Updated on 04.03.09

I Need Your Help!

Trent Hamm

As The Simple Dollar has grown in popularity over time, I’ve been able to slowly gain more and more control over the advertising that appears on The Simple Dollar. I’ve been able to avoid advertising that’s unscrupulous, while also keeping the amount of advertising to a minimum. Even better, I’ve been able to build enough traffic to get the attention of some large advertising firms who are interested in placing ads directly on The Simple Dollar. This gives me a great opportunity: I can be much more careful in terms of who I allow to advertise on the site, plus I can negotiate such agreements on my terms.

While there is a lot of good in that situation, I’ve found over the last several months that there’s a lot of bad in there as well. Over the last several months, I’ve spent far too much of my time dealing with ad contracts, talking with ad agencies, and so on.

This is frustrating for me for several reasons.

First of all, I don’t want to spend my working hours dealing with conference calls and detailed negotiations and the like, especially when many of these seemingly promising arrangements fall through. I want to spend my working hours researching, writing, and finding new ways to share my writing, and perhaps find a few more hours to spend with my family.

Second, I find such negotiations really, really boring. I’ll spend hours swapping emails with a representative from an advertising firm, only to find out that they’ve decided to do something else. I’ll spend an afternoon reading through the details of an ad placement contract. I wouldn’t mind investing the time if I found this work interesting at all – but, quite simply, it’s not.

Finally, I find that, time and time again, my location works against me. I live in rural Iowa. Advertising firms want to have a face to face meeting. They’re in New York or Los Angeles. It’s not worth it to me to fly there.

So what’s the solution? After much thought, I’ve hired Federated Media to represent The Simple Dollar for negotiating direct deals with advertisers. Federated Media basically does these things that I don’t want to do – they seek out advertisers, do the face-to-face meetings on my behalf, work out the details of the contract, and put things right at my doorstep for final approval. In exchange, they get a slice of the contract – much like any agent would. This leaves me to what I enjoy the most – writing and researching.

I Need Your Help
In order to get the ball rolling, though, I need to get a strong picture of you. Federated Media and I have developed a survey to get a clear picture of who exactly reads The Simple Dollar. Please, take a moment of your time to fill it out at the URL below. It will help me immensely.

The survey is now closed. Thank you for all your help!

The survey is completely confidential – it asks for no personal information about you. We’re just attempting to get a demographic picture of The Simple Dollar’s readership. Still, there may be questions you are uncomfortable answering – and if that’s the case, don’t fill out the survey.

I truly hope you’ll take a few moments to complete the survey. I’d really appreciate it. Thank you!

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  1. Ryan says:

    It’s interesting that reddit is one of the links at the top of this post, but wasn’t in the choices for “social networking” sites.

    Anyhow, I appreciate the content on your site and filled out the survey. Good luck with the new advertising deals.

  2. Michael says:

    Kind of a weird survey — several instances where none of the choices represented me.

  3. Valerie says:

    I filled it out – was amused that the lowest choices for time spent with TV or radio was “hardly at all”. I guess advertisers don’t want to think of us “never” folks!

    Good luck, hope it works out well for you.

  4. MN Scout says:

    The survey went quick.

  5. Congrats on having a large media company representing you. Hopefully it pays off for you. In terms of survey, its really quick!

  6. Alison says:

    When will we get our grades for the survey? I hope I got an A.

    Good Luck Trent!

  7. Jason G says:

    Wow, I didn’t realize once a day made me a TSD “addict”. Is there a twelve-step program for us?

    Keep up the good work, Trent.

  8. Debbie M says:

    Excellent plan, Trent!

    The survey is somewhat interesting/amusing. I did enter a few clarifications in the comments section at the end.

  9. Amanda says:

    I tried to take your survey, but even though I checked homemaker as my occupation, it wouldn’t let me skip the following questions that were specifically geared to the employed.

  10. Tom says:

    I agree with some of the other commenters, this was not a very good survey. I hope the company you hired gets some decent information from it.

  11. Roscoe Casita says:

    You need a Pay-Pal Donation Button!

  12. IRG says:

    Hey, Trent
    Good luck on your ad deals.

