food at home (I’ve been making the breakfast burritos since then–brilliant!) and things like that. But then, I’m a big fan of the domestic.

    I’d also be interested in hearing about the books that influenced you–even if they’re not PF books.


  2. Jim Kane says:

    I enjoy reading about specific, focused money-saving strategies you have tried (whether or not they were successful). Like Ellen, hearing that I’m not the only one who brown-bags it regularly is quite refreshing!

  3. Daniel says:

    I think including reviews and recommendations of books that are not exactly “finance” books would be wonderful. It shows that our ideas and values of personal finance shouldn’t exist in a vacuum apart from our regular lives, but rather we should see the interconnectedness of the way we live our daily lives and how we treat the future.

  4. Patrick says:

    I would love to hear if you have any tips for us newly-minted professionals who are just starting to pay back mounds of student loan debt. What are some strategies to lower or manage this huge cost when it is the only debt one carries, for instance? And if the amount can’t be lowered, how does one plan ahead with a debt that won’t be paid off for over ten years? Thanks!

  5. kyle says:

    I’ll go against the grain and say NOT to do a top 10 books thing unless it REALLY ties in with finance. I love books, and I love blogs that talk about books – but that’s not why I read the Simple Dollar. I think you’d be better off focusing on financial matters. That being said, if you had a more personal/open blog, I’d certainly read it – and the top 10 books idea would probably fit in pretty well there.

    Some financial stuff I’d like to know more about is stock trading. How can I go about buying $500 worth of shares of Google’s stock or whathaveyou online? E-trade? What sort of charges are incurred? If it was information that pertained to Canada too, that’d be extra good, but I can’t imagine you’d know too much about that.

    All in all, great blog. I look forward to reading it every day.

  6. Erica says:

    I’m 24 and purchased my first house this past year. I am looking for ideas and tips on how being a homeowner can help out (interest paid being tax deductible). We’ve got our mortgage set as a fixed-rate for 30 years and we plan to make extra principle payments, but how much will that really help. Any other tips on how to improve the value of our house or how to save money as a home owner.

  7. John says:

    I would also love to see more on how to get that first home purchase made and afford it. Having moved from the Midwest to Boston to take a job I can’t see how I will ever afford to make that first home purchase when the condos start at 350 and go straight up from there.

    The other thing I was hoping you could touch on is the benefit and negative of employee stock purchase plans. I would be happy to email details of what my company offers to use as an example but right now I am contributing the max (15%) of my salary to it in order to achieve the 15% return after 6 months but I am concerned about the tax issues if I sell it right away etc.

    I love this blog and have shared it with many many people.

  8. Canadian says:

    Like Kyle said above, I’d prefer you to focus on personal finance. This is why I visit your site. That being said, go ahead and write what you want — I can just scroll past the other posts (like I do for your posts on blogging).

  9. Gamer says:

    I’ve been reading this blog religiously for the past couple of months. While I enjoy the personal finance aspect with the stress on saving (for the future) I would like to see more on the subject of investing (for the present), including different strategies and risks.

  10. Michelle says:

    Do the books series. I read this blog because it’s a lot more intellectual than the others, which (extreme overgeneralization–but it’s hard to find blogs I’ll bother to follow–I also like English Major and queercents) either focus on manipulating investments all the time or cheap ways to entertain the kids. I am trying to find balance, efficiency, and simplicity in my household life and some of your interests overlap with mine (e.g. bibliophilia).

  11. Dan says:

    I would also really like to see investment strategies along with information on how to go about doing them- both longterm and shortterm.
    For example, most places say things like “get a Roth IRA and put as much money into it as you can!” That’s all well and good, but how do I go about getting a Roth IRA (or whatever other suggestions you have)? When looking at sites that claim to offer them, everything looks very confusing to a person who has never done investing and who has no one around that has done more than just putting money in the bank to offer advice. Currently I only use a high-yield savings account, which has increased about 160% in 7 months, but I won’t always be able to keep adding as much as I am, and want more options.
    Thanks for the great blog!

  12. Alan says:

    The topics are all good, but I’d love to see some relevant or interesting pictures to go with your posts, just to make them a little more fun to read.

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