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Simple Dollar, The: How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of His Dreams

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Simple Dollar, The: How One Man Wiped Out His Debts and Achieved the Life of His Dreams

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  • Copyright 2010
  • Edition: 1st
  • eBook (Watermarked)
  • ISBN-10: 0-13-263912-2
  • ISBN-13: 978-0-13-263912-5

Struggling with debt?

Frustrated about work?

Just not satisfied with life?

“Trent Hamm set out to boost his happiness by freeing himself from debt. This account of how he succeeded, and how he was able to construct the life he’d always wanted, will inspire readers to put his ideas to work in their own lives.”

—Gretchen Rubin, author of the #1 New York Times best seller, THE HAPPINESS PROJECT

The Simple Dollar paves the way to an uncluttered financial and richly rewarding life. Trent’s experiential advice prepares readers for the expected—and most importantly the unexpected—complexities of the modern economic world. Live debt free, mind the gap, and find a framework to get the secure and happy life you desire.”

—Erin Rooney Doland, author of Unclutter Your Life in One Week and Editor-in-Chief, Unclutterer.com

“If you feel like your finances are out of control, read The Simple Dollar. Trent Hamm burns with the unforgettable fire of someone who has gone from debt to wealth, and this book can inspire you to do the same.”

—J.D. Roth, author of Your Money: The Missing Manual and editor of GetRichSlowly.org

The Simple Dollar can change your life.

Trent Hamm found himself drowning in consumer debt, working in a job he couldn’t stand… and figured out how to escape that debt and build the fulfilling career he’d always dreamt about, all at the same time.

Hamm shared his experiences at TheSimpleDollar.com–and built it into one of America’s top personal finance websites. Now, The Simple Dollar is a book: packed with practical tips, tools, and lessons you can use to transform your life, too.

This isn’t just “another” personal finance book: it’s profoundly motivating, empowering, practical, and 100% grounded in today’s American realities. Trent Hamm will show you how to rewrite the rules, creating healthier relationships with money… and with your loved ones, too. With his help, you can get out of debt, start moving forward, and build the strong personal community that offers true happiness–no matter what happens to the economy.

· Escape the plastic prison, and stop running to stand still

   5 simple steps to eliminate credit card debt… and 5 more to start moving forward

· Shift your life’s balance towards more positive, stronger relationships

   Learn how to put the golden rule to work for you

· Discover the power of goals in a random world

   Then, learn how to overcome inertia, and transform goals into reality

· Navigate the treacherous boundaries between love and money

   Move towards deeper communication, greater honesty, and more courage

Sample Content

Table of Contents

Introduction    xiii

Chapter 1  Prison Made of Plastic    1

Get Everyone on Board    3

Reduce Your Interest Rates    5

A Plan for Debt Repayment    7

Get a Rope    8

Snowflaking    10

Five Steps for Today    12

Chapter 2  What’s Missing?

