The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 292)

Vacation with Others (355/365)

My final tip on inexpensive travel is not just useful from a financial perspective. It also makes for a much more enjoyable travel experience, too. Simply put, travel with others. Make your trip into a group excursion and you’ll save money (and increase your enjoyment) in many different ways. Thanks to Ralph Daily for the photo. For starters, traveling together allows you to share things. […]

Selective Memory and Your Wallet

I love my children. I’m proud of them. When I think about their behavior, my thoughts are almost entirely filled with positive things. I think of my oldest child’s studiousness, my daughter’s creative energy, and our youngest child’s humor. What I often don’t recall is when they do things that they shouldn’t. […]

Don’t Overload a Vacation with Scheduled Activities (354/365)

I’ve gone on one vacation in my life where we had pre-bought tickets for activities on most of the days. I thought I was doing a great job in terms of bargain hunting. Oh, how wrong I was. For one, we didn’t even end up doing some of the activities. […]

Reader Mailbag: Christmas Prep

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. Separating business and personal finances 2. Roth IRA over income limit 3. Replenishing emergency funds 4. “Date night” Christmas gift 5. IRA or 401(k) first? 6. Building responsibility in children 7. IRA or student loans? 8. […]

Align Vacations with Visiting Family and Friends (353/365)

In 2009, my family travelled to the Dallas, Texas area. In that area, I have two great aunts and a number of first and second cousins. We spent a lot of time with them, enjoying meals and reconnecting. In 2011, my family travelled to the Seattle, Washington area, much like we did in 2004. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: New Friends Edition

In the last few weeks, my two oldest children have taken a new child in our neighborhood under their wing. This child’s family moved in quietly – I wasn’t even aware of someone new moving in – until the new child started showing up at the bus stop. The new child is quiet and reserved. Although I’ve seen her a few times next to my own kids, I’ve not actually spoken with her. […]

Use the Peak-End Rule (352/365)

The “peak-end” rule is a tactic that can not only maximize the value you get out of your vacations, but it can maximize what you get out of almost anything in life. […]

Getting Through the Valley

Whenever someone takes on a goal, they tend to go through a few phases. At first, there’s the honeymoon phase, where the person is enthusiastic about what they’re working on. They’ve got a clear goal, one that they’re sure is going to change their life. The steps to achieve that goal seem fresh and new, and they can often see real results from those steps. […]

Use a Digital Camera Effectively (351/365)

Whenever I’m about to travel, my digital camera is the first thing I pack. It’s an incredibly cost-efficient way to create a record of my travels. There are many obvious ways to utilize a digital camera while traveling. One, you don’t need to make prints (unless you want to). I almost never make prints unless I have a specific need for a physical copy of the photo. […]

Reader Mailbag: Stew

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. Tax software for challenging year 2. Credit cards and dishonesty 3. Shopping strategies in small town 4. Wage garnishment question 5. 100% financing on a home 6. Maximizing wealth after graduation 7. […]