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)

You Don’t Need Money to Start a Side Business

When I started my computer consulting business, I spent about $150 in startup costs. I printed some flyers, had some business cards made, and had a lawyer check over a few documents. That’s it. When I started The Simple Dollar, I spent even less. I spent somewhere around $40 launching the site, all told. In both of these cases, it was not a big initial investment that led to success. […]

Put Your Home Electronics on a Switch-Based Power Source (151/365)

One of the things I really liked about our house when we first moved in is how each room had multiple switches that controlled particular wall outlets. All you had to do was flip a switch in that room to cut electricity to the outlet. At first, this was just a convenient novelty. […]

Reader Mailbag: The Injury Cycle

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. Family and money 2. Home mortgage, debts, and repairs 3. Convincing children to sleep 4. Free refills at restaurants 5. Mortgage paydown or down payment? 6. SodaStream 7. Career switch and financial difficulties 8. […]

Use LED Bulbs in Certain Places (150/365)

For indoor use, there are three primary types of light bulbs available in the American market. Incandescent bulbs are the ones most of us have used all of our lives. They produce wonderful bright light, but they’re also incredibly energy inefficient and burn out all the time. Incandescent bulbs are also the least expensive problem. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Sunburn Edition

I spent a ton of time outside this past weekend. Although I put on a bunch of sunscreen, I didn’t apply enough to my shoulders and spent several hours swimming. My shoulders are burnt. In fact, it looks rather weird. I’m not burnt anywhere else except for the top of my shoulders, and they’re bright red. I’ve been trying various things on it to soothe the burning. […]

Install a Programmable Thermostat (149/365)

During the day at our house, I leave the air conditioning and furnace off, no matter the time of year. […]

Playing the Lottery

Julie writes in: I would love to see you run the numbers on playing the lottery. My mother spends $20 a week on Powerball. I keep telling her she’d be better off putting that $20 a month into a savings account, but I might as well be talking to the wall. Lotteries wouldn’t exist if they didn’t turn a profit. […]

Use Rechargeable Batteries (148/365)

Our house goes through quite a few batteries, particularly AA, C, and D cells. Between remote controls, flashlights, and children’s toys, we always have a few dozen batteries in use in our home at the same time. The cheapest solution in the short term is to just go to our local warehouse club and buy a few jumbo packs of batteries. […]

Reader Mailbag: Home Movies

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. Financially sensible graduation gift 2. Using lots of oregano? 3. Summer vacation reading 4. Basic expenses more than income 5. Retire now or later? 6. Unwanted friends for children 7. Should we replace this chair? 8. […]

Read the Manual, Especially for Rechargeable Items (147/365)

The actual use of electronic devices straight out of the box has become much easier than it used to be. Most of the time, items just come with one or two cables that are pretty clearly plugged into certain places, and then the actual operation of those items is pretty straightforward. […]