Outliers and Frugality

About a year and a half ago, I reviewed Malcolm Gladwell’s excellent book Outliers. In that review, I talked about one of Gladwell’s key points in the book, that a great deal of practice will make a person good at anything: The more important (and interesting) part of the chapter, though, discusses the huge role that nearly-obsessive practice plays in making people great. […]

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: August 7, 2010

Many newer readers of The Simple Dollar haven’t been exposed to the hundreds of great articles in the archives of the site, so this is a weekly series that highlights the five best posts from one year ago this week, two years ago this week, and three years ago this week. […]

The Simple Dollar Reading Guide: A Visit from the Black Swan

Every Sunday morning for the next few months, I’m going to “riff” on a chapter from my book, The Simple Dollar: How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of His Dreams by reflecting on particular pieces of it that I’ve had further reflections on or particularly excite me, including some elements that were removed from the final draft. […]

Building a Money-Making Blog: Preparation

Last month, I asked if you folks would be interested in a new GRS long-term project, one that tracks my progress as I try to build another blog that produces income. This would be like the garden project I did in 2008 and 2009 (and hope to do in 2011): It’d only take one Saturday post a month for updates. Many of you are interested in this project, but you have some concerns. […]

When to Start Taking Social Security

The book Money 911: Your Most Pressing Money Questions Answered, Your Money Emergencies Solved gives this advice when asked when a person should take Social Security: Bottom line: If you can hold off until you reach full retirement age at 66 or 67 (depending on when you were born), great. Wait until you're 70, and that's even better. […]

Get new furniture without getting new furniture

My wife and mother-in-law are doing some painting in our new house, in addition to a few other things.  I have the color coordination sense of a doorknob but my wife more than makes up for this.  She’s very creative, and loves to make things pretty. She’s able to do wonders re-purposing items by dressing them up, turning them from tacky (in our opinion) to attractive.  A couple of […]

Chase Promotions: Card Bonus Updates

Let’s talk about the Chase credit card deals that are available at this time. Recently, we’ve been covering the credit card beat much more closely, and have noticed that card issuers are coming up with more improved terms, rates and promotions, especially for cash back bonuses. […]

Summer Meal Series #10: Grilled Chicken-Salsa Burritos and Fresh Tomatoes

This summer, I’m going to be posting a series of fifteen low-cost, tasty, and easy-to-prepare meals that are literally straight from my own kitchen. One of the best parts of summer is when fresh tomatoes start coming in from the garden. […]

CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Visa® 30,000 Bonus Miles Offer

CitiBank, one of the premier credit card lenders in the US today, has developed a new credit card offer for small business owners that need to travel. For a limited time, the CitiBusiness® AAdvantage® / Visa® is awarding new cardholders 30,000 bonus miles, enough for a domestic round-trip ticket. […]

Our New Budget Could Mean Extra Car Payments

Last week I talked about the need for my wife and I to decide on a new savings goal. We had been saving ten percent of our paychecks each month in the Joint Savings Account, which allowed us to do some fun things and avoid credit cards, but wasn’t really a place for money to grow. We had to keep the goal at ten percent because I was focused on eliminating my credit card debt. […]

Overcoming Severe Social Anxiety

Chris emailed me with the following question. I originally planned to include it in a reader mailbag, but I felt such strong sympathy for his situation and others in that type of situation that my answer to him kept growing and growing until I realized that it was a full post all its own. I am 34/ male. I feel very awkward in public. […]

Friday Finance Findings for August 6th

Hard to believe August is already here, but that means kids are soon headed back to school and football season is right around the corner. Granted, we don’t have kids at school age just yet, but I can only imagine how most parents feel when it’s time for them to go back to school. […]

Lessons From My Frugal Father

My dad was 12 years old when the first waves of the Great Depression spread across the country. […]

BP Lowers the Price of Gasoline for Some

BP, whom we all know as the featured star in the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, has understandably seen a decline in retail sales of gasoline. […]

Save on Your New Car: Send Mom, Not Dad, to the Dealer

ShareThisSome people just shouldn't go car shopping on their own — like Chris, who drove home to his horrified family in the garish chartreuse coupe on which he got "a great deal." Chris should have never walked alone through the auto dealer's doors, not only because he is colorblind — but because he is a man. In generations past, buying th […]

Your Take: How Is Your Emergency Fund?

20% of Americans “suffered a significant economic loss” last year, according to a report two weeks ago, the highest level in the last 25 years. The Economic Security Index has been tracking data on income loss, medical expenses, and debt since 1985 and it has shown economic insecurity has risen across all groups. What’s economic insecurity? […]

Do Credit Cards Take from the Poor and Give to the Rich?

My philosophy on credit cards has changed completely in the last five years. I’ve gone from anti-credit-card to pro-credit-card — but only for those who can use them responsibly. I think they’re a great convenience, and I like getting cash back when I use mine. But not everyone thinks this cash-back feature is a good thing. […]

Buying Lending Club Notes on the Secondary Market

Earlier this week I began experimenting with the Lending Club note trading platform. I’ve been investing with Lending Club for about 14 months now, and have almost exclusively invested in new loans. […]

Interesting Retirement Stats

The book Money 911: Your Most Pressing Money Questions Answered, Your Money Emergencies Solved has some statistics on retirement that I found interesting. They are: 24%: The amount by which Americans entering retirement will have to reduce their standard of living if they don't want to outlive their money. $60,000: the typical balance in the retirement plan of a 55-year-old. […]