The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 273)

Reader Mailbag: Family Visits

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. Car upgrade question 2. Two dollar bills 3. Homeschooling costs 4. Rewarding academic excellence 5. Preparing for coming child 6. Leaving behind a family heirloom 7. Bill arrangements and guilt 8. […]

Sales (Usually) Don’t Save You Money

Every week, I get several flyers in the mail advertising sales at local department stores, specialty stores, and other businesses. I leaf through them on occasion and sometimes I do see something that’s got a pretty impressive price on it, something I know is about half of what it would normally cost. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Shifting Priorities Edition

Every once in a while, I reach a point where a seismic shift in my priorities begins to take place. Usually, I begin to realize that a goal I once held isn’t really important to me any more, but other ones are now much more important. Usually, when that happens, I feel great. I feel a renewed sense of pushing toward all of the things I want in my life. I feel like such a change is coming. […]

The Art of the Money Conversation

Talking about money is a very difficult thing. For starters, the individual choices we make about how to spend our money are rather personal. In some ways, they’re an expression of who we are. If I choose to spend $30 on a board game, it’s because I’m personally passionate about playing games at the table with my family and friends. […]

Is Your Future Optimistic, Pessimistic, or Realistic?

When I think of my future, it’s reasonably bright, but I think it’s realistic. I envision my children growing older. I envision one of them – and I’m not sure which one – being traditionally successful, one of them rebellious and then finding their footing a bit later, and one of them struggling, which is almost what you’d expect from three children. […]

Reader Mailbag: Building New Relationships in the Community

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. Traditional or Roth 401(k)? 2. Anticipation with letdown 3. Invest or pay off debt? 4. Weird allowance problem 5. Which loan first? 6. Online spending habits 7. Children sharing a bedroom 8. Freebies from conventions 9. […]

New Kinds of Victory Gardens

Victory Garden Program. Secretary Plowing Boston Common 04/11/1944. Courtesy U.S. National Archives. I’ve always been fascinated by the idea of victory gardens. […]

Mistakes – and Successes – of the Week

As I’ve mentioned many times, I spend an hour or two each weekend simply reflecting on my life and goals. I look ahead, not only at the following week, but at long term goals as well, and I ask myself whether I’m on the right track with them. At the same time, I look back over the week, clear out any little tasks left undone, and spend some time reflecting on those days. […]

Five Simple Steps for Comparing Investments

One of the most challenging parts of signing up for a 401(k) plan or opening a Roth IRA is deciding which investment to put your money into. […]