The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 269)

How to Talk to Young Children About Money

A version of this article first appeared on US News and World Report Money. My six year old daughter has a passion for LEGOs. She loves opening up a new LEGO kit, browsing through the instructions, laying out all of the pieces carefully on the table, and following the instructions step by step to build a model. […]

Isn’t Personal Finance Advice Obvious?

One of the biggest criticisms levied at The Simple Dollar – and pretty much every other personal finance site out there – is that the advice shared on it is really obvious. Spend less than you earn. At its core, that’s really what it all boils down to, after all. There’s a problem with that, though. If personal finance advice is so obvious, why are 76% of Americans living paycheck to paycheck? […]

The Ultimate Guide to Selecting a Financial Planner

Welcome to the latest installment in my “ultimate guide” series, where I attempt to lay out all of the things you need to know and consider when making a purchasing decision or a personal finance move. You can check out the “Ultimate Guide” archives for a full selection of these guides. Today, we’re taking a look at selecting a financial planner. […]

Reader Mailbag: Leaves

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. Battling underemployment and debt 2. Happy medium 3. A slow inheritance 4. Employer tuition reimbursement 5. Impatience 6. Daily free exercise routine? 7. Social Security for debt 8. Emergency fund for self-starter 9. […]


As I’ve mentioned quite a few times, I’m a big believer in “never eating alone,” which means that I try to eat lunch with someone as often as I can. This gives me a chance not only to connect with people, but also to learn quite a lot about the things that worry them. Just a few days ago, I was eating lunch with someone I hadn’t seen in quite a while. […]

Relieving the Symptoms Versus Curing the Disease

One beautiful spring afternoon in 2006, I realized for the first time that not only did we not have enough money to pay our bills, but that our family was headed in a decidedly negative financial direction. We were accumulating debt. […]

The Single Most Powerful Way to Avoid Repeating Mistakes

Every single one of us makes mistakes. We sleep in too late. We forget to call someone. We spend more money than we should. We eat a ridiculously unhealthy meal. We don’t put in full effort at work. We forget an appointment. Whenever I make a significant mistake, two things happen. First, I have to deal with the consequences of the mistake. I have to make things right, in other words. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #148

Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. 1. Ashley Montagu on dying young “The idea is to die young as late as possible.” – Ashley Montagu This seems like a good plan for life. 2. […]

No Income Taxes? Multi-Level Marketing? Hedging Against the Dollar? Beware.

I get a lot of email from readers. Most of them are from people either writing to comment on an article privately or to ask a question for the reader mailbag. Some, though, write in to encourage me to post an article on a certain topic. Sometimes, it’s because they want to promote a product. […]