What Do We Really Need?    17

Five Steps Toward Happiness    19

Chapter 3  A Visit from the Black Swan    23

Our Lives Are More Random Than We Think    24

Unprepared for the Good    26

Unprepared for the Bad    27

Sources of Personal Risk    29

Maximizing Luck    32

The Need for Reliability    33

Preparing Yourself    34

Chapter 4  The Power of Goals in a Random World    37

The Changing Value of Long-Term Goals    39

The Power of Self-Reliance    42

The Key: Short-Term Goals    44

Five Steps Toward Your Dreams    46

Chapter 5  Running to Stand Still    49

The Changing Nature of Income    50

Your True Hourly Wage    52

The Things We Sacrifice    53

Your Future Self Isn’t Reliable    54

The Power of Today    55

Five Steps for Breaking Out    56

Chapter 6  With or Without You    59

The Broadening of Community    61

The “Tragedy of the Commons”    63

The Value of a Relationship    65

Social Intelligence    67

Getting Started    70

Chapter 7  Minding the Gap    73

Spending Less Than You Earn    74

Mind the Gap    75

Wants and Needs    76

The Frugalist and the Capitalist    78

Budgeting    79

Five Steps Toward Minding the Gap    80

Chapter 8  Frugality as Framework    83

The Difference Between Frugal and Cheap    84

Frugality as a Framework for Freedom    85

What’s Essential?    87

The Peak-End Rule and Life Experiences    90

Overvaluing Routine Experiences    91

Frugality and Food    94

Trimming Your Utility Bills    101

Housing and Transportation    102

Get Clever with Your Entertainment    105

The Five Fundamental Rules of Frugality    107

Chapter 9  Cultivating People and Opportunities    111

Negative Relationships    112

Positive Relationships    115

From a Negative to a Positive: Cultivating Opportunities    117

Five Ways to Maximize Your Positive

Relationships    119

Chapter 10  The New Career Rules    123

Where Is Your Loyalty?    124

A Community of Peers    125

The Power Shift    127

Learning, Growing, and Synthesizing    128

Passion    129

Deliberate Practice    130

Transferable Skills    131

Finding (and Being) a Mentor    134

Five Steps on a Journey of a Thousand Miles    135

Chapter 11  Life Design–Building Something New    139

Building a Solid Foundation    141

The Rules of Your Life    144

Rules Are Made to Be Broken    146

Shoot the Moon    147

Five Steps to Designing a New Life    151

Chapter 12  Managing the Gap    155

Avoiding Lifestyle Inflation    156

The Crossover Point    159

Protecting What You Have    162

Five Methods for Maintaining the Gap    164

Chapter 13  The Personal-Financial Boundary    167

Communication    169

Honesty    172

Time    174

Friends, Family, and Lending Money    175

Five Steps to Getting Your Relationships on Track    177

Chapter 14  Recasting Retirement    179

Retirement Rarely Equates to Idleness    180

What’s Your Next Act?    181

Recasting Retirement Savings    182

Retirement Savings Versus College Savings    184

Revisiting the Crossover Point    186

Five New Steps Toward “Retirement”    187

Chapter 15  The New Path to Adulthood    189

Setting Your Child Apart–Money Lessons    190

Setting Your Child Apart–A Growth Mindset    192

Setting Your Child Apart–Self-Reliance    195

Setting Your Child Apart–Self-Learning    197

Setting Your Child Apart–Unique Experiences    198

Setting Your Child Apart–Educational Priorities    200

Five Little Steps    201

Chapter 16  The Power of Giving    203

Giving Is Part of Participating in a Community    206

Doing It Different    207

Five Ways to Get Started    211

Chapter 17  Holding You Back    213

What We Say Versus What We Do    214

Passive Barriers    215

Clutter    218

Focus    220

Choosing to Be Happy    221

Five Ways to Overcome Your Barriers    222

Chapter 18  Original of the Species    225

Experiences Trump Things    226

Insanity: Doing the Same Thing and Expecting

Different Results    227

Success Is About Differentiation    228

Stop Caring What Other People Think    229

“Live Like No One Else So You Can Live Like No One Else”    231

Five Steps for Going Your Own Way    232

Chapter 19  11 O’Clock Tick Tock    235

The Single Most Important Part of Personal Finance Is Truly Knowing Yourself    236

The Second Most Important Part of Personal Finance Is Setting Clear, Concrete Goals    236

The World Is More Random Than You Think It Is    237

The Most Valuable Resource in the World Isn’t Money, It’s Time    237

The More Supportive People You Have in Your Life, the Better Off You Are    238

The Fewer Unsupportive People You Have in Your Life, the Better Off You Are    239

Blaming Others for Your Problems Is a Dead-End Road    239

The More Time You Spend Improving and Educating Yourself, the Better Your Personal and Financial Life Will Be    240

Karma Always Comes Around    241

There Are Very Few Aspects of Your Life That Cannot Be Changed    241

Index    243


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