    I reviewed the survey and I won’t fill it out. I never fill anything out online, for example, that requests say my actual birth date, rather than my age. (You don’t need my birth date Trent. You do need my age. I didn’t get past the first page of your survey since I won’t fill it out, but I question how relevant your other questions were. FYI: I worked on survey development for clients for years.)

    I don’t care what any company tells you about what they do/don’t do with information, it’s too easy for online data to be captured and misused. (The minute I answer a survey online, for example, they already know plenty about me and how I accessed the net, and other information I don’t want them to have.)

    Have to say, I want you to make money on your work, but I’d rather pay a subscription fee directly to you, than have ads on your site. (hmm. Let’s see 5,000 subscribers at $50 a year ($1 a week) would be $250,000. Bet that’s more than you’ll make with ads.)

    Especially when advertisers re asking questions to pinpoint us all. (And they will ask more and more and more. It won’t stop.)

    And what’s going to happen, Trent, if the survey shows you don’t have the “type” of potential customers they want?

    Again, people lie on surveys so these people who compile them, it’s all academic.

    How many people really tell the truth about income and spending, for example, on any survey? If you check with companies who do it, you’ll see they factor out X% of responses to see what is more likely to be the case.

    I would have been very interested to see you try for a paid subscription base more than advertisers or have asked us if we would have paid.

  13. jdp says:

    Done :) Lots of luck with this.

  14. Ryan says:

    I think the problem with even $1/month is that it’ll keep any random hits away. I’m sure non-regulars make up a decent amount of traffic as well as those of us who check daily/weekly.

  15. Torrilin says:

    I can’t fill it out. It asks repeatedly what my job is (homemaker), and then has a required field of “what size company do you work for?”. I don’t work for a company… because I’m a homemaker.

    If this survey was designed by the agency you hired, it speaks very poorly of their qualifications.

  16. LindaB says:

    Had the same homemaker problems. Decided to call myself a small business owner since I own rental properties.

    Hope the surveys are helpful, I share some of IRG’s feelings, but for you, Trent, I did the survey anyway.

  17. Erick says:

    Wow, surveys really strike a cord with some people. Trent, I filled it out with pleasure after all the work you do for us at no cost. Thanks for everything and best of luck to you.

  18. paula d. says:

    I did fill out the survey but my job description didn’t match any of those offered. I guess fiber artist doesn’t fit into the demographic.

    I hope that you do well Trent, I enjoy your blog and according to them, I’m an addict.

    Oh, and one comment on ads, I don’t mind most of them, but I hate the flashing ones. I find it very distracting to reading.

  19. Adrienne says:

    Ditto with the homemaker problem. All they have to do is add a “not applicable” selection.

  20. ChrisD says:

    ‘I never fill anything out online, for example, that requests say my actual birth date, rather than my age.’

    True I balked at that, I put in the right year, and the right time of year, but not the actual date.

    What about it Trent? Two websites, one publicly accessible with ads, the other subscription only with no ads. You’d have to share the comments sections somehow.

  21. Jimbo says:

    IRG – paranoid much???

  22. kyle says:

    I must say that I’ve never seen an ad on you site thanks to my Adblocker add-on but I am a loyal reader and filled out your survey. The survey lacked a choice for “Manufacturing(non tech related)”

  23. Bob says:

    Done. Glad to help out.

  24. Kevin says:

    The survey certainly has some issues, but I completed it.

  25. Corey says:

    I enjoy reading your blog from time to time and filled out your survey.
    Good luck Trent, I work as a Programmer / Web Developer and I’m glad that we have a few people in marketing that deal with all of that ad junk and all I have to do is place the code for it. I can’t believe what a nightmare it would be to have to deal with it all myself.

    I used to use Adblocker Plus, but I disabled it about 6 months ago. It’s just unfair to the people running websites. Lots of your website revenue comes from ads being displayed. Trent doesn’t get paid if the ad doesn’t display.
    Plus I have actually found a number of them quite useful and followed them to their respective site.

  26. Joe says:

    You have given so many great ideas & posts and have never asked for anything. Of course I will do your survey. Thanks for asking. Thanks for writing.

  27. Kate says:

    The survey also did not consider those who, for example, work in the social services or for other nonprofits.

    As an AmeriCorps member? I felt like I was giving false data.

  28. Chrissy says:

    I did the survey but I feel that it was poorly written.

