Updated on 08.01.14

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Greatest Hits Vol. 1 Edition

Trent Hamm

After receiving several dozen “This series was great” emails alongside several hundred “Please make it stop!” emails when it came to the Born to Buy series, along with several requests to “Review some other book … please,” I’ve elected to go back to the old-style book reviews that many readers seemed to quite like – one shot reviews of personal finance and personal productivity books delivered twice a week in a yummy and easy-to-digest package. For newer readers who didn’t see these, the last two I did before starting the Born to Buy series were Larry Winget’s You’re Broke Because You Want To Be and Laura Stack’s Find More Time. Friday mornings usually bring a personal finance book review and Sunday afternoons usually bring a personal productivity or development or career-oriented book review. I have a big pile of them to review with some really intriguing ones in there (including one that ticked me off almost as much as Rich Dad, Poor Dad).

Anyway, now that that’s settled, on with some good personal finance articles! For this week’s roundup, I sent a message out to a whole lot of personal finance bloggers that I know and asked them to give me their best shot – send me a link to what they considered to be the best article on their blog. I got a mountain of responses – more than I expected, by far.

I expected, actually, to read a lot of rubbish. I was pleasantly surprised – there were a lot of really good articles in there. There wasn’t much separation of the wheat from the chaff – these were mostly all good stuff.

Here, I present to you ten of these great articles that really show off the best of some of the blogs in the personal finance niche. I’ll be doing future editions of these if this one proves to be popular.

24 Signs That You Could be in Financial Trouble and How to Get Out of It This is an excellent series that is a great one to send to people that you’re concerned about in terms of finances. I know when I read through it, I thought of myself just a few years ago. (@ generation x finance)

Rent Forever, Don’t Buy a Home This is an excellent “devil’s advocate” piece arguing on behalf of renting instead of homeownership. (@ blueprint for financial prosperity)

5 Strategies to Survive an Economic Slowdown I think the best advice is to always protect yourself – have proper insurance and a nice, healthy emergency fund. (@ moolanomy)

Teach Your Kids About Money With Only 4 Quarters This is actually pretty clever, and you could do it in parallel with a “four bank” system of saving, where your child has four banks – one for spending anytime, one for saving for something big, one for charity, and one for gifts for others. (@ frugal dad)

Things I’ve Learned About Money by Not Having a Lot of It I grew up in this kind of household. It taught me some valuable lessons. (@ being frugal)

100 Ways to Cope with Inflation I so agree with the idea of buying in bulk. Visiting our basement is practically like grocery shopping for “free” at this point. (@ the honest dollar)

Financial Strategies for Infants and Young Children This one really hit home for me. I’m constantly thinking about my own young children and how to teach them the value of a dollar. (@ my dollar plan)

Sixteen Ways Being Disorganized Costs You Money It took me a long time to really understand this – a plan for organization and efficiency helps you out time and time again. You get far more out of it over the long run than you ever put in. (@ mighty bargain hunter)

Cheap Alternatives for the Must-Haves in your Life For me, the best “cheap alternative” I’ve found for my favorite must-have is PaperBackSwap. (@ girls just wanna have funds)

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  1. jim says:

    Thanks for including my post about Rent vs. Buy, it’s a pretty hot topic nowadays and it’s always good to read people’s comments about it.

  2. Ro says:

    I can’t wait to read about the book that ticked you off! :)

  3. Frugal Dad says:

    Great roundup this week, Trent. Thanks for including my “4-Quarters” article.

    As for the book review series – I enjoyed it, but not as much as I enjoyed the twice weekly reviews on personal finance/personal productivity books. Maybe it is my short attention span that craves something new every few days. Glad to see you are returning to the old system – and thanks for listening to your readers.

  4. Pinyo says:

    Thank you for the mention. I agree with your assessment. Even as I was writing the article, I felt that all the points made is practical for all time (not just during an economic slowdown).

  5. mbhunter says:

    Thanks Trent for including my post on disorganization!

    I revisited that post and I’ve fixed a couple of them, but I still have a ways to go. Being organized about one’s finances is the way to go.

    Again, I appreciate the mention!

  6. Lynnae says:

    Thanks for the mention!

    I can’t wait to hear about what ticked you off, too! And after doing a few weeks of discussion on a single book, I sometimes wonder if I should have done a one or two part review. But I’ll see it through until the end and reassess.

  7. Patrick says:

    These are all solid articles. I think I remember reading most of them when they were published, but they are good enough to read again.

    As for the book reviews, I prefer the one off review, vs. a series. However, a series can lend itself to interesting conversations/debates more easily than a one time review.

  8. chris says:

    I have a suspicion i might know the book that pissed him off. I didn’t pick it up, but i saw at sam’s club yesterday that kevin treadau (author of health cures they don’t want you to know about) wrote financial cures they don’t want you to know about.

    based off the reputation of his other books it’s probably pretty bad.

  9. Trent Hamm Trent says:

    Chris: that’s not it. I’ve never even read that one (though there’s a good chance it could lead me straight into a rant).

  10. Michelle says:

    I enjoy the rent vs buy arguments as well. I currently side with renting as the better alternative in my situation. The deciding factor to me seems that buying costs so much more because you are wasting the majority of the money on interest payments, so would the best idea be to rent until you have a really large cash balance to put a huge down payment on a home 50% or more? Would that save enough money on interest to make buying more proitable?

  11. Mac says:

    In the past you have mentioned an interest in starting other web sites. Maybe the two camps as far as reactions to the “Born to Buy” series provides an idea in this regard. Some of us would be interested in a site that provided more in-depth book reviews than most of the readers here are interested in, and perhaps that type of site could attract its own niche as far as advertisers too.

  12. Brian says:

    After viewing those other sites I can say for sure that Trent’s is leaps and bounds ahead in terms of organization and layout. Some of those other ones are difficult to read and there are ads everywhere. Putting ads between an article title and the article’s content is ridiculous.

  13. chris says:

    Trent: Then you should totally read it. Your rants are pure entertainment!

  14. !wanda says:

    Why did you think best posts from these blogs would be “rubbish”?!

  15. Ashley says:

    I’ve been thinking the same thing !wanda commented ever since I read this post this morning–why would you expect that the best posts from blogs that you specifically asked for articles would be “rubbish”? I’m genuinely curious, because that I took that as a fairly arrogant (albeit off-hand) remark, and that’s the sort of thing that’s been turning me off to your blog over the past few months.

  16. Nate says:


    The Science of Getting Rich by William Wattles.

    I’d like to see your take Trent.

  17. Joshua H says:

    thank you for returning to reviewing pf books, that was my favorite part of this blog

  18. Jason L says:

    The “rubbish” comment gave me pause as well. I think the part we’re missing, is the quantity of blogs Trent solicited. If he asked a very large number of blogs to submit, then I can understand his comment. There are not a very large number of quality finance blogs out there. In that context, his comment makes sense. He was pleasantly surprised to find diamonds in the rough, so to speak. Though their sites and/or writing may need work, the quality of the submissions suggests they have merely to hone their talents.

  19. Mrs. Micah says:

    @Jason L, I have over 100 PF blogs in my reader and each of them has had a more than a few posts which are much better than rubbish…

    @!wanda, the choice of words confused me as well…Trent’s isn’t actually the best PF blog (IMO). Top 10, I think. I don’t put myself in the top 10, but there’s some real quality out there. :)

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