The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 296)

How We Celebrate New Year’s Eve

A surprising number of people have asked me how Sarah and I celebrate New Year’s Eve with a frugal touch, so I thought I’d share our celebration plans. They’re pretty similar to what we’ve done the last few years. Hosting a party We host a New Year’s party on a rotating basis with some of our friends. […]

Keep Trying New Frugal Tactics (363/365)

The number of effective ways to trim your spending is nearly unlimited. You can check out encyclopedic tomes of frugality tips from the library or simply visit one of a thousand frugality blogs out there on the internet and collect more tips than you can possibly deal with. When you first dive into the whole idea of frugality, it’s pretty exciting. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #106

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. […]

Remember That Time Is Money (362/365)

What is an hour of your time and energy worth? In simplest terms, an hour of your time is worth whatever you’re paid for an hour’s worth of work at your job. After all, you’re repeatedly willing to spend your time and energy at that rate, so it must be an exchange rate you’re happy with. In fact, that’s a pretty good metric to apply to the rest of the time that you have. […]

The Value of Non-Financial Investments

The other day, I spent an hour playing an abstract strategy game with my oldest son. After that, I spent roughly the same amount of time helping my daughter build a LEGO kit that was way above her age level. […]

Think About Why You Want Something (361/365)

Each year, my extended family usually requests that I make up a wish list at to make it easier for them for gift-giving purchases. I don’t mind doing this at all, because it helps them out. The problem with this is that I struggle for things to put on my wishlist. […]

Reader Mailbag: Christmas Week

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 score and car question 2. Returning Christmas gifts 3. Negative credit card balance 4. New Year’s Eve party planning 5. Saving money on a cruise 6. Starting out with home renovations 7. 529 plan recommendations 8. […]

Find Frugal Friends (360/365)

When you spend time with your friends, what do you do? Do you go to each other’s houses for potluck dinners, or do you go out on the town for dinner? When you watch movies together, do you toss a DVD someone already owns into the DVD player at a friend’s house, or do you head to the theater? When you have a party, do you try to outdo each other with expensive finger foods and beverages, or do you […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Christmas Havoc Edition

One of my father’s secondary gifts for Christmas is the giant pile of papers and boxes left over after all of his grandchildren come to visit and open presents at his house. He collects up all of these items and takes them out into his garage, which is heated by a wood stove. He has fresh kindling and fire boosters that will last him until spring. […]

Handle a Windfall Intelligently, Too (359/365)

Yesterday, we talked about the challenges of getting a raise. It’s always a good thing to increase your income, but if you make poor financial decisions with that extra income, it will go to waste and you’ll find yourself right back in the same difficult financial boat you were in before the raise. The same phenomenon is perhaps even more true when it comes to a big windfall. […]