The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 299)

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #81

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. I spent some time this week working on a presentation designed to encourage people to volunteer their time to causes that they care about. […]

Watch Less Television (187/365)

Right off the bat, let me make it clear that I don’t think television watching is an inherently bad hobby. My primary concern with it is that it’s an expensive hobby. Let me explain what I mean in detail. For starters, the average American household has approximately three television sets. The average television set lasts around six years, and the average television set costs $400. […]

Microrewarding Yourself

In order to encourage everyone in our family to get outside and exercise as much as reasonably possible this summer, Sarah and I instituted a family program called “Mileage Club.” Here’s how it works. At the start of the summer, Sarah and I made a giant pile of punch cards, each numbered one through twenty. […]

Read More (186/365)

Reading is an incredibly inexpensive hobby that provides so many benefits. Most of the time, it requires little or no electricity to engage in reading, so you’re not burning up watts and adding to your energy bill. If you read outside or in a well-lit house, there’s no cost at all during daytime hours. […]

Reader Mailbag: The Tough Part

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. Investing during financial downturns 2. Great public domain novels 3. Small business startup questions 4. Job for teenagers 5. Military man buying or renting? 6. Health insurance switch 7. Insomnia 8. […]

Go Exploring (185/365)

During the first few summers of my marriage, Sarah and I would go camping roughly every other weekend. We loved going to a new park, picking out a spot, pitching a tent, and starting a campfire on Friday evening. When Saturday morning dawned, we’d emerge from the tent and eat a quick breakfast. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Big Groups Edition

My natural tendency when I’m in a big group is to clam up and avoid people. I often remember going to professional conventions in my previous career where I would just lock up and look for a way to avoid eye contact, often ending up back in my hotel room. Over the years, I’ve mastered some ways to get past this. […]

Teach Yourself a Skill You’ve Always Wanted to Learn (184/365)

About two years ago, I decided that I wanted to learn how to play the piano. I didn’t do this for any other reason than personal enrichment. Prior to that, I had never played a musical instrument in my life. I had no knowledge at all of musical theory. […]

Actively Opposing Personal Change

Recently, I’ve been exchanging emails with Lisa, a reader who came to me with a story that’s achingly famililar. Rather than quoting twenty paragraphs of text, I’ve chosen to paraphrase her story a bit. Lisa is married to a guy named Jeff. They’re pretty freshly out of college and both have reasonably well-paying jobs. […]

Learn a New Card Game (183/365)

One interesting phenomenon I’ve noticed over the years is that many extended families, when they all congregate, have a card game that many members of the family play together. With my own extended family, for example, four point pitch is the card game of choice. With my wife’s extended family, the card game of choice is 500. […]