The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 296)

Why Thoughtful Presents Always Trump Expensive Ones

When I was younger, I worried quite a bit about the gifts that I needed to get for some of the people I cared most about in my life. I’d worry and worry about picking out an item that would really show exactly how much I cared for them. Inevitably, that meant spending quite a bit on an item. […]

“Fake It Until You Make It” Isn’t an Excuse to Spend

The idea of “fake it until you make it” can be a very useful one that leads you to success some of the time, and it can be a disastrous one that leads you down an incredibly dangerous path at other times. The trick is knowing which is which. First, let’s take a look at what the phrase actually means. […]

Reader Mailbag: Road Trip Checklist

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. Thoughts on national debt 2. Working through distractions 3. Debating options for covering education 4. Books and ebooks as gifts 5. Trouble thinking about future 6. Cheap gas or not? 7. Checking fees 8. […]

Is Minimum Wage Worth It for a Married Couple?

Lacey writes in: “My husband makes about $45K per year working for the state. I make just a hair above minimum wage – $8 per hour – working in the kitchen at a restaurant. I don’t mind the work but I have been wondering whether it makes sense for me to be doing this. […]

Junk Food for the Mind

“To see things in their true proportion, to escape the magnifying influence of a morbid imagination, should be one of the chief aims of life.” – William Edward Hartpole Lecky Recently, I enjoyed a great article at The Happiness Project entitled “Avoid the Dangerous Allure of “Potato Chip” News.” The article compares most news reporting to “potato chips” – it’s meant to cause a very quick emotiona […]

Ten Personal Finance Questions That Are Always Worth Asking Yourself

My experience with money – going from mountains of debt to debt freedom – over the last decade has taught me one sure financial principle that simply repeats itself over and over in my life. Personal finance is all about self-evaluation. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #154

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. Lois McMaster Bujold on reputation and honor “Reputation is what other people know about you. Honor is what you know about yourself. Guard your honor. […]

If You Want a New Year’s Resolution to Actually Succeed, Start Now

Many people make New Year’s resolutions – I do it myself some years. They’re usually made with the best of intentions, with the hopes of creating some level of self-improvement. They also usually start off like gangbusters and then fall by the wayside by the start of February. Why does that happen? For starters, resolutions are often poorly planned. […]

Seeking a Light at the End of the Tunnel

While reading this article by Linda Tirado entitled “This Is Why Poor People’s Bad Decisions Make Perfect Sense,” I was struck by several things. First, when you’re stuck financially, every decision is more stressful. I’ve talked about decision fatigue several times lately on The Simple Dollar, but it’s particularly true when you’re in a very tight financial situation. […]

White Friday: The Anti-Black Friday

Here are my big plans for tomorrow. I plan on sleeping in until about eight in the morning – or, more likely, until my children hop in bed with me and wake me up. I’m going to eat a home-cooked breakfast with my parents, my wife, and my children. After that, I plan on spending the morning working on a couple of personal projects. […]