The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 298)

Homemade Gift Series #1: Vanilla Extract

For the last few years, one of the most prized possessions in our pantry has been a gigantic bottle of imported Mexican vanilla extract. It’s not that imitation stuff that you get on sale at the store, with weak vanilla flavor and added sweetener. This stuff is pure unsweetened vanilla extract. […]

On Homemade Christmas Gifts

A few weeks ago, my wife and I were chatting about some of the best Christmas gifts we’ve ever received. Many great Christmas memories from childhood came up, as did some other great memories from various holidays since our marriage. […]

Outcome Visioning and Personal Finance

It seemed so incredibly simple. But it actually worked. Last week, I visited a local bookstore. As I’ve mentioned many times, bookstores are one of my biggest weak spots. I can easily go into a bookstore and find myself picking up two or three interesting books before I’ve even really thought about it. My usual line of defense against doing that is to simply limit my visits to bookstores. […]

Reader Mailbag: Emotional Control

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. Costs of going to seminary 2. Is vehicle trade worth it? 3. Are we doing okay? 4. Roth IRA versus Roth 401(k) 5. Dealing with an overzealous client 6. Best “safe” option for money 7. Cash flow in big city 8. […]

Needing More Than Ourselves to Be Ourselves

My friend Heidi recently sent me a link to a fascinating article over at Mark Vernon’s blog (a philosophy-focused blog) entitled AS Byatt, who we are, and maps again. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: The Super Money Secret That Will Make You Rich Edition

Are you ready? This truly is the financial secret “they” don’t want you to know about. Ready? Here it is. Spend. less. than. you. earn. Of course, if it weren’t such a secret, no one would be drowning in debt and no one would be completely panicked if they lost their job. How Do You Measure Delight? […]

The Road Not Taken

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood and sorry I could not travel both And be one traveller, long I stood and looked down one as far as I could to where it bent in the undergrowth; Then took the other, as just as fair, and having perhaps the better claim because it was grassy and wanted wear; though as for that, the passing there had worn them really about the same, And both that morning equally la […]

Personal Philanthropy: Twenty Ways to Improve the World, Even If You’re Broke

So often, people assume that charity and philanthropy mean stretching an already-tight budget even further. “If I donated $100 to the food kitchen, I’d have to start using the food kitchen!” goes the common train of thought. (That’s not to say that donating money isn’t useful – it certainly is.) Money can often be a very tight resource, but it’s far from the only resource you have. […]

Summer Meal Series: Six Lessons for Efficient Cooking at Home

I’ll start off with what everyone will probably want to use this post for in the future – an index of all of the “Summer Meal Series” posts, as well as last summer’s “How Low Can You Go” meal series and a few other meal posts before that. The Recipe Collection Here are all of the “visual” recipes I’ve posted on The Simple Dollar over the years. Summer Meal Series 1. […]

Reader Mailbag: The “Making It All Work” Series

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. Stuck between goals 2. Dealing with partner’s student loans 3. Preparing for involuntary job loss 4. Replacing a vehicle 5. Jack of all trades 6. Using sleep as “mental downtime” 7. Buy house or attack debt? 8. […]