The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 2)

Real-World Cost of Living Analysis: Los Angeles vs. Madison, Wis.

Awhile back I wrote a post explaining my decision to move from Los Angeles to the Midwest. I’ve now lived in Madison, Wis., for more than five months, and in this follow-up post I’ll do a deep dive into how much money I’ve actually saved since making the move. Hopefully this can inspire others to look into areas with a lower cost of living. […]

How to Avoid Feeling Disconnected from the Numbers

I’ve been saving for retirement in some fashion or another since I was 22 years old. That means I’ve been accumulating money in various retirement accounts for about a decade and a half. Honestly, I don’t look at the balances of those accounts very often. […]

Spare Time: Higher Earnings or Lower Spending?

Sarah (no, not my wife) wrote in with a really good question: Let’s say I have a free weekend. Am I better off spending that time earning money or being frugal? I know it probably depends on the options available to me, but which one is more important to look at seriously? As you mentioned, Sarah, it really has a lot to do with your personal situation. […]

Seven Books for Building a Whole-Life Perspective Regarding Your Money

Several days ago, I wrote an article entitled Why I’m Ignoring the Stock Market Downturn that generated some interesting discussion, but I wanted to highlight one question in particular. At one point in the article, I made this statement: What I do read are books on personal finance and investing. Books tend to have a long-term perspective on investing and personal finance. […]

Six Awkward Money Moments and How to Prevent Them

If you’ve endured adulthood long enough, chances are you’ve experienced at least one awkward money moment. My life is no exception, as I’ve been left with burning cheeks of embarrassment and weird stress over money more than once. Case in point: A few weeks ago, I accidentally forgot to pay my daughter’s preschool payment on time. […]

Take Action!

A few days ago, a friend of mine shared a wonderful older article from the New York Times Magazine entitled Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch. The article is really a great read and is well worth your time. The core point of the article is that the more people watch chefs on-screen, the less they actually cook at home. […]

How to Organize a Cost-Effective and Fun Dinner Party

Roughly once a month, my wife and I host a dinner party with a guest list numbering between four and 10 other people. These dinner parties usually involve a meal, an evening of conversation, and sometimes a board game or two depending on the crowd. […]

Smart Money? Colleges Divest from Fossil Fuels, Dodge the Oil Bust

Last year was the hottest year ever, handily beating the previous record — set in 2014. In fact, 15 of the 16 hottest years in recorded history have happened in the 21st century. That’s why, in 2011, environmental activists at a handful of college campuses began advocating for divestment, demanding that their schools purge fossil fuels from their investment portfolios. […]

Questions About Blenders, Carpools, Vanguard, Zero-Sum Budgeting and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Struggling to climb debt mountain 2. Debt payoff or savings cushion? 3. Unpaid taxes on family farm 4. Questions about zero sum budgeting 5. Disability insurance and mental health 6. Insurance on grown children 7. […]

What to Do With Your 401(k) When You Change Jobs

What happens to the money in your company retirement account when you leave your job? Does it have to stay there? Do you lose any of it? Can you take the money with you? […]