The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Ten Pieces of Inspiration #132

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. Hemingway on superiority “There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self.” – Ernest Hemingway You are your own yardstick. 2. […]

Nine Ways to Save Money on Caring for Your Lawn

While we’re not exactly the type to go out and pay for a professional service to treat and fertilize our lawn for us so that we have a glowing patch of perfect green outside of our home, we do like to have a decent lawn that’s at least alive enough so that our children can run around on it without scraping up their feet and hearing a constant “crunch crunch crunch” sound. Here are several things w […]

Keeping Up with the Smiths

We’ve all heard the phrase “keeping up with the Joneses.” I think it’s time to add a new but similar phrase to the lexicon. The Smiths are the frugal family you know. They don’t drive the new car. They drive an older one. They don’t wear flashy new clothes. In fact, the husband seems to often be wearing the same suit. […]

The Philosophy of Frugality

Diogenes of Sinope was a philosopher in ancient Greece who was a cynic in the classical sense of the word. The classical view of cynicism was that, as Wikipedia nicely states it, “the purpose of life was to live a life of virtue in agreement with nature. […]

Reader Mailbag: Fresh Strawberries

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. Paid-up life insurance 2. Tablet as frugal computer replacement? 3. Online stock trading 4. Frugality and income 5. Why revocable trusts? 6. Need donation receipt 7. Camping in or near Iowa 8. Use for old playing cards 9. […]

The Best Time to Have Children

One common theme I see in reader mailbag questions is potential parents worrying about the appropriate timing for having children. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Frugal Vacation Planning Edition

In anticipation of our travel later this summer, I’ve been reading a lot of articles on frugal vacation planning. I thought, for this week’s roundup, I’d share some of these with you. (For those unaware, Sarah and I are planning a tenth anniversary trip to Boston and rural New England later this summer without the children. […]

Life Events as Triggers

I’m a busy person and, as I’ve mentioned before, I’m only able to keep track of all of the stuff I need to get done and all of the projects I need to work on by externalizing them as much as possible. […]

The Bell

A friend of mine sent me a wonderful article recently. Entitled “A Veteran of SEAL Team Six Describes His Training,” it’s an excerpt from SEAL Team Six: Memoirs of an Elite Navy Seal Sniper by Howard Wasdin and Stephen Templin, and the article appeared in the May 2011 issue of Vanity Fair. Why am I mentioning this here? […]

Teaching the Idea of Trading Effort for Money

As I’ve mentioned before on The Simple Dollar, Sarah and I have a pretty straightforward policy when it comes to allowances for our children. To reiterate the highlights: + Our children get $0.50 times their age each week for allowance. This means that a six year old would get $3.00 per week under this system. + They’re required to split their allowance up among a few things. […]