The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 299)

The Reaction

To every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction – Newton’s Third Law of Motion Whenever you choose to spend money on one thing – an action – you have that much less money to spend on another thing – a reaction. It works for time, as well. Whenever you choose to spend time on one thing – an action – you have that much less time to spend on another thing – a reaction. And energy, too. […]

Should Your Estate Help Your Children?

I received three reader emails in the past week about estate planning and children. First, from Doug: My wife and I are about to have our first child. What steps do we need to take care of to make sure our baby girl has a good life if something were to happen to her parents? The second is from Mindy: Now that my kids are fully grown, I’m looking at redoing my will. […]

Five Tactics for Cheap, Healthy Eating

There are a lot of tactics that you can use to save money on food – coupons, comparison sales, and so on. The biggest problem with many of those tactics is that they work best – or they only work – on items that aren’t particularly good for you. My doctor has two simple rules of thumb for eating healthier. […]

Reader Mailbag: Children’s Birthday Parties

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. Financial account security 2. 401(k) and company stock 3. Closing credit cards 4. Credit card rewards 5. Videos on personal finance 6. Credit card debt after death 7. Company loyalty 8. Expressing non-financial gratitude 9. […]

Five Free Tools I Use to Organize My Life

I have a very busy life. I have three kids, each of which are in different activities. I have three different community committee responsibilties, which means multiple meetings a month and other activities related to each one. I have writing responsibilities that involve two articles a day for The Simple Dollar, an ongoing effort to write a novel, and multiple other freelance opportunities. […]

“Live Below the Line” and the Value of Extreme Challenges

A close friend of mine recently introduced me to Live Below the Line, a charity that challenges people to live on a food budget of $1.50 a day for five days. Live Below the Line is run by the World Food Program and actually starts tomorrow (though you could, of course, do the challenge yourself any time). $1.50 a day. That’s not very much money at all. […]

The Allowance Lessons

“An allowance is not a salary or an entitlement. It is a tool for teaching children how to manage money.” – Joline Godfrey When our oldest child turned four years old, we started an allowance system. Each week, we gave him fifty cents per year of his age (so, $2 as a four year old). […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #123

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. Abraham Lincoln on friendship “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. […]

Monthly Budgeting for Non-Monthly Wage Earners

Every so often, I’ll get a question like this one, from Gina: I am a federal employee and I get my paycheck every two weeks but all of my bills are monthly. What’s an easy budgeting system? This is a pretty consistent problem, actually. Many employees receive their pay on a weekly or biweekly schedule. […]

The Value of Neighbors and Friends

Here are some of the things that have happened to my family over the last few weeks. One of our neighbors watched all three of our children for several hours for free so that Sarah and I could work on a backyard project together and have a nice quiet dinner together. Another neighbor loaned us some gardening equipment. […]