The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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10 Tips for First-Time Home Buyers

In the summer of 2007, my wife and I purchased our first home. As a first-time home buyer, I knew we needed to spend a considerable amount of time researching our purchase. So that’s exactly what we did – we read as much as we could, educated ourselves on the local real estate market, and explored every aspect of the home buying process. […]

What to Bring to College: The Smart (and Frugal) College Checklist

A lot of college packing lists seem like overkill. So what do you really need to bring? Photo: Nazareth College Angela writes in: In nine days, our oldest son is graduating from high school. He will be the first one in our family to go to college as he is going to [a major state school]. […]


Sometimes, you need to take a young child shopping, and it might throw off your list and your meal plan. […]

Eight Tips to Make Credit Cards Work for You, Not Against You

Stay in control of your credit cards — don’t let them control you. A credit card can be a valuable tool if you know how to use it properly. Likewise, using credit cards irresponsibly can lead to a world of hurt. If you need an example of how badly things can go, look no further than your neighbors, friends, and relatives. […]

Three Questions

Ask yourself these three questions, right now. If you died right now, in your final moments, what would upset you that you hadn’t taken care of? If you knew you had only one more day to live, what would you do with that day? Why aren’t you taking care of those things right now? I don’t know about you, but when I look at those three questions, I cringe a little, and I’m a person who feels like I’ve […]

How to Save Money: 100 Great Tips to Get You Started

No matter where you are on your financial journey, you need to know that it’s possible for anyone to turn their financial life around. Sometimes all it takes is that first step in the right direction to get things moving in your favor. But, as with most things, sometimes that very first step is the hardest part. That’s why we created this list of 100 ways to start saving money today. […]

Is Time Economy a Good Justification for Wasting Money?

When you factor in the cost of your time, is it still cheaper to make chicken alfredo at home than to order it at Olive Garden? […]

Our Favorite Best Buy Deals

Here’s how to find the best deals at electronics giant Best Buy. Photo: Mike Mozart Shopping for electronics and appliances is quite an undertaking. For starters, they can be incredibly expensive. […]

How We Decided an Expensive Child Care Center Wasn’t Worth It

We all want the best for our children, but when the cost of child care averages more than $10,000 a year, you have to draw the line somewhere. […]

The Value Line: Building More Skills for a Better Life

The more skills you learn that can put you even a hair’s breadth above the ‘value line’ — the threshold where you no longer need to pay someone else for expertise but can actually offer it yourself — the better off you’ll be. Photo: Jenny Downing My father was always a “jack of all trades” kind of guy. He was an absolute stellar gardener. […]