The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

Profile of The Simple Dollar

Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 294)

New York’s Soda Ban and Your Money

On Wednesday, the mayor of New York City announced a proposed ban on large sugared drinks, which essentially limits all drinks with added sugar content to be limited to one pint (16 ounces) or less. Naturally, there was a lot of outcry over this. Overzealous government! Restriction of freedom! […]

Unplug Electrical Devices You’re Not Using (153/365)

Having electrical devices on a switch can make it very convenient to cut power to electrical devices, and cutting power to electrical devices when you’re not using them saves money. The problem is that most of our electrical devices are not hooked up to switches. Instead, they just sit there, plugged in, sucking down some amount of phantom power all the time. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #76

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. Tree devouring a sign Nature is relentless. It will always find a way. Thanks to Jennifer Gensch for this wonderful picture. 2. […]

Turn Off Lights You’re Not Using (152/365)

A single light bulb in your home, depending on type, can burn between 7 watts (some LEDs and CFLs) and 100 watts (a 100W incandescent) of electricity. One light bulb. Our basement has six light fixtures, as does the master bathroom. My office has three (in a ceiling fan), as does our bedroom and the bedroom of our children. […]

You Don’t Need Money to Start a Side Business

When I started my computer consulting business, I spent about $150 in startup costs. I printed some flyers, had some business cards made, and had a lawyer check over a few documents. That’s it. When I started The Simple Dollar, I spent even less. I spent somewhere around $40 launching the site, all told. In both of these cases, it was not a big initial investment that led to success. […]

Put Your Home Electronics on a Switch-Based Power Source (151/365)

One of the things I really liked about our house when we first moved in is how each room had multiple switches that controlled particular wall outlets. All you had to do was flip a switch in that room to cut electricity to the outlet. At first, this was just a convenient novelty. […]

Reader Mailbag: The Injury Cycle

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. Family and money 2. Home mortgage, debts, and repairs 3. Convincing children to sleep 4. Free refills at restaurants 5. Mortgage paydown or down payment? 6. SodaStream 7. Career switch and financial difficulties 8. […]

Use LED Bulbs in Certain Places (150/365)

For indoor use, there are three primary types of light bulbs available in the American market. Incandescent bulbs are the ones most of us have used all of our lives. They produce wonderful bright light, but they’re also incredibly energy inefficient and burn out all the time. Incandescent bulbs are also the least expensive problem. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Sunburn Edition

I spent a ton of time outside this past weekend. Although I put on a bunch of sunscreen, I didn’t apply enough to my shoulders and spent several hours swimming. My shoulders are burnt. In fact, it looks rather weird. I’m not burnt anywhere else except for the top of my shoulders, and they’re bright red. I’ve been trying various things on it to soothe the burning. […]

Install a Programmable Thermostat (149/365)

During the day at our house, I leave the air conditioning and furnace off, no matter the time of year. […]