The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 273)

Read the Local Newspaper (173/365)

One of my routines when I visit the grocery store is to stop by the entrance where there are a bunch of free newspapers available for anyone who wants to take them. I usually wind up taking one of each. These newspapers cover the Des Moines area as well a a lot of the rural communities around Des Moines. […]

Revisiting The Longest Night

“It’s kind of funny…the moments on which life hinges. I think growing up you always imagine your life–your success–depends on your family and how much money they have, where you go to college, what sort of job you can pin down, starting salary…But it doesn’t, you know. You wouldn’t believe this, but life hinges on a couple of seconds you never see coming. […]

Visit the Post Office (172/365)

About once a month or so, I find myself over at the local post office mailing packages. I’m selling something on eBay or shipping a gift to a relative or trading something by mail. Whatever it is, I usually finish my visit to the post office by taking a long look at the bulletin board. […]

Reader Mailbag: Children’s Art

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. Encouraging college-age money skills 2. Managing online gaming 3. Buying a condo 4. How important is expense ratio? 5. Moving for child’s school 6. Turning down unwanted gifts 7. Children and gifting relatives 8. […]

Check the Community Calendar (171/365)

A decade ago, I would often find myself bored after work. Mind you, I wasn’t even married at that time. Children were still several years away. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Vacation Planning Edition

While preparing for our family’s trip to South Dakota and Wyoming this summer, I spent a lot of time researching how to save money on vacations. This week, I thought I’d share some of the best articles I found on that topic. Planning a Debt-Free Dream Vacation This actually echoes many of the things I do during my own vacation planning. […]

Cut Back on Hobbies That Constantly Require Buying More Stuff (170/365)

When I was in college, I went through a long period where I avidly played Magic: the Gathering. For those unaware, Magic is a card game where a player (if they want to compete in tournaments) has to regularly supplement his collection of cards by buying new cards. […]

What You Give Up for Change

Recently, I was reading a wonderful memoir by Rich Roll entitled Finding Ultra, in which he discusses training for triathlons in his early forties after living a relatively sedentary life up to that point. At one point, he discusses how he almost broke down and gave up after falling off of his bicycle and breaking a pedal during one triathlon. […]

Plant Shade Trees (169/365)

The house we live in now was built in 2000 and is sitting in an area that was open, flat farmland before that. The previous homeowners only planted one tree and it’s a slow-growing one. We’ve planted two trees since, but they haven’t grown enough to provide shade. Our neighbors, however, have a beautiful shade tree behind their home. […]

Reader Mailbag: Memories of Near Misses

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. 401(k) expense ratio 2. Grocery shopping idea 3. Home buying books 4. Raising allowance? 5. Consolidating several accounts 6. Compost and time 7. Making your own mayonnaise 8. Car insurance options 9. […]