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The Simple Dollar offers a month-long plan for fixing your finances. All you need is an open mind and an hour each day. Yesterday, we took a look at our living expenses and tried to find places where we could easily make some reductions. The goal was not to make hard cuts, but to find ways to reduce spending that fit within our lifestyles. Today, we want to see how this revised personal expense balance fits within our overall life …

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As I’ve become more and more interested in the open source movement, I’ve gradually replaced almost all of my closed source software with open source applications. At first, I bought in because of the “free your money” aspect. Open source software doesn’t cost a penny – just go download it. It’s also reasonably safe, given that the source is open to the world and there are a lot of very intelligent people out there constantly improving it, particularly the more …

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The Number: Figuring It

January 10 2007

This week, The Simple Dollar takes a look at Lee Eisenberg’s The Number, a frank, well-written, and entertaining book that addresses the one number that so many of us obsess over: the amount of money we each need to live the rest of our lives the way we want to. The middle third of The Number focuses on some of the social nuances of the process of calculating the number. Although this could have easily been the “dry” portion of …

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A well-known writeup on software development stated the following: Your “use case” should be, there’s a 22 year old college student living in the dorms. How will this software get him laid? This frank statement hides some amazing truths inside of it, many of which relate to things far beyond software. The key principle, though, is that things that are successful are things that make it easy for people to do other things that make them happy. That’s why college …

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The Simple Dollar offers a month-long plan for fixing your finances. All you need is an open mind and an hour each day. Now that you’ve built a list of your non-work expenses, you’ve probably realized that you do spend a lot of money on frivolous things. Don’t worry, I’m not going to say “STOP BUYING FRIVOLOUS THINGS!” Everyone knows that frivolous expenses are the things that eat away at your long-term plans – and everyone keeps buying them anyway. …

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The Number: Chasing It

January 9 2007

This week, The Simple Dollar takes a look at Lee Eisenberg’s The Number, a frank, well-written, and entertaining book that addresses the one number that so many of us obsess over: the amount of money we each need to live the rest of our lives the way we want to. The first third of the book, subtitled “Chasing It,” is more of a sociological study of The Number rather than a practical analysis. It focuses on upper middle class individuals, …

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On the morning of October 23, 2006, Dave DeSmidt had $179,000.23 in his 401(k). He was on a business trip to China when the unthinkable happened: someone logged onto his brokerage account, registered a new checking account, and then requested a distribution into that account. By the time Dave checked his brokerage account a few days later, it was empty. Even more worrisome is how J.P. Morgan handled the situation: “J.P. Morgan concludes there was no external or internal breach …

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The Simple Dollar offers a month-long plan for fixing your finances. All you need is an open mind and an hour each day. Yesterday, we worked out exactly how the hours you spend at work break down into three areas: your living expenses, your debts, and your dreams. Since this was only a thumbnail sketch, today we’re going to look more carefully at the breakdown in living expenses. Let’s get started. Take out a sheet of paper and start another …

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Many, many people were driven to distraction by my recent offhanded claim that Netflix didn’t really work for us in the context of a plan to keep up with our various favorite television programs. In that post, I basically stated that our best plan for keeping up with programs we like and skipping out on ones we don’t like is buying and selling television series on eBay, a season at a time. An aside: before I get started on why …

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The Number: Overview

January 8 2007

This week, The Simple Dollar takes a look at Lee Eisenberg’s The Number, a frank, well-written, and entertaining book that addresses the one number that so many of us obsess over: the amount of money we each need to live the rest of our lives the way we want to. For the last few months, the powder blue cover of The Number has been seen in countless bookstore shelves, promising right on the cover to deliver “a completely different way …

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