The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 327)

The Problem Versus the Path Forward

I have a lot of things that I worry about. I worry about my children. Are they developing well socially? Educationally? Are they challenