The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Downloadables Edition

Since eliminating most of the ads on The Simple Dollar for ethical reasons, I’ve been looking at other approaches to earning money from the many hours of work I put into The Simple Dollar. Most of the initiatives have been suggested by readers: I’ve put out a donation button and I’ve directly contacted several companies that I actively use and believe in and asked them for sponsorship, for starters.

The most interesting one, though, is something I’ve decided to call “downloadables,” and it’s based on suggestions I’ve received from a number of readers over time. If you visit The Simple Dollar on the website, you’ll notice a section on the right hand side entitled “Downloadables” with a handful of icons underneath it. Each of these represents a cohesive group of writings from The Simple Dollar that I’ve collected, reformatted into a book-like format, and turned into a standalone document so that it can be downloaded, printed, and read as a cohesive book instead of in bite-size posts spread out over many pages. I invested quite a bit of time formatting these so that they’re elegant, inviting, and readable. They’re available for download for a nominal fee – $5 or less depending on the document.

So far, I’ve made three of them to see whether they’re successful. I have plans for three more if these prove to be popular. Here are the ones available:

31 Days to Fix Your Finances is a series of exercises designed to help you turn your financial situation around in a single month.

Building a Better Blog is a compilation of advice on the art of blogging, encompassing everything I know and used to help build The Simple Dollar into a widely-read success.

Twenty Big Ideas: Essential Readings is a collection of twenty book summaries. I chose twenty of the best books I’ve reviewed on the site and compiled my summaries of these books into one document.

Why would I download these if they’re already free? First of all, once you download the document, it’s yours forever. You can share it with others if you wish, print it off, read it on any computer you want whether it’s online or not, and so on. It’s also reformatted to be much more like a book than like a blog post – appropriate for printing for reading at your convenience, making notes on, or handing to people without internet access. Also, the prices are quite cheap – $5 or less. In my desire to keep information free, the content is already online – the value here is in the formatting and the portability of it. Don’t worry if you don’t think this is worthwhile – it’s just a service I’ve provided for people who want it.

This is an experiment suggested by readers. Let’s find out if it works.

Now, for some interesting blog posts.

Stupidity Got Us Into This Mortgage Mess I’ve been very wary of commenting on the current subprime mess because I’m emotionally involved in it. My wife and I got a prime loan in July with a very nice rate, the result of a lot of hard work. We were also available for an ARM for substantially more money that would have allowed us to borrow a lot more than that and have the same payments for the first three years (then they would jack up). We chose the prudent route, and now when politicians talk about locking in ARMs, I feel as though the government is telling me I should have been irresponsible. That’s the wrong message to send. (@ all financial matters)

Wills: The Basics I was clueless about wills about a year ago, but my wife and I realized we needed to plan for the unthinkable. I’m glad we did. (@ wise bread)

The Simple Dollar Retro: Seven Things I Thought About While Holding My Second Child For The First Time This was an intense moment – and it was met with some serious reflection.

Writing Your Autobiography Through Spending My credit card statements two years ago would have said that I was crazy. I looked at my charges for the last month just now, and they were all either grocery stores, department stores, or Amazon. Does that mean I’d have a boring biography? (@ clever dude)

Moving to a New City? Ways to Manage Your Relocation Costs A reader wrote to me about this topic just a couple days ago, interestingly enough. (@ the digerati life)

The Worst Financial Advice From Around The Web A good point, made sarcastically: people who pronounce doom when the news is bad are usually paranoid. (@ i will teach you to be rich)

Should I Prepare My Own Taxes or Go to an Accountant? This year, I’m using an accountant. I have more side business income than I’ve ever had, along with a lot of potential deductions. (@ get rich slowly)

The Simple Dollar Retro: The One Hour Project: Thirty Ways To Use One Hour To Improve Your Finances – And Open The Door To More Riches One of my favorite series ever on The Simple Dollar.

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