genericfeaturephoto

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Rent or sell first home? 2. Keep investments or pay debt? 3. Prayer and money 4. Couple facing financial crossroads 5. Falling into money 6. Audio personal finance advice 7. Preparing for possible medical emergency 8. How to find simple joys 9. Large purchase in bad economy 10. Reading long books …

Continue Reading

A few weeks ago, I put out a call on Twitter and on Facebook for detailed posts that people would like to see. I got enough great responses that I’m going to fill the entire month of July – one post per day – addressing these ideas. Terrence on Facebook wants to know about “Meditation and focusing techniques.” Meditation and focusing is a big part of my daily routine. I strive to be a good parent, a good husband, and …

Continue Reading

For those unfamiliar, Calvinball is a game played in the comic strip Calvin and Hobbes. The game’s rules are made up as the game goes along, with players adding and editing rules along the way, often with the goal of making themselves into the winner. Lately, I’ve played a lot of Calvinball with my two oldest children. Usually, though, they modify rules and make up rules and I try to exploit them so that I still win. I actually love …

Continue Reading

Last week, my wife and family and I departed for the Seattle/Tacoma area in order to be present for the wedding of my wife’s younger sister. While we were in the area, we did some wedding setup, but we also visited a lot of sights in the area, including Mount Rainier, Olympia National Forest, and a day trip out to the coast to the ocean. Naturally, such a trip is an expensive proposition. We have two adults and three young …

Continue Reading

A few weeks ago, I put out a call on Twitter and on Facebook for detailed posts that people would like to see. I got enough great responses that I’m going to fill the entire month of July – one post per day – addressing these ideas. Tammy on Facebook wants to know about “How to know when your part-time small business can transition into your full-time income.” This is an experience I went through in 2007 and 2008 and …

Continue Reading

A few weeks ago, I put out a call on Twitter and on Facebook for detailed posts that people would like to see. I got enough great responses that I’m going to fill the entire month of July – one post per day – addressing these ideas. Toni on Facebook suggests “I’d like to see an article on how the really working poor can make it financially. You know the ones who have already cut the cable, extra phones and …

Continue Reading

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Getting started as a writer 2. Graduate school impact on savings 3. Pre-set spending limit question 4. Great advice 5. Challenging religious beliefs 6. Re-entering the workforce 7. Student loans or down payment? 8. Justifying expenses 9. Collecting problem 10. Outdoor games Every once in a while, I get a desire …

Continue Reading

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years. One common request I get is more discussion on the specifics of retirement plans. For me, whenever someone mentions a topic that they want to hear more about, that means a trip to the library. I try to find books that cover the topic …

Continue Reading

A few weeks ago, I put out a call on Twitter and on Facebook for detailed posts that people would like to see. I got enough great responses that I’m going to fill the entire month of July – one post per day – addressing these ideas. On Facebook, Andrea asks “What kind life insurance should you buy?” The options available for life insurance are diverse and confusing. It’s certainly not helped by the fact that insurance salespeople are out …

Continue Reading

A few weeks ago, I put out a call on Twitter and on Facebook for detailed posts that people would like to see. I got enough great responses that I’m going to fill the entire month of July – one post per day – addressing these ideas. On Facebook, Joan wondered “What do you do when your financial goal seems out of reach?” Goals that feel too out of reach are certainly a challenge. They can leave the goal-setter demoralized …

Continue Reading

Our Featured Contributors