The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

Profile of The Simple Dollar

Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 291)

The Assets You Have That Don’t Fit on Your Balance Sheet

I’m a big believer in using one’s net worth as a quick assessment of personal finance health. A person is making a good move if they calculate their net worth every month or every quarter, then compare that net worth to where it was at a year ago or, if they have the data, five years ago (or even more). […]

Reader Mailbag: The Fog

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. Pre-conception college fund 2. Using tax refund effectively 3. Ashamed of using aid 4. The four percent rule 5. Dan Ariely 6. Look for job now? 7. Slow cooker oatmeal recipe 8. State income tax 9. Donating unwanted books 10. […]

Smorgasbord Night

Let’s take a walk through my family’s normal meal routine. For three days in a row, we’ll make some sort of meal at home. We’ll have spaghetti or a stir fry or some grilled fish or something else. […]

Children and Fundraisers

About once a month, either one of our own children or one of the children that live near us pops up with a fundraising form. They’re trying to raise money for their school band or their soccer club or for extra classroom supplies – all of which are noble goals. Usually, this comes hand in hand with a form with which to buy something. […]

The Diminishing Returns of Yard Sales

A few days ago, I had a great conversation with a couple that live about a block away from us. They have regular yard sales throughout the summer and we’ve stopped at the sale a few times. Their process is simple. They have an area of their garage that they devote to “yard sale” stuff. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #129

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. Sam Harris on what success won’t get you “If you are perpetually angry, depressed, confused and unloving, it doesn’t matter how much success you have, or who is in your life. […]

The Cycle of the Magi

Most of us have heard the classic story “The Gift of the Magi.” It’s a short story by O. Henry and is easily one of the most culturally known stories out there. If you’re not familiar, here’s the rough outline: it’s about young married couple and how they deal with the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with very little money. […]

The Lessons We Teach

Our children, like most children today, will choose something sweet when you give them a beverage choice. They’ll want fruit juice or a soda or something akin to that if I let the child make the choice. Thankfully, I’m a parent and I understand that it’s a terrible idea to establish a pattern that a beverage has to be flavored or sweet. […]

You Are Your Only Measuring Stick

Don’t spend a second worrying about what kind of financial success someone else has achieved. Be happy for them, but don’t waste even an ounce of your energy using it as a benchmark. The only benchmark that matters is whether or not you’re in a better place than you were a year ago. It doesn’t matter what stuff your best friend has. […]

Reader Mailbag: Book Shelves

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. Newly widowed and worried 2. Overwhelmed by money stress 3. Money book for late teens 4. Toning down big dreams 5. Emergency fund and debt snowball 6. Laundry service 7. No shampoo? 8. Freemium 9. […]