Updated on 04.11.09

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Baseball Season Edition

Trent Hamm

Baseball has been a big part of my life since my earliest days. In fact, several of my earliest memories revolve around watching baseball with my family (I remember the Cubs in the playoffs in 1984 and watching the World Series with my ailing grandfather in 1985) and I remember playing catch quite often with my father and brothers and cousins when I was young.

For me, the start of a new baseball season is almost magical. Everything starts fresh, and I start off the season with a near-obsession with the game. I listen to games on the radio each day, follow it day in and day out, and even manage a pair of fantasy baseball teams.

Baseball is my sign that spring has truly arrived.

Who Cares About Where the Stock Market Is Headed? The point of steady, automatic investing over the long haul is that you don’t have to worry too much about where the stock market is headed, especially in the short term. (@ wisebread)

Where’s the Fun in Personal Finance? The real problem with the concept of fun is that everyone has different things that they identify as being “fun.” Here’s an example – I have lots of fun reading, but I know many people who find it dreadful. On the other hand, I find amusement parks dreadful, but many people find them to be a lot of fun. What’s fun for you may or may not be fun for me, and vice versa. It’s all about individual perspectives. (@ get rich slowly)

How to Give to Charity When You Don’t Have Money to Spare A little giving is better than no giving at all. (@ dumb little man)

Can You Afford a Baby? I think it’s impossible to answer this question without having one. Different people react very differently to having children. For me, for example, having children was the impetus to turning around my financial life. For others, children drag them straight into debt. (@ prime time money)

4 Habits for Saving Money on Routine Family Medical Care Excellent advice for those with limited health care. (@ frugal dad)

Getting Out of Debt Builds Character Any time you face down an adverse situation and conquer it, you become a stronger person. A debt load isn’t any different. (@ mrs. micah)

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  1. Helix says:

    Amen. Have you been to Fenway yet? I’m making my first trip to Wrigley this fall, finally!

  2. Jimbo says:

    I used to be a HUGE fan of baseball but the never-ending steroids scandal has completely tainted my view of the sport to the extent I am nothing more than a very casual fan now.

  3. Brian says:

    It’s funny that you should mention fantasy baseball. Just last night, I was reading through a few posts here and checking my fantasy baseball teams when it struck me that playing free fantasy sports games would be a good addition to one of your occasional posts about free or cheap entertainment options. With the major sites like ESPN and Yahoo offering lots of free games nowadays, it’s a great entertainment option at no cost.

  4. I saw that health care article earlier this week – it is good. We always get health tests (blood work that our high-deductible plan doesn’t cover that would cost $200) for $30 or so at the low-cost public health fair in our community and take our results to the doctor when we visit for whatever reason.

    Babies cost less than you’d imagine … it’s the change to your lifestyle (will you work less, juggle schedules or hire a sitter?) that really add up. Our life is much more expensive with an 8-year-old because of camps, classes, and other activities — although those really aren’t mandatory, just fun and good for her. If you’re laid off and pregnant, hey, at least you will have time to spend with a baby, if you’re seeking a silver lining.

  5. KC says:

    Go Cardinals!!

  6. Misc Jenn says:

    “I think it’s impossible to answer this question without having one. Different people react very differently to having children.”

    I could not agree more. Having my daughter has finally broken me from the McDonalds/Burger King/Bojangles every Sunday pattern that I was in for about five years. Now not only do I save money by eating at home, but I eat better and I feel healthier. Plus, my kid has no idea what a Chicken Nugget is.

  7. PT Money says:

    I’m excited to see what the Rangers can do this season. You’re right. There is something magical about the start of this long MLB season. “So you’re saying there’s a chance.”

    Thanks for sharing my article, Trent.

  8. I’m not into baseball, but my husband is a Cubs fan…so he’s always thrilled when spring arrives!

  9. Luke says:

    I feel exactly the same way about football. While I enjoyed playing baseball when I was younger, I find watching it to be a complete bore. Like my grandfather says, “Baseball is three minutes of action crammed into three hours.”. Not exactly the sports fan.

    Enjoyed the roundup this week!

  10. Mrs. Micah says:

    One of my coworkers is quite excited about his fantasy baseball team. He’s offered to help me manage one, but I don’t think I could keep up with it! I must admit that when it comes to watching sports, I join the Europeans in finding soccer/football the most exciting. Maybe that comes from having a sister who was quite talented in soccer, or from going to college our soccer team won division championships (over and over), or just because players are always moving.

    Glad you liked the character-building post. :)

  11. The Personal Finance Playbook says:

    I’m a big baseball fan, too. The St. Louis Cardinals are my team. Fantasy baseball is one of my guilty pleasures, as well.

  12. beth says:

    Funny that you remember that World Series so well– Midwestern kid that you were! Growing up a Royals fan, and spending my summers watching the games with my Grandpa (back in the days when the Royals would actually sell out all their games so home games were on TV), I remember darn near every detail of the Royal v. Blue Jays for the AL and v. Cardinals for the pennant.

    Unfortunately, after the ’94 strike, I never re-found any interest in the sport. I’ve gone to the occasional game with groups or free tickets, but never regained the love.

    (Now, Big 12 basketball or NFL football– those are another story altogether!)

  13. Bill in Houston says:

    I love baseball, but my Astros stink on ice this year. Alas, it appears that I’ll be following my backup, the Hiroshima Toyo Carp (Japan Central League team) instead.

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