The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 288)

Reader Mailbag: Trail Walking

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. Frugal meal tip 2. Picnic planning 3. Roof repairs and homeowners insurance 4. Maternity leave challenges 5. Tax blues 6. Saving on phone service 7. Retirement savings and deductions 8. “Walking Dead” thoughts 9. […]

Go Outside (77/365)

Over the last week, I’ve mostly discussed indoor activities when discussing inexpensive ways to spend time with your family. Art projects? Usually inside. Reading? Usually inside. Making things in your kitchen? Usually inside. We’ve just been through an Iowa winter. Much of the last few months was spent on indoor activities. Today, though, the weather is beautiful. The sun is shining. […]

Why Do It Yourself? Digging into the Value of DIY

A few days ago, I spent more than two hours dismantling and reassembling the guts of a toilet tank. There were some issues with flushing, and I wanted to see if I could diagnose it myself (I did, actually; there was a small broken part that was simple to replace). […]

Minimize Television Time (76/365)

Whenever I tell people about the family activities I’ve talked about over the last week – art projects, lots of reading, making your own crayons, and so on – they usually end up asking “where do you find the time for all of this stuff?” Our secret is a simple one: we drastically minimize television time. In our house, there is a simple “no television” rule from Monday to Friday between the time th […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #64

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. Over the years, I’ve served as secretary for several different groups. […]

Read Together as a Family (75/365)

If there’s one thing our family has an abundance of, it’s books. Nearly every room in our home has a bookshelf in it, and most of them are full. Reading is not a “sometimes” activity in our home. It’s an every day activity. Part of the reason for that is that Sarah and I are passionate readers, period. […]

Making Money from a Passion

If you’re passionate about something, you can make money from it, because people will pay for passion. Sometimes, it’s enough to earn a living, and on occasion, you can make really good money from your passion. Whenever I tell people this, they usually scoff. […]

Turn Supplies You Have on Hand into Toys (74/365)

Whenever I watch my one year old at play, I can’t help but notice that there really are only a few requirements for entertaining him in a safe way. The item needs to be fairly sturdy, as he can get mad and throw it. He’s one, so emotional control isn’t really part of the equation, nor is an understanding of any sort of “correct” way to play. The item needs to have virtually no intricate parts. […]

Reader Mailbag: Spring Break

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. Handling leg injury 2. Selling video games 3. Vegan eating challenges 4. Challenged by controlling spending 5. Corporal punishment 6. Choosing a debt to repay 7. Next move with underwater house 8. Protecting cards 9. […]

Make Your Own Playdough (73/365)

Our children have several small tubs of playdough, both the name brand Play-Doh and other brands of similar material, that they’ve received as gifts over the years. The contents of those tubs have been played with, sculpted, mashed, combined, and used in countless different ways. It’s actually a toy that Sarah and I quite like as it encourages our children to make whatever they want from it. […]