  29. hobscrk777 says:

    Just filled out the survery. I hope it helps; I’m looking forward to the coming changes.

  30. michael says:

    Make some money. I filled out the survey, didn’t really see any problem with it.

    I will say though, if pop-ups appear, or big giant blinking ads(no matter what they’re for), I will run faster than you can type the words ‘the simple dollar’.

    Also, a pay site & a free site are silly. pick one & go with it. I have spent maybe $15 in online services in the last 10 years. I love your writing, but there’s no way I’ll pay for this. Considering the online community available, I don’t think you’d even recommend spending money to read TSD. Harsh, maybe, but I’m pretty sure the readership would drop significantly.

  31. Jamie says:

    I have told you things via the Internet

  32. Lydia says:

    Trent, I’m the Ad Manager for my school’s paper and you were dead on with experience with ad agencies. It can be a pain having to deal with these people so I commend you for sticking it out and finding a good ad agency.

  33. Anne KD says:

    I decided while filling out the survey that since I’m a homemaker, I work in a business with two people, me and my husband. There’s a whole list of stuff that we homemakers do, and besides, another question that asked my role didn’t include ‘scientist’ which is what I used to do for a living. It takes work to keep a household running (smoothly or otherwise).

  34. Shakeahand says:


  35. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    Thank you all for filling it out.

    Some of the questions are rather … odd … I agree. The reason they’re being asked is it’s because the ad agencies like to see this kind of data.

    As for the privacy issue with the birthdate, I often use 1/1/1978 for my birthdate on surveys. That reflects my age appropriately, but doesn’t reveal my actual birthdate.

  36. John F says:

    Show us the results of the survey when you’re done!

  37. The survey was badly designed, but I decided to help. You share your wisdom freely. You offer it to me. I guess I can pay back with some information about myself. But I agree with other readers here: the survey doesn’t look like it was designed by a professional.

  38. Brent says:

    I filled it out pretty easy. I seem to be the type this was designed for, many check boxes were filled. I hope this makes it easier for you to keep the site going with more income and the same amount of effort.

  39. Suzie says:

    I have to admit I struggled with the ‘occupation’ questions as well. I work part-time, run a small business, and work as a freelancer – all in different fields. Interestingly, none of those fields turned up in the ‘what kind of work do you do’ question.

  40. Doug Dawson says:

    What, no option for “Non-Profit/Association”? And no option to add something that’s not on their list?

    Sorry, Federated, but your survey isn’t well-designed. That concerns me for what else you haven’t thought through on Trent’s behalf.

    I’ll still read you anyway Trent. The Simple Dollar rocks!

  41. Niall says:

    glad to help

  42. katy says:

    I do no social networking; I’m a FTF gal!

  43. Ashish says:

    I am reading this blog for like over an yr now. Great information and love the book reviews. I generally do not fill out any surveys but filled this one out as I really like TSD. Keep up the good work Trent just wished it was like 2 pg or even less. Nonetheless good luck with your ads and new collaboration. Hope things get even better for you from now on.

  44. todo es bien says:

    OK, filled it out, gave you rave reviews. However, as pointed out above survey structure is not very well designed. First, despite your suggestions to not fill out anything that you do not want to, if you get to the end and do not fill out questions with an asterisk it will not let you submit. Its all good though. Since IRG thinks a subscription model would do well, I think you should offer him to bankroll you 250,000 a year, and he can keep anything you rake in over that. PS- subscription model would probably bring you in around 8,500 a year, but I understand prices are lower in Iowa. :)

  45. BethBeth says:

    I am a bookkeeper at a large farm 200+ employees. I didn’t see farming as a choice but our end result is wholesale non tech, so that is what I choose. Hope I got it right. LOL

  46. Louise says:

    I agree with Torrilin #14, the survey is poorly designed. This reflects either an inability for the company to think logically through the questions, or that they hired someone incompetent to create it. Either way, this does not bode well for your business relationship with them.

    The logical inconsistencies forced me to abandon the survey or lie. I chose to abandon. (Specifically, I am retired, but was forced to answer how large a company I work for. Um, I don’t work.)

  47. Ser says:

    I would be very interested and curious to see the results of the survey.


