The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 295)

Use Cold Water for Most Clothes Washing (16/365)

It’s simple. If you use hot water at home to wash your clothes, heating the water is the single largest expense of running a load of laundry. I base this on the numbers calculated by Mr. […]

In God We Trust: Your Money and a Higher Power

Image courtesy Kevin Dooley. “Whenever a man makes haste, God too hastens with him.” – Aeschylus A few days ago, I had a long conversation with an old friend, who I’ll call “Randall.” Randall is in a deep financial, personal, and professional crisis. Instead of tackling the challenge head-on, Randall seems to be in something of a holding pattern. […]

Shop Patiently (15/365)

When we were first considering a move into our current home, my wife and I made a list of things that we wanted to have in our home that we just didn’t have room for in our small apartment. […]

Reader Mailbag: Friendship

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. Housing challenges 2. Employer matched IRAs? 3. Paying ahead on credit cards 4. Bus pass math 5. Selling a small business 6. Negotiating a promotion 7. Finding a community group 8. Thrift stores in Des Moines 9. […]

Consider Last Year’s Models (14/365)

A few weeks ago, I found myself at a local department store looking at microwave ovens. While I was browsing the ovens on sale there, I couldn’t help but notice a few things. For starters, there were quite a few display models of microwave ovens right there at eye level. […]

Review: Brandwashed

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years. One element of personal finance that has always fascinated me is the psychology of why we buy things. […]

Look for the EnergyStar Logo (13/365)

When you’re trying to determine which product to buy, one valuable calculation to make is the total cost of ownership of the item. For example, if you’re buying a washing machine, it’s worthwhile to also include in the calculation the total cost of the energy you’ll use during the lifespan of the washing machine (as well as the water used). Why is this important? […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #55

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. Simon Sinek on how great leaders inspire action How do you inspire others to take action in their own lives? […]

Reliability Is the Most Important Feature (12/365)

Far and away, reliability is the most important feature when buying a product you’re actually going to depend on regularly in your life. From washing machines to televisions, from kitchen knives to media players, reliability is an incredibly valuable feature. To be honest, I put reliability first with almost everything that I buy. The catch is that reliability is boring. […]

Changing Dreams

Claymont Mansion, near Charles Town, WV. Photo courtesy of Troy Tolley. The universe is change; our life is what our thoughts make it. – Marcus Aurelius Antoninus When I was younger, I spent a lot of time visiting my aunt and uncle, who lived within walking distance of our house. My aunt was always a barrel of fun. […]