Ideas For The Simple Dollar: Which Ones Interest You?

Lately, I’ve been musing over some future directions for The Simple Dollar: what sorts of things might be interesting to my readers? I’ve made a list of a few series that I’ve been thinking about starting and I wanted to get some input back from you on which ones you’d really like to see.

Here are the ideas I’ve had that seem most interesting to me:

A detailed look at stock information. I did a really brief version of this a while back, but I wanted to get into some serious detail on each of the numbers, what they actually mean, and how you can use them to evaluate individual stocks.

An overview series on popular personal productivity philosophies. What are they, how are they different, and how can they maximize your time and money? I’ve tried several different schemes over the years and found that pieces of all of them worked for me and other pieces did not.

A weekly review of a business / productivity / etc. book and how it applies to personal finance. I’ve been listening to a lot of business books on CD on my morning and evening commute lately and I’ve found that many of them actually have a lot of information that’s applicable to personal finance situations. I’m actually going to give a taste of this fairly soon, but would there be an interest in a weekly (or biweekly) series of reviews of business books from the perspective of personal finance? A few that I would review early on would be Winning, Good to Great, and possibly The Audacity of Hope, though the last one is a bit of a stretch (I quite liked it and thought there was some great material in there, but it’s a stretch to call it a business book).

A video series. I actually have one largely made that shows visually how to do a few basic auto maintenance tasks that can save money. It’s about three minutes in length. Would this be of interest, or others along the same vein (I also thought about a tour of a Sam’s Club versus a local grocery store to compare some prices).

A review of self-employment opportunities that can be done in your spare time. I’ve tried a lot of these; most of them didn’t work or had obvious flaws. I’ve had two successes (you’re reading one of them). Would this be an interesting series?

An expose. Some citizen journalism at work! Basically, I’ve been thinking about doing a couple of exposes on a few specific financial businesses to get various angles on their story from people who are involved in the industry. The first one I had in mind was a payday loan place; I have a person who is willing to be interviewed who runs one.

Uses for common items. This is actually a series that would get a lot of input from relatives of mine who live near the poverty line and have a ton of clever techniques for stuff. For instance, baking soda has an unbelievable list of potential uses, most of which are great replacements for much more expensive items (Soft Scrub, etc.).

Here’s what I want from you: Please, pick two or three of these that you would like to see, and one you have no interest in, and leave a comment on this post. Also, if you have something you’d really like to see instead, throw that out there, too. Don’t pay any attention to the other comments, just tell me what you’d want to see or not see. I’ve already started drafting a framework for all of these, so I’m mostly interested in seeing which ones you would enjoy the most. After a few days, I’ll survey what everyone has said and focus on the most positive ones – and probably forget about any that people were negative about.

The ball’s in your court: what would you like to see?

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