The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

Profile of The Simple Dollar

Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 273)

The Recreational Choice

Connie writes in: I don’t see how saving money really works for a family making minimum wage. Let’s say you have two people who make minimum wage at home so they only bring home about $15,000 each. If the family spends $1,000 a month on housing and $500 a month on their automobiles and $500 a month on food, that’s $12,000 a year right there. […]

My Plan for Handling a Big Windfall

Kelly writes in: What would you do if you won the lottery? Since I don’t play the lottery, I’ll answer this question under the assumption that instead I’m just receiving a very big inheritance from my unknown Uncle Rockefeller and Aunt Vanderbilt. The first step I’d take is to make absolutely sure all taxes on that income were paid. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #119

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. Joseph Addison on happiness “Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” – Joseph Addison Something to love builds from your past. […]

Buy Your Groceries Sensibly

I live close enough to the Des Moines area that I often shop in the city for groceries. In Des Moines, unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of grocery competition. […]

First Impressions and Displaying Your Social Status

Like it or not, we all display signs of social status when we go out in public. From our clothing to the car we drive, we give others indications of all kinds of things about us. Quite often, people buy into the idea that expensive items display high social status. […]

Blocking What We Can’t Deal With

For a few days last week, I spent a lot of time reading and playing video games. It was kind of out of the blue for me, so it didn’t take long for me to start asking myself why I was doing these things. What was triggering it was an avoidance of thinking about the pain in my lower legs. […]

Reader Mailbag: World Building

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 upgrade concerns 2. Choosing a major 3. Hedging bets on interest rates 4. The cost of sleep 5. Best use for savings? 6. Disgusted by product images 7. Transitioning to one income 8. Upgrading a computer cheaply 9. […]


When I first graduated from college, when people asked me about my future, I would fire off a few vague statements about what I wanted. I wanted a great career! I wanted to have kids! I wanted a nice house! All of those ideas were nebulous and vague. Sure, they echoed sentiments that I held in my heart, but they weren’t anywhere close to being authentic goals. A house? A child? […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Google Glass Edition

I just spotted my first person using Google Glass (or some similar item) out in public. For those unaware, Google Glass is essentially a pair of glasses that allows you to “overlay” data on top of what you’re seeing around you. Anyway, the person using it was talking to himself and almost walked out in front of traffic. […]

Does a “Savings Club” Account Work?

Carol writes in: My local bank offers an interesting account each year. It starts on the first Saturday in January and the deal is that if you deposit the same amount each week for 49 weeks, they will make the 50th deposit for you and give you the money at the end of the year just before Christmas. […]