The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 299)

Reader Mailbag: A New Week

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. Assessing property 2. Scratched DVD repair 3. Worried about upcoming baby costs 4. Disagreeing about what’s “essential” 5. Gardening baby steps 6. Baby expense disagreement 7. Fixing a credit score 8. Taxes and investments 9. […]

Eight Tactics for a More Effective Grocery List

One of the best tactics a person can have for cutting their food and household supply expenses is to always have a grocery list when they go to the store. If you go to the store without a list, you’re far more prone to buying things that you don’t really need. Here’s the thing: just having a grocery list doesn’t help too much if that grocery list doesn’t make any sense. […]

Finding Frugality in the Palm of Your Hand

Yesterday afternoon, I walked my three year old son to the bathroom at a park. He held my hand the entire way, skipping and dancing and laughing. A few days ago, my daughter hurt herself on a trampoline. I went to her, pulled her close, and wiped the tears away. […]

Stop Worrying About What You “Get Back” When You Give

One doesn’t have to spend much time around other people to hear some variation on this refrain: “I give and I give and I never get anything in return.” Whenever I hear something like that, a few things pop into my head. One, that person probably doesn’t “give” as much as they think they do. Two, that person probably does “get” more in return than they realize. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #139

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. […]

Changing Your Outlook

The things you do every day as part of your routine do an awful lot to shape your perspective on life. If you hate your job, you’ll feel that hating your job is normal and find it really strange that others hate their job. If you spend a significant amount of time each day watching television, then watching television will seem incredibly normal to you and people who don’t do it will seem strange. […]

Are 401(k) Plans a Fraud?

Over the last two weeks, quite a few readers have passed along a link to Helaine Olen’s article at Salon entitled 401(k)s are a sham: Duped by a DIY retirement dream, the elderly now face staggeringly low living standards and have asked for my thoughts on it. […]

Is the “American Dream” Dead?

Recently, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan said, “Not everybody is going to be able to get a mortgage or buy a home. We need to recognize that as a country.” The argument he was making was that lenders simply can’t lend to everyone. […]

Reader Mailbag: Bedtime Stories

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. More miles from used car? 2. Is real estate best investment? 3. Unsure about first retirement steps 4. Older personal finance books 5. Figuring out wedding expenses 6. Best tablet for the buck? 7. […]

Renting Isn’t a Throwaway

Kelly writes in: “Sometimes you encourage people to rent instead of buying a home ASAP. This seems like a giant waste of money to me. Renting doesn’t build equity or help with taxes.” When it comes to housing, I do not believe that either renting or buying living space is the right answer for people all of the time. […]