The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 297)


There are days where life seems crazy and almost completely overwhelming. I’m wracked with writer’s block and project deadlines. My wife is running late from work. I have a cold and a headache is blooming. My youngest child demonstrates why his age is sometimes called the “terrible threes.” I break a handmade ceramic plate on the floor. […]

Frugality Regardless of Money

Several years ago, there was nothing better than going out to eat in the evening with my wife. We didn’t have any children, so we’d often go out to a nice restaurant, order a few drinks, have a wonderful meal, and pretend not to think about the outrageous balance of the check. Doing anything else at mealtime – particularly in the evening – seemed boring. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #140

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. Oscar Wilde on anonymity “Give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth.” – Oscar Wilde The truth might be about you, but more likely, the truth is about the person behind the mask. 2. […]

The Art of Figuring Out “Bang for the Buck”

For me, frugality means figuring out which products do the job they’re supposed to do well, then finding those products for the lowest price. In other words, I’m always looking to maximize “bang for the buck.” For many products, the generic or store brand version works well. […]

The Justification for Failure

Virtually no one likes to think of themselves as a failure. It’s not a good feeling. Whenever we do fall into that trap, there’s usually some self-loathing and sadness involved. […]

The Heartbreaking Puzzle of Life Insurance

I want to tell you a story about a friend of mine. I’m obviously going to alter some personal details here to protect privacy, but the core of this story is completely true. This friend of mine spent the last ten years or so of his life in poor health. […]

Reader Mailbag: Family Worries

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. Controlling spending in retirement 2. Shaving not worth cost? 3. Checking out potential roommates 4. Losing hope 5. Financially irresponsible family 6. Child cost panic 7. Paying off student loans 8. […]

Holding On and Letting Go

So many of the hard decisions and challenging moments in life boil down to holding on and letting go. When is it time to let your children go and have more freedom and autonomy – or hold onto them and protect their safety? When is it time to hold onto your money? […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: School Days Edition

With the latter days of August comes the start of another school year. My children have greeted the change with enthusiasm so far. […]