  48. Lynn says:

    I filled it out and had some issue with homemaker as well. I just noted other and added ” I do it all, I’m a mom” lol. I refuse to give in to the paranoia that runs rampant.

    I would pay for a monthly/yearly subscription instead of dealing with ads however, its your call, its your site after all. I would disable AdBlockPlus for your site though as I have done with a couple of others.

    Side note: Hows the Podcast idea coming along?

  49. DB Cooper says:

    I believe you meant to say that the survey is “anonymous” – not “confidential.” There is a significant difference.

  50. Jason says:

    I appreciate all the free information you’ve given on this site. The least I could do is complete a survey for you. Done. Take care.

  51. Dan says:

    Question 34: Are you paranoid? No.

    Question 35: Did you answer to the best of your abilities given the restrictions in place because we didn’t think out some of the questions? Yes.

    Question 36: Did you worry too much about whether you got the questions exactly right, or are you just happy to help someone out by getting as close as you can? Umm, no and yes?

    Good luck with this Trent, and hope all the responses help!

  52. FrugalCubicle says:

    People, it is just a survey and it is designed perfectly for what that firm is looking for. Do you really think they have not used this survey before?

    FYI- Most people will not pay to view the website and you will lose your target audience, e.g. people who do not want to spend too much money.

  53. Robin says:

    Hi Trent!

    I answered your survey. Question 24 doesn’t really have an answer that pertains to me. I spend the majority of my time online gaming. Good luck.

  54. Mister E says:

    Sorry, I don’t like to be targeted.

    I don’t look at ads, I don’t block them I’ve just grown quite adept at mentally blocking them so that I dont’ even notice them. I would never intentionally use a product or service that I saw in an ad anyways.

  55. Cyllya says:

    Yeah, Question 24 is dumb. I told them so in the comments.

  56. LLnL says:

    This is my first time here and I really felt excited to know that you can make it big as a blogger. I’m a fulltime/novice blogger so I’m not sure what goals are realistic. I book marked this post to refer to it later when I become popular. I will fill out the survey sometime this week.

    Great post! I’m excited to read more.

  57. DC says:

    pleasure to help even a tiny bit toward your success!

  58. Happy to help in any way that will give you more time for posting!

  59. Sara says:

    i tried to do the survey but even after i checked “retired” itrefused to let me continue without saying how many people worked where i worked. how professional are the people creating this survey? maybe you need a different firm.

  60. Jim says:

    Good luck with the new ad agency. Sounds like it should be a good arrangement.

  61. Gail says:

    OK – I completed the survey – hope the new arrangement works well for you!

  62. imelda says:

    Well, although I hate giving information to marketers of any kind, I guess I’ll go ahead and do this for Trent.

    I just want to point out, folks, that Trent does NOT offer his information “freely.” He gets paid for his work. That’s the point of this survey in the first place. I’m not criticizing Trent in any way– being a writer is a wonderful way to make a living, one I aspire to. But let’s be real, here.

  63. Jonathan says:

    Hey Trent,

    I love your site and your work/family life philosophy.

    However, it only takes 3 pieces of information about a person to uniquely identify them: zip code, birthday, and gender. Strangely, that’s the first three questions on the survey.

    Source: http://privacy.cs.cmu.edu/dataprivacy/papers/LIDAP-WP4abstract.html

    Thanks for what you do.

  64. Sunshine says:

    Happily filled it out! I will say that I theoretically support the idea of a subscription service, but I likely wouldn’t pay for it and, therefore, wouldn’t practically support it.

    Good luck!

  65. Anna says:

    Glad to help because it’s you, Trent, even though I don’t much care for surveys.

    I registered to fill out surveys for pay (they don’t pay all that much, I find—yecch) and immediately began receiving a couple dozen more spams per day, none of which were related to the surveys, most of them wild and woolly. All this despite choosing only “highly recommended” and “personally recommended” surveys that sounded plausible. Just shows you what even a careful person can get into.

  66. Filled out. I lie on the DOB, of course. And many of the questions are not applicable and can’t be skipped, so I picked closet ones. I too enjoyed that “Hardly at all” was the lowest possible amount to watch tv :-D

  67. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    The Simple Dollar will NEVER go to a paid-only model. That defeats the entire purpose of why I write, which is to reach as many people as possible and get them thinking about their money and their life.

