The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 297)

Children and Fundraisers

About once a month, either one of our own children or one of the children that live near us pops up with a fundraising form. They’re trying to raise money for their school band or their soccer club or for extra classroom supplies – all of which are noble goals. Usually, this comes hand in hand with a form with which to buy something. […]

The Diminishing Returns of Yard Sales

A few days ago, I had a great conversation with a couple that live about a block away from us. They have regular yard sales throughout the summer and we’ve stopped at the sale a few times. Their process is simple. They have an area of their garage that they devote to “yard sale” stuff. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #129

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. Sam Harris on what success won’t get you “If you are perpetually angry, depressed, confused and unloving, it doesn’t matter how much success you have, or who is in your life. […]

The Cycle of the Magi

Most of us have heard the classic story “The Gift of the Magi.” It’s a short story by O. Henry and is easily one of the most culturally known stories out there. If you’re not familiar, here’s the rough outline: it’s about young married couple and how they deal with the challenge of buying secret Christmas gifts for each other with very little money. […]

The Lessons We Teach

Our children, like most children today, will choose something sweet when you give them a beverage choice. They’ll want fruit juice or a soda or something akin to that if I let the child make the choice. Thankfully, I’m a parent and I understand that it’s a terrible idea to establish a pattern that a beverage has to be flavored or sweet. […]

You Are Your Only Measuring Stick

Don’t spend a second worrying about what kind of financial success someone else has achieved. Be happy for them, but don’t waste even an ounce of your energy using it as a benchmark. The only benchmark that matters is whether or not you’re in a better place than you were a year ago. It doesn’t matter what stuff your best friend has. […]

Reader Mailbag: Book Shelves

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. Newly widowed and worried 2. Overwhelmed by money stress 3. Money book for late teens 4. Toning down big dreams 5. Emergency fund and debt snowball 6. Laundry service 7. No shampoo? 8. Freemium 9. […]

Seven Ways We Effectively Reduce Our Food Budget

Sarah and I have three children. According to the official USDA statistics on food costs, the monthly cost for our family to eat per month assuming we use their “liberal” food plan is $1,337.80. On the other hand, if we use their “thrifty” plan, our monthly food cost for our family drops to $686.60. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Rains of Castamere Edition

Over the last few days, I’ve watched as several of my friends have been completely shocked by the giant twist on the Game of Thrones television series. Since I actually read the “Red Wedding” scene several years ago, it was very entertaining to see all of the surprise from people. […]

Comparing Costs Between New and Used Cars

The best way to maximize your value from a car, regardless of when you buy it, is to drive it until the problems become overwhelming, then trade it in for whatever value you can get out of it. I consider that the first rule of frugal car buying. The tough question is whether or not it makes sense to buy a new car or a used one. […]