The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: New Years Resolutions Edition

Over the past week, I’ve done a lot of reading and thinking about the art of the successful New Year’s resolution. I thought I’d share some of the best with you this week. What to Do When Your Fire Runs Out I wrote this article for OPEN Forum as a look at how to handle any life situation where your fire to move forward is gone. […]

True Wealth Isn’t About Money

Human beings, by nature, love to compete. When we’re young, we compete on the sports field, in the classroom, and in video games. As we grow older, we compete in our lives, trying to accumulate money, property, get better jobs, more responsibility, and more recognition and fame. We measure more of our success by the material possessions we have because those are more visible. […]

Gas Prices: Are You Ready for $5.00 per Gallon at the Pump?

One of the benefits of no longer having a daily commute is I’ll be spending much less for fuel in my car. When I traveled to an office five days a week, and even when my travel schedule was changed to four days a week to allow one day for remote access, I filled up my tank once a week. […]

Pet Insurance: Is It Worth the Cost?

This post is from staff writer Sierra Black. Sierra writes about frugality, sustainable living, and getting her kids to eat kale at Childwild.com. My cat, Monster, died two weeks ago after a struggle with cancer. Monster followed me home one day when I was 17; he was with me through every heartbreak, every move, job, boyfriend, and roommate. […]

Skipping the MBA and Questioning the Benefits of College - Why is it Uncomfortable?

The following is a guest post by Josh Kaufman, a business teacher and the author of The Personal MBA: Master the Art of Business. He teaches craftsmen, artists, and professionals how to learn the fundamentals of modern business practice without mortgaging their lives. […]

7 Ways to Make the Most of a Tiny Kitchen

I recently downsized from a rowhome to a small apartment. How small? Let's just say that the kitchen is better defined as an “alcove” than a “room.” There's no dishwasher, an appliance I grew all too accustomed to over the past few years. There's no silverware drawer. […]

Set Up A Personal Financial Calendar, Get Organized For The Year

We might be fast approaching the time when everyone starts setting New Year’s Resolutions, but it’s obvious that you can start a money management calendar at any time of the year. […]

GRS Blogger Profile: April Dykman

Get Rich Slowly started as a place for J.D. to write about money. Over the past five years, it’s grown beyond that. It’s now a multi-author blog. This week, each of the authors will share a brief bio to give readers a little background. Enjoy! I’ve been writing for GRS for a little more than a year now, but I’ve been a writer since I was seven years old. In first grade, I won the John J. […]

Latest Update on Our Shopping List

Those of you who have been reading FMF regularly know that I've had a shopping list of things I've wanted to buy the past year and a half or so. Every so often I give you all an update on the list (here's the last one). Since we're approaching the end of the year, I thought it would be a good time to let you know how I'm doing. […]

S&P Dividend Aristocrats for 2011

A couple of years ago, I published a list of “Dividend Aristocrats” – S&P 500 constituents that have increased their dividend payouts for at least 25 consecutive years. This list is actually updated every year, though I neglected to publish the 2010 update. For 2011, there are three new companies (MKC, HRL, and ECL), as well as three that got kicked out (LLY, SVU, and TEG). […]

Out With The Old, In With The New: Create a Plan for the Resolution

Throughout the month of December, The Simple Dollar is posting a daily series focusing on specific activities you can do right now to set the stage for a great 2011. Out with the old, in with the new. 28. Create a plan to achieve that resolution. Yesterday, we discussed the usefulness of coming up with a single specific resolution for the coming year. […]

Escaping an Upside Down Car Loan

After I wrote about doing a year end financial review, a reader shared a problem that they were having: Briefly, here’s the situation. I “inherited” a vehicle from my ex-wife through divorce. She declared bankruptcy and, rather than have the vehicle included in that (it had my name on the lien as well as hers), I took over the payments. The payments are very high [and] are a strain on my budget. […]

Don’t Get Ripped Off By Auto Mechanics

Mechanics are salespeople, and like brokers they often have more knowledge about their products and services than the average consumer. Therefore, they are viewed as professionals and without taking the time to learn about cars, customers have no choice but to trust their recommendations are in the customers’ best interest. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case. […]

Ask the Readers: What Is Your New Year's Resolution?

I love New Year's resolutions. The idea that you get to reinvent yourself is such a wonderful concept. What are your resolutions for 2011? Are you going for big changes or setting smaller, more realistic goals? […]

Why You Should and Shouldn’t Pay Off Your Mortgage

MoneyWatch details the reasons why you shouldn't pay off your mortgage -- then the author tells why he paid it off anyway. Here are the reasons he gives for why you shouldn't pay off your mortgage: You need the liquidity. You could probably do better investing the money elsewhere. You expect inflation. […]

It’s Not Too Late: Last Minute End of Year Tax Planning

If you’ve procrastinated end of your tax planning up to this point, it’s probably for good reason. December is a busy month for finances — between charity donations, gift buying, and holiday travel my own tolerance for thinking about money wears thin. […]

2011 Resolution #2: Play Music

In an effort to talk about the power of goal-setting along with some methods of setting and achieving goals, I’m going to discuss my three resolutions for 2011 this week. Another of my 2010 resolutions was to learn to play the piano, which is something I feel is coming along very well. […]

The Garden as Classroom

Doesn’t it seem like there used to be more gardens? When I was a kid in the 1970s and 80s, my parents kept a huge garden by today’s standards — a full city lot planted with corn, dill, radishes, cucumbers, potatoes, tomatoes and green peppers, all framed by a few stately and towering sunflowers. […]

Goals and Resolutions for 2011

Every new year provides an opportunity for self-renewal. The relatively arbitrary custom of recycling the dates on the calendar is like having a second (or a third, or fourth, etc.) chance to change the world. Although its history is a bit murky, the tradition of new years’ resolutions probably stemmed from this feeling. It took me a while to be comfortable with the ideas of making resolutions. […]