The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 292)

Resist the Temptations of Soda and Fast Food (81/365)

Soda and fast food are both convenient pick-me-ups that many people utilize for a sweetness fix or for getting rid of a case of the munchies. From a personal finance perspective, though, there are much better choices for each of those options. Let’s look at soda for starters. […]

Reader Mailbag: Seedlings

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. Renting or selling land 2. My religion 3. College cash and investing 4. Transportation dilemma 5. Drawbacks of ebooks 6. Retirement and student loans 7. Walking away? 8. Garden vegetable choices 9. […]

Share the Thought Process Behind Your Purchases (80/365)

One of the best experiences I’ve had lately has been shopping with my oldest child. He’s six going on seven, so he’s starting to take a significant interest in what adults do – and, perhaps more importantly, why adults do the things they do. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: March Madness Edition

I’m not talking about basketball. I’m talking about the weather. We’ve had six days in a row where the temperature peaked above 80 F in central Iowa in March. The grass is rapidly turning green and everything is blooming. All of this is happening a month or so earlier than normal. […]

Segment Their Allowance (79/365)

Each week, my children receive a small allowance. It’s not tied to any chores; instead, it’s mostly a tool to teach them about money management. We pay them in quarters, with each child receiving twice the number of quarters as their age. […]

The Moral Instinct and Your Money

I recently came across a fascinating article from the New York Times by Steven Pinker called The Moral Instinct. […]

Utilize Community Resources (78/365)

This past weekend, Sarah and I went on a long walk in the woods at a state park, checked out the restored birthplace of President Herbert Hoover, ate a picnic meal in a beautiful grove, found a bunch of Devonian-era fossils, and played with our children on a playground. Our total cost for all of this – minus the food we brought ourselves – was nothing. […]

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). […]