How to Double Clock Frequency Using Only Digital Logic

I recently rotated hobbies back to microcontrollers and electrical engineering, and one of the projects I've been working on required a doubling of clock speed from an Arduino Nano, which has an Atmel 328p running at 16 MHz on-board (here's a hint: my target was 25.175 MHz). The challenge?  Well, I wanted to do it only with parts on hand, and … [Read more...]

Dealing with Hobby Purchases… Without an Emergency Fund

A few weeks back in a Weekender, I shared with you a horrible tail of woe. For the second time in two years, I had an issue with a guitar purchase.  Last year, I bought a Les Paul Special... knowing it wasn't a carved top, sure, but expecting the 'Les Paul' signature silk-screened on the headstock like it was in the marketing materials.  This … [Read more...]

Personal Finance is Boring!

Welcome back to our two part series on adjectives. Just kidding. A couple years back, we participated in a few online discussions about whether Personal Finance is a worthy subject for schools to dedicate a course to.  Although we agree that the financial education levels of the typical American are pretty embarrassing, we disagreed with the … [Read more...]

Personal Finance is Personal!

There is no worse dodge in the entire Personal Finance universe than the sentence "Personal Finance is personal!" being used to excuse any sort of non-ideal behavior. The simple fact that "Personal Finance" contains an adjective encourages certain folks to think that anything they do is a great move for their, well, personal finances.  Nothing … [Read more...]

How Far Should We Go to Help Others Financially?

Two of the very best bloggers in the personal finance sphere recently pontificated on the Government's role in encouraging (ahem, forcing) savings.  Nelson of Financial Uproar, writing at the end of 2013, and SaveSpendSplurge née Mochimac of Save Spend Splurge recently covered the idea of a massive mandated-by-Government savings rate, along the … [Read more...]

How Much Did You Save in 2013?

Some of our longer term readers enjoy this time of year on DQYDJ, because we post a Personal Finance article actually directed inwardly - namely, an expose of the PK household spending habits. We appreciate being held accountable on this front - it's hard to trust random voices on the internet, so only by looking at results and history can you … [Read more...]

Is a Tax Refund Really That Bad to Receive?

Ahh, April.  Your taxes are now (or will shortly be) filed, and you've got a tax refund on the way. All's right in the world, right? Well, yes - but in the Personal Financial niche, you can expect the sanctimonious chants of "but you gave the IRS an interest free loan!" to start posthaste - likely before the ACH from the Treasury even hits … [Read more...]

Emergency Funds are Overrated: Part Three of Three

(Read parts one and two.) In the first two articles, I covered: How important it is to be cash flow positive How to cover very small shortfalls with credit How to cover truly large expenses with different forms of insurance. The most important large unplanned expenses that could potentially be covered by an emergency fund are the … [Read more...]

Emergency Funds are Overrated: Part Two of Three

In part one on Monday, I wrote about how credit cards can provide short-term liquidity where emergency funds would typically be recommended. In this article, I will write about how most "emergencies" people list as reasons for an emergency fund are not true emergencies and can be easily planned for (and anything that is above and beyond can be … [Read more...]

Emergency Funds are Overrated: Part One of Three

Emergency funds are a controversial topic that have always irked the writers here at DQYDJ. Okay: overall, we think they are a decent idea... but the singular focus on obtaining one despite the (usually ignored) costs is  the incorrect focus for most financial prioritization decisions. In this series, I will lay out three reasons why emergency … [Read more...]