  68. Laura says:

    I also had to fudge some of the employment questions since I’m a homemaker, as well, but I did indicate that in the “comments” section, if that helps. Hope we don’t mess up your results too much!

  69. I gladly filled it out, but also had the same problem with being a homemaker. Oh well. Good luck with the advertising aspect. I was doing paid blogging, but I decided to quit recently. I wasn’t happy with some of the content I was being asked to blog about with one company. It just didn’t mesh with the blog content. I’m looking into doing some paid ads and I have gotten a couple of people that paid me for putting up a text link on my blog. I’m also going to be picky about what ads I put up but I’m not in it for the money so much. I would like to generate a small income for some mad money. I love the blog!

  70. Chris says:

    I agree.. Show us the results of the survey when it’s done. I’m curious what the demographics of your readers are myself.

    I was happy to take the survey. Quite painless. Way to do smart outsourcing! I hope you can tactfully make some good money of this endeavor.


  71. I’m surprised at the people who balk at ads on sites… when the sites offer RSS feeds. Get Google Reader and you can read the content from most of your favorite sites, and eliminate 95% of the ads.

  72. Kellye says:

    I filled it out. I’m with the others – please put up a summary of the results of the survey when it’s done; I am curious to see what kind of people frequent The Simple Dollar!

    Thanks for writing Trent!

  73. Marcia says:

    I have adblocker too (it just comes with the service at the office). But at home, I sometimes do follow them.

  74. Josh says:

    I filled out the survery. I hope this works out for you.

  75. Sheila says:

    As a retiree, I had the same problem with filling out the employment section because the required question asked for how many employees. I’d be slightly skeptical of a company that doesn’t design a simple survey accurately.

  76. daffodils says:

    Good luck with the ad agency – hope it works out!
    Always enjoy reading your blog.

  77. Carrie says:

    I started to fill it out but I am retired. Then it insisted on knowing how many employees are in the company at which I work, and there was no “none” answer. I bailed out at that point.

  78. t says:

    You should stick with doing your own negotiations with your own surveys and analysis of comments on your blog. :)

  79. Kathy says:

    The link isn’t working for me – “Internet Explorer Cannot Display Webpage”

    But I’m definitely connected… I got to the blog afterall. :)

  80. Mule Skinner says:

    I fouled up. I attempted to page backward in order to identify questions I thought were ill-constructed (for the comment box), and became locked out.

  81. Vince says:

    You should be like other sites where you can buy a subscription to get out of ads. That way you show the ads to the new folks and the subscribers can opt out with $$$.

  82. TheGunny says:

    If only I had the problem of dealing with too many people who wanted to give me their business!! Sorry Old Boy-no sympathy here. about boring, no fun etc-the Amish, I believe, say if you want milk, you gotta deal with the manure!

    the reason it’s called “work” is because all the other 4-letter words were taken!

    I recommend nailing down YOUR requirements etc-take the “negotiating” out of it.

  83. Cathy says:

    I think it’s great you’re outsourcing the marketing, Trent.

  84. Bridget says:

    I was disappointed to see a survey that, while not hostile to those in the food service industry, seemed to ignore it completely. There was no box to check for “Food Service” as an occupation, and I guess “Travel/Hospitality” as an industry encompasses what I do, although most job search sites separate food service from travel/hospitality. I’m not sure how many waitresses read your site, but I know it’s at least one (me!). Not everyone has a 9-5 job or a steady salary, and we need/want financial advice too. No complaints about the site–I love it!–just a minor issue with the survey, which doesn’t really seem inclusive of people from all walks of life.

  85. mare says:

    I completed the survey but don’t want my answer regarding online spending to prejudice anything – my purchase was replacing my PowerBook with a MacBook and not at all indicative of my spending.

  86. mare says:

    And I’ve never really noticed the ads in my RSS feed before, but now that I have…there’s no way you got $11,668 from the Cdn government- unless it was fraud: You are not a Canadian. You re right to be careful what ads are allowed on your site.

  87. Dena Bugel-Shunra says:

    Thanks for asking for the feedback – I love the fact that you listen to your readers this way, too!

