The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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25 Flexible, Healthy Foods I Buy Constantly (Especially On Sale)

As I’ve described many times, our family’s normal meal-planning routine starts with the grocery store flyer. Each week, either Sarah or I will sit down with the flyer, look through the items on sale, and use those sale items as the basis for our meal plan. Here’s a surprising truth, though: We gloss over the vast majority of items in the flyer. […]

Eight Ways to Make the Most of a Farmers Market

My passion for farmers markets is part of my identity. I mean that literally: I used to fill out online dating profiles that asked me to list “five things I couldn’t live without,” and I would inevitably write: Basketball, books, farmers markets, family... and then I would be stuck. […]

The Power of Cutting a Goal in Half

One of the big problems with setting a big, life-altering goal for yourself is the sheer size of it. […]

Yardwork Gone Wild: How to Tame Your Landscape for Less

Most of us have at least one neighbor who takes yard care to the extreme. They’ve got the perfect lawn, pristine hedges, healthy plants, and an outdoor living space that puts every other house on your block to shame. When a neighbor’s yard looks better than all the rest, it’s tempting to spend, spend, spend in an effort to keep up. […]

Does Money Truly Bring Independence and Security?

It’s been no secret that over the past few years Sarah and I have adopted a goal of financial independence. Our goal is to reach a point where we can live off of the income from our investments as early as we possibly can. […]

Questions About Insurance, Blogging, Basic Income, Loan Cosigning and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Credit lines and credit report 2. Modifying bread recipe 3. Blogging and copyright 4. Mortgage process question 5. APR and APY 6. Basic income 7. Cosigning loan with adult child 8. Debt reconstruction question 9. […]

How I Save Money While Living in the Most Expensive City in the U.S.

I made a lot of waves with family and friends in Los Angeles (and a few online) when I announced that I was moving to Madison, Wis., last year. Some of them just didn’t understand my desire for a slower lifestyle and a more affordable city. […]

How to Choose Investments in Your 401(k)

Your 401(k) is the first place you should look when you start investing. The account is already open, so all you have to do is fill out some paperwork to start contributing (you can ask your human resources representative how to do this). […]

12 Cheap Plant-Based Meals That Our Family Enjoys All the Time

Like every other American family with three children in the home, our family is busy. It seems like there’s something going on practically every night, which means that having a family dinner can sometimes be a struggle. […]

Is Building a New Home a Better Deal Than Buying an Existing One?

Just the other day, a friend of mine argued that building a new home is more cost efficient than buying an existing property. Her new home is almost finished, and will be move-in ready in about three weeks — so she’s understandably excited. Plus, she said, she’ll be saving all kinds of money because she built. While I understood her excitement, I found that part puzzling. […]