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

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Overview

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 ...

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

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Overview

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

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
As seen in USA Today .
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Trent Hamm transformed his life, escaping both massive consumer debt and work he couldn’t stand. He began sharing the lessons he learned through his website, The Simple Dollar (www.thesimpledollar.com), which has quickly grown into one of the nation’s most

popular personal finance sites, attracting more than 600,000 visitors every month.

He is the author of 365 Ways to Live Cheap: Your Everyday Guide to Saving Money, and writes articlesthat are regularly syndicated to hundreds of small newspapersand newsletters.

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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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Customer Reviews

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( 23 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 24 Customer Reviews
  • Posted March 24, 2011

    Good, Casual Advice

    The author draws from personal experience as well as a variety of different resources to discuss not only financial success, but also general success in life as well. I thought the book was generally well written (some minor editing errors) and conversational in tone. The chapter on preparing your children for the best life they can lead was very insightful. Overall, a good offering with practical insights and application.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 4, 2012

    Wise and helpful advice

    I am very impressed with this short book. It pulls together some of the best ideas I have seen elsewhere as well a some new insights.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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