    There was no entry for “no tv at all” :-)

  88. Jade says:

    Did the survey. Kinda tough because I’m a full time student and I work one part time job outside the home and another part time job for my dad. All three of these jobs have quite an impact on how I decide to spend my time and money, which I think an advertiser would like to know…

    Whatever, I like your ads the way they are now. They don’t detract from reading the blog, and some of them are actually worth clicking on from time to time. But at the same time I think it would be cool if you could make more money from them, as long as they don’t crash my computer.

    Also, how’s business going with your downloadables? Maybe worth considering offering more of them?

    Totally understand why you wouldn’t want to have this be a subscription only site, but maybe you could come up with some exclusive features that one could get a subscription to, or a nominal fee to see the site ad-free.

  89. Sam says:

    Filled in the survey, pleased to contribute something for your site.

    Agree with others, the structure/questions were bad… don’t know how it might help them. Speaks poorly of the company.

  90. Jacinta says:

    A bit disappointed with the survey. I realise that the ad company assumes that 99% of respondents will come from the USA, but when asking about income, surely it wouldn’t hurt too specify a currency and suggest to respondents that they convert their currency in order to answer the question.

    What should an Australian who earns almost the mean wage ( AUD$34,000 ) put down? 25K-49,999 or Below 25K? AUD$34,000 = USD$24,346.59 today. How about someone who earns 1,000,000 RUB? Which field should they have filled in? If it were my parent I think they’d fill in the 100K-149,999 option, and assume that because they’d picked Russia as their country the software would automatically understand that they made the equivalent of 30,000 USD each year.

    It’s not just the wealthy western world who has internet connections and reads blogs. Perhaps they wouldn’t be reading *this* blog, and certainly they’re not the target market for an American ad agent; but if you’re going to base questions on the latter; why not just say at the start that you only care about responses from USA inhabitants and go from there?

  91. Thunderhardt says:

    Seemed like the survey was for the rich people
    Not to many choices for the middle class
    I thought this site was for the middle clas ????

  92. IRG says:

    Not paranoid, but cautious about information given out online and elsewhere. And if YOU ARE NOT, then you’re being foolish, to say the least. (I have friends in IT. The stuff they tell me about how online stuff is tracked and captured? You’d be sickened. Lots of unscrupulous stuff on the Web and not just from hackers, etc.)

    Since I don’t lie, it never occurred to me to fake a date in one segment of the asked question about date of birth. (To me, if you can’t answer honestly and completely, you don’t answer at all. Goes back to my point about people NOT telling the truth on surveys (usually income and education), which defeats purpose of survey.)

    As for funding Trent, he doesn’t need MY funding to take his site to sub-only, if that’s the way he wants to go. You don’t need funding to do that. You just need to pitch it. (Adding a way to pay, etc., takes some work, but it’s not possible. I’ve actually been through this with several people.)

    Frankly, he’d be spending a lot less time / energy and have more control if he went to a sub-only model (and he could still have a site with free access to select material).

    Taking ads can be problematic in ways Trent may not yet even know.

    His stuff is good and if he asked for subs, I’d pay.

    If he prefers ads, that’s his choice. But if he’s already seeing how a “simple” survey can be challenging, well, this is just the beginning.

    And when he realizes he might not have the “audience” agencies and advertisers want (based on THEIR definition), well, he may be waasting a lot of his time/energy.

  93. Shelly says:

    I agree with the others who have mentioned that the survey was poorly designed. I create surveys for my company regularly and I take lots of surveys for various research groups online. There were several situations here where I was forced to give an answer even though nothing applied to me. That’s going to dilute the quality of their results, for sure. There should never, ever be a situation where you require a response but there is no response that applies to the user. At the very least, for some of those, they should have had an “other” option (and possibly the ability to specify). It’s a little harder for them to process because some people may think they’re an “other” when they really could have fit into one of the categories, but it ensures better results.

  94. Annie says:

    I, too, had a problem with the business category. Not because I am a homemaker, but because I work in corrections,

  95. Bubba says:

    I’d also prefer to pay a nominal subscription fee for an ad-free site.

    Just saying…

  96. Some similar comments to those already posted. I’m in sales (Realtor) so I’m on-line alot doing research for clients. #10 and #24 didn’t fit. That being said someone is paying attention since Homemaker is now a choice. That’s a good sign!

