The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 264)

Think About Why You Want Something (361/365)

Each year, my extended family usually requests that I make up a wish list at to make it easier for them for gift-giving purchases. I don’t mind doing this at all, because it helps them out. The problem with this is that I struggle for things to put on my wishlist. […]

Reader Mailbag: Christmas Week

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. Credit score and car question 2. Returning Christmas gifts 3. Negative credit card balance 4. New Year’s Eve party planning 5. Saving money on a cruise 6. Starting out with home renovations 7. 529 plan recommendations 8. […]

Find Frugal Friends (360/365)

When you spend time with your friends, what do you do? Do you go to each other’s houses for potluck dinners, or do you go out on the town for dinner? When you watch movies together, do you toss a DVD someone already owns into the DVD player at a friend’s house, or do you head to the theater? When you have a party, do you try to outdo each other with expensive finger foods and beverages, or do you […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Christmas Havoc Edition

One of my father’s secondary gifts for Christmas is the giant pile of papers and boxes left over after all of his grandchildren come to visit and open presents at his house. He collects up all of these items and takes them out into his garage, which is heated by a wood stove. He has fresh kindling and fire boosters that will last him until spring. […]

Handle a Windfall Intelligently, Too (359/365)

Yesterday, we talked about the challenges of getting a raise. It’s always a good thing to increase your income, but if you make poor financial decisions with that extra income, it will go to waste and you’ll find yourself right back in the same difficult financial boat you were in before the raise. The same phenomenon is perhaps even more true when it comes to a big windfall. […]

Merry Christmas from The Simple Dollar

Here’s hoping you and your family are having a wonderful holiday season! Normal posting resumes this afternoon with the latest entry in the 365 series as it winds down. […]

Handle a Raise Intelligently (358/365)

A raise is something well worth being proud about. You’ve worked hard and your employer is recognizing that in the clearest way they can – with their cash. The challenge is that when you get a raise, there’s a strong temptation to raise your spending right alongside it. First, there’s the temptation to celebrate and reward yourself. […]

Reader Mailbag: White Christmas

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. Homemade vanilla extract and vodka 2. Secure money use on vacation 3. Moving to the United States 4. Donating to political candidates 5. Revisiting the Iowa Treasure Hunt 6. Walking away from debt 7. […]

Automatically Sock Away That Savings (357/365)

Yesterday, we talked about the value of properly assessing one’s frugal savings. The question then becomes what we should do with it. When I first started my financial turnaround, there were a few months where I was amazed at the amount of money left in my checking account at the end of the month. […]

Thoughts on the Four Rules of Cash Flow

A few days ago, I downloaded and tried You Need a Budget 4, a software package that helps people develop a working budget and get better control over their money. […]