The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 264)

A Guide for Shopping at Less-Trustworthy Websites

I do a large portion of my shopping online, particularly when buying gifts. I’ll spend hours hunting around online for the perfect item or the best possible price on a particular item that I want. When it comes to the biggest websites – namely, Amazon – I feel comfortable shopping there. […]

Reader Mailbag: Confusing Foods

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. Comparing income levels 2. Driving for cheap gas 3. Finding a mentor 4. Bread or all-purpose flour? 5. Breathing room in budget 6. Week of work lunches 7. Questions about renting out room 8. Inexpensive pest solutions 9. […]

Projection and the Spotlight Effect

All of us want to be socially accepted. We want to have people respect and like us in the community and we also want to avoid easy criticism. For many of us, the solution to that challenge is to “project.” We spend time thinking about how we appear to others and then look for ways to improve that appearance. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Library Edition

Once every few weeks, I spend an entire morning and early afternoon at the library. I take a notebook with me, grab a pile of personal finance books, and hide in the corner for several hours. I usually grab several newer books that I’ve never seen before along with some old favorites like Your Money or Your Life. My process is simple. […]

Five Children’s Books That Teach Useful Money Tactics

This article was first published at U.S. News and World Report Money. As a proud parent of three children, I’ve read many, many, many children’s books over the last decade. Some were wonderful, while others were completely forgettable. […]

The Internal Feeling of Success

I don’t think there’s a better feeling in the world than having succeeded at some large goal. That moment when you send in your last mortgage payment? It’s magic. That day when you sign the papers to get your first novel published? Unparalleled. That day you managed that ten minute or eight minute or six minute mile? […]

Creating a Problem Where None Exists

Recently, I was in a doctor’s office waiting for an appointment with my youngest son (who had a strange rash that he apparently contracted during a hike in the woods). As he sat at the kid’s table and played with a few toys, I flipped through a magazine. While browsing, I came across a brief article about toothpaste. […]

Reader Mailbag: Children’s Television

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. Home purchase question 2. Cheap non-tacky home decor? 3. Gardening for salads? 4. Car repossession question 5. Feeling guilty about spending 6. Replacing magazine subscriptions 7. Big celebration? Or wait? 8. […]

20 Reasons Why You Need an Emergency Fund

The dreaded ‘check engine’ light is one reason you need an emergency fund. Photo: Jim Larrison If you don’t think you need an emergency fund, think again. No matter how financially prepared you are, life has a way of throwing curve balls that you never expect. […]

The Idea Behind Habits

Whenever I want to make a positive change appear in my life, I usually approach it in one of two ways. I either try to get rid of a bad habit or I try to establish a good habit. Habits are at the center of both of those ideas. It’s around that hinge of habits that I try to improve myself. […]