  97. colleen c says:

    Happy to help but agree the survey was problematic as I am a homemaker and community volunteer… Wound up putting down “company of 4” as that is my family size.

    I put my real birthday down and since reading these comments I am freaked out… Like I should have lied?

  98. Cathy says:

    Colleen c: With an unscrupulous person/company, it could help them with identity theft. I would not get paranoid about it now, the risk is very low. The survey is probably not from a phishing site. Just going forward, surveys should not ask for your specific birthday. It is good habit to put your birthdate as 1/1/yyyy.

  99. sandra jensen says:

    Happy to give back to you just a little of the help you have given me. Good Luck, Trent, hope you increase your “income streams” markedly!


  100. Karen says:

    I took the survey. I wished I had read the comments first. As I too thought some of it was poorly asked. Just did the best I could. Good luck. I am also in agreed with a commenter above – hate those flashing ads.

  101. Brian says:

    I did fill the survey, but I admit that I tell lies concerning my birthday. Only the actual year of birth is correct to reflect my age. (The reason is mentioned by Cathy). I really enjoy reading The Simple Dollar. I hope I can help you by answering the survey as correct as I can, Trent! Good work!

  102. Lenore says:

    On a completely unrelated topic: TRENT, did you see Oprah yesterday with Suze Orman? She had the audience’s collective jaws dropping with her new advice to pay only credit card minimums instead of trying to pay them off. The credit card companies are closing accounts as soon as people get to a zero balance. She also said to save 8 months of income as an emergency fund. Very much worth watching if you can find it somewhere.

  103. Jeanie says:

    Unable to fill out survey because the company website says survey unavailable. So sorry tried to help but no survey no help.

  104. parrothead says:

    Unable to fill out survey, not active.

  105. danielle says:

    the survey is closed, but I would have filled it out as an upper middle class working mom in her 30’s who visits daily ;0 which is me. no tv here too LOL

  106. Hi Trent – happy to help fill out the survey. I had no problems. ING – good point but maybe not the best solution. Instead of abandoning the survey (which helps Trent, who helps us), you might try lying about everything but year of birth (since that’s what they really want anyway… unless they’ve started including an astrological feature: “Trent, we have discovered that your Pisces tend to react to blue pulsing ads, whereas your Capricorns just want to see pictures of babies wearing bunny ears…”) – ha ha that’d be awesome. I’d pay to be in on that meeting!

    Oh, and Trent I appreciate your keeping the blog free. Since a lot of your comments are really centered around cutting non-essential spending so we can meet our goals, it seems like it would defeat the point to start charging us to teach us how to save our money :) Glad you agree on that.

    Best to you, hope it all works out well!

  107. Oh, and IRG – your cynicism seems a bit much in some cases. I put down exactly how much I make and as close as I could remember to how much I spend online. Why on earth would I lie about that? Birth date of course I lie about, that’s Identify Protection 101, but why would I bother taking the time to fill out a survey, and then deliberately foul up the results? Especially since it’s something I’m doing for someone I appreciate. That’d be both weird, and entirely too labyrinthine for my simple little mind. If it was called the Complicated Dollar, I wouldn’t read it :)

  108. Sharon says:

    A website survey that closes the same day the post appears seems pretty useless. If I were you I would protest to the survey company, as a large number of your readers are not counted. This will result in you being lowballed on the rates they offer you for advertising.

  109. Shauna Redmond says:

    A day late a dollar short maybe. i went to fill it out and it wasn’t there. just didn’t get to your email in time i guess.

  110. Bill in Houston says:

    I must be going blind. I can’t see the URL. I guess I’m too late.

  111. chb says:

    I think it’s pretty funny that the advertising agency is trying to figure out what products to market to your readers when all they really need to do is read one day of your blog to realize WE WON’T BUY CRAP!

  112. Mike Sty says:


    “I think it’s pretty funny that the advertising agency is trying to figure out what products to market to your readers when all they really need to do is read one day of your blog to realize WE WON’T BUY CRAP!”

    I think that’s the idea – Trent wants to only promote things he doesn’t find totally useless.

  113. wayne says:

    Hi Everyone

    I am trying to set up my own Live Forex Trading Room and could really do with some help as to how I get traffic to the site to get sign ups any help or advice will be appreciated.

    Many Thanks


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