The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 299)

Debt Isn’t Required

Like a lot of people in my twenties, I spent much of that decade in a rush to saddle myself with a lot of debt. I owed money for my education. I owed money for my car. I owed money for my home, too. I had this strong sense that I needed all of those things now to show the world and those around me that I had somehow arrived in adulthood. “Look at me,” I thought. “I have my own car. […]

The “Hand Me Down” Chain

A few years ago, the boys across the street gave a glove to my oldest son. It was a small baseball glove, one that they’d outgrown because it didn’t fit their hand well. It’s a pretty tiny glove. […]

Bulk Buying versus Clutter

I’m an enormous fan of buying many things in bulk. I make no bones about it. You can save a lot of money if you buy nonperishables in bulk as well as if you bulk buy perishables that you’re sure to use up. The challenge is that if you’re buying quite a few different things in bulk, these things begin to take up serious space in your home. […]

Reader Mailbag: Mowing the Grass

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. Piecing through debts 2. Children’s birthday cards 3. Handling when life kicks you 4. Exhaustion after work 5. Lifetime memberships 6. Intensity comes and goes 7. Finding work 8. Different dreams than spouse 9. […]

Why the Small Stuff Matters

When someone thinks (or writes) about personal finance, there’s a big temptation to focus on the big stuff instead of the small stuff. When you write about big things like buying a car, you can immediately point to how one action can save you thousands. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Pet Rabbit Edition

Our family now has a pet rabbit, named Oreo. He has an outdoor cage that we built ourselves. I would have expected that he would be frightened of our children, but he actually seems to like them very much. […]

Looking at Frugality as an Investment

As we’ve discussed before, an average American family with two children – a seven year old and a ten year old – spends $1,252 a month on food according to the USDA’s liberal food plan. If that family adopted just a few frugal practices and were able to switch their food spending to the USDA’s low-cost plan, the family is now spending just $826.60 per month on food. That simple shift results in a s […]

When Personal Finance Advice (or Other Advice) Conflicts

I generally don’t make a financial move unless I’ve researched the ins and outs of that move thoroughly. I want to understand exactly what I’m doing and why I’m doing it before I move any of my money around. Understanding the ins and outs of the various financial options before us is a vital part of personal finance. […]

Breaking Even on Rechargeable Batteries

My computer mouse uses two AA batteries. Our television remote control does, too, as does our DVD player remote. Our son’s fish tank filter uses two AA batteries as a backup. Our small flashlight uses AA batteries, and our large flashlight uses an adapter that allows it to use AA batteries. I don’t even want to speculate how many of their toys use AA or AAA batteries, but it’s quite a few. […]

Reader Mailbag: Fresh Salad Greens

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. IRA worry 2. Replacing a toilet 3. Foreclosure or not? 4. Pension or 401(k) 5. Retirement plan for older folks 6. Sell first or move first? 7. Free financial counseling? 8. Trying to understand treasury bills 9. […]