The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 321)

A Quick List of Free Things My Family Has Done So Far in 2013

We went ice skating as a family during a free skating day at the local ice skating rink. We found out about this because we watch the local community calendar. We played several board games among the ones already sitting on our shelves. […]

Some Thoughts on “Expected Value”

In the middle of last year, I wrote an article on playing the lottery in which I talked about the “expected value” of winning a lottery ticket. In that article, I gave an example of a typical Powerball jackpot and spelled out how the average return you would get on a $1 lottery ticket is $0.36. The idea of “expected value” isn’t a new one to me. […]

Helping Your Children

One of the questions I’ve really struggled with over the past several years is how much help I should provide to my children as they grow older, and what form that help should take. When I turned eighteen and left for college, my parents were more or less finished with their role as parents for me. I only lived under their roof again for a single summer (the first summer after college). […]

Reader Mailbag: Child’s Play

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. Reverse mortgages 2. Storytelling and profit 3. Refinancing and PMI 4. Short term investing options 5. Children and television 6. Handling old wine 7. Getting a razor blade sharpener 8. Slow cooker boredom 9. […]

The Retirement Blues

Charlene writes in: I’ve been contributing 10% to my 401(k) since the day I started my job fourteen years ago, and my employer kicks in 6%. I’m now 36 and I have about $200,000 in there. I should be happy about that. I’m not. Whenever I look at that money, I just see tons of opportunity lost. I’m still struggling with my student loans and I live in a crummy apartment. […]

Making Work Into Play

Work, for most people, is primarily a way to turn their time and energy into the money they need to make ends meet in their lives. […]

Turning External Motivation into Internal Motivation

The very first push life gave me to consider rebooting my financial life was an external push. It came from my infant son. Whenever I looked at him for several months, I felt tremendously guilty. I felt as though I should be doing more for him. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #108

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. […]

Scenario Games

Your spouse comes home this evening in tears. “They fired me!” she shouts. Your oldest child gets sick, goes to the doctor, and has a medical condition that’s going to take a mint to treat. You have a car accident on the way home, totaling your car. […]

The Alternative List

Whenever Sarah and I are considering a major purchase, we agree to wait thirty days before making any kind of move. I’m sure that’s a familiar idea to many of you. […]