The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 292)

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Spring Break Edition

Our children have a week off near the end of winter that’s called “spring break” but usually seems to involve cold weather and lots of late winter cabin fever. Usually, they spend some time during this week visiting grandparents, then we usually plan some sort of fun family excursion for a portion of the break. Still, I find “spring break” frustrating. […]

Figuring Out the Size of Your Emergency Fund

I consider an emergency fund to be an essential part of financial preparedness for every person. If you or your family doesn’t have one, you need to start building one now. Let’s start off with the basic idea of what an emergency fund is. I like Dave Ramsey’s definition of an emergency fund: An emergency fund is a rainy day fund, an umbrella. […]

Why Frugality Matters

Let’s say you make $45,000 a year – that was the median income for a male in the United States in 2007. You pay 25% in taxes each year between federal, state, and local taxes of various kinds, leaving you with $33,750 in money you bring home each year. Reasonable, right? Let’s say you’re paid weekly. […]

Another Look at the Fulfillment Curve

Almost five years ago, I posted an article on the idea of the “fulfillment curve.” For those unfamiliar with it, the “fulfillment curve” is an idea presented in the book Your Money or Your Life which says that there’s a sweet spot for anything that maximizes the fulfillment you get out of it. […]

Reader Mailbag: Starting Seeds

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. Credit card advantages 2. Trip annoyances 3. Priorities and student loans 4. Early spring garden preparation 5. Paying off loan early 6. Starting a community garden 7. 15 year versus 30 year 8. Inexpensive record player 9. […]

The Reason

A few hours ago, my wife and I were sitting out in the yard watching our three children playing together. […]

Is a Second Job the Right Decision for Increasing Income?

Undoubtedly, frugality can be a powerful tool that can help you start digging out of a financial hole. Every time you make a choice to cut your spending, you’re directly leaving more money behind in your bank account. It’s an immediate effect, too. […]

Battling Perceptions

Let’s say you have three choices for your work commute. Option A will cost you about $2. It will get you outside your office in forty minutes, but you won’t have to be doing anything during that time other than just sitting there. Option B will cost you $12. It will get you outside your office in about twenty five minutes, but you have to stay focused. Option C will cost you $50. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #117

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. […]

Stop Justifying Your Spending Yes’s

Imagine, for a moment, that you’re standing in a store. You’re holding an item you want in your hand. As you look at that item, thoughts are running through your head. Usually, you’ve already decided whether or not to buy the item. […]