The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 321)

The Art of Saving Money on Food – or Anything Else

I can make a really good loaf of bread for about two dollars, all told. That includes the cost of water, of flour, of yeast, and of the electricity used to make that loaf. […]

Don’t Eat Out as Often (188/365)

The average American eats an average of 4.2 commercially prepared meals per week. In other words, as a nation, we eat out between four and five times a week, on average. This number equates to 18.2 meals in an average month eaten outside the home. When I first heard that statistic, my initial reaction is that the number was high. I eat out perhaps once a week at this point in my life. […]

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. […]