The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 291)

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Art Supply Edition

Our children engage in so many art projects that we keep a small corner in our dining room set aside for their miscellaneous art supplies and in-progress art projects.Pretty much every single day, our children clear off some of the dining room table and cut/paint/draw/build something.The only tricky part with this is that they actually manage to run out of some of their supplies. […]

How to Replace Your Computer Inexpensively

For most of us, the desire to replace our computer comes about due to one of two things. Either there’s a hardware failure or there’s a need to run some application that doesn’t run well on our older computer.In either case, I’ve found myself in a position to replace my computer twice since I’ve owned my own. […]

Five Steps to Escaping the Nightmare

Mel writes in:For the past six months, I’ve been getting letters from creditors in the mail. I don’t want to read them because the thought of facing them makes me sick to my stomach with worry and I don’t sleep well for days, so I just throw them in the trash as soon as I get them. […]

My Five Tenets of Financial Independence

“Financial independence” is a term that I often use on The Simple Dollar to describe my primary long-term goal when it comes to my finances. The catch with a phrase like “financial independence” is that it can have such drastically different meanings to different people.For example, some people consider themselves financially independent if they’re able to cover all their monthly bills. […]

Reader Mailbag: Ice Storm

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. Finding my 401(k) 2. Giving to church or charity? 3. Mortgage schedule 4. Leftover standby 5. To mortgage or not? 6. Frugal solitaire activities 7. Monthly service contracts 8. Making your own clothes 9. […]

The Beauty of the Open-Ended Creative Project

My children spent Friday afternoon and Saturday morning designing their own boardgame. The supplies they used for the game design were simple – several pieces of paper, a bit of glue, and a box of crayons.With each iteration, the game became more compelling. It started off as a Candyland variant, except using dice for movement. […]

Retirement Investment Obsession

Vitaly writes in:My problem is that I can’t stop looking at my retirement accounts. Whenever I see an investment option that’s doing a little bit better than whatever I’m doing, I start to feel sick to my stomach and I panic and I have to switch my investments over. […]

Career Risk Without Risking Family Finances

A few days ago, I had a long conversation with an old friend about a difficult career decision he was facing. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #110

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. Henry Stimson on trust“The only way to make a man trustworthy is to trust him.” – Henry StimsonIt can be very difficult to extend trust to someone that you don’t know or, even worse, someone with a less-than-stellar reputation. […]

Online Buying, Impulse Control, and

Recently, I listened to a story on NPR (for the life of me, I can’t find a link to it on their website) where developers at were discussing their goal in shaving seconds off of the time it takes for a person to come to their site with a desire in their head and to have purchased that item. For them, the goal is thirty seconds.Think about that for a second. […]