Category Archives: Fast Reads

Here’s What Living Cheaply in Another Country Looks Like

American retirees looking for a low cost of living and a comfortable climate are increasingly packing up for cheap, warm countries abroad. Around 615,000 Americans reportedly received their Social Security checks outside the U.S. in early 2015, an increase of 57% since the year 2000.

As Bloomberg notes, a strong dollar — coupled with a decline in other currencies — continues to play a part in the number of Americans who retire on the cheap overseas. In Mexico, for example, a devalued peso has meant lower living expenses for those who reside in the country but continue to bring in American income.


An organization’s integrity must be modeled, enforced

Creating a culture of integrity isn’t easy, writes S. Chris Edmonds.  –More– 

SmartBrief on Leadership


18 Realistic Family Photos: Parenting Is Never Picture-Perfect

feature image 7

Parenting is exhausting. We all know that it is the truth.

Instead of portraying the (extremely) occasional perfect moments, Danielle Guenther, as a family photographer and a mom herself, decided to capture the real moments of parenting. 



A-la-Carte Cable TV Is Basically Here (It’s Just Not on Cable)

When you dive into a frugal lifestyle, you can feel like a pariah for even owning a TV. “I don’t own a television” is the new “I recycle.” The phrases don’t explicitly imply that you’re a bad person if you watch TV or don’t recycle, but you definitely get the feeling you’re being judged.

That’s too bad, because TV in and of itself is not evil. It can be uplifting, informative, and stimulating. I’m not too proud to say that I teared up during the finale of Fox’s science show, Cosmos. I was confronted with the fact that the immense nature of our universe should serve to unite us as a species, not drive us apart. It was powerful. I wouldn’t wish to deprive anyone of that experience, and I wouldn’t have had it without TV.

But that doesn’t mean I advocate ponying up for cable TV and paying up to $ 100 a month for it. Due to arcane bundling practices, that’ll give you some stuff you like — and 7 million channels you don’t care about.


How to Start a Blog: A Tutorial

If you’re passionate about writing and comfortable with technology, starting a blog is one way to share your personal experiences and insights with the world. And if you do it right, you might be able to turn your blog into a profitable hobby – or even a full-time career. While that might sound crazy, I can assure you it’s not.

If you’ll remember, The Simple Dollar was created in 2006 as Trent Hamm’s personal blog and online journal. As the years marched on, the site grew to the point where it became wildly popular and profitable and needed the attention of a full-time staff. That’s the magic of starting a blog: If you build a following and get a steady flow of traffic, the opportunities that come your way can be limitless.

I, too, can attest to the power of starting a personal blog and building it over time. My husband and I started out first website, Club Thrifty, in 2012 and have collaborated on several others since then. We both had full-time jobs when we started, and I nurtured my freelance writing career on the side. Several years later, we are both out of our former industry and working full-time on our blog and a variety of online endeavors from home. And let me tell you, self-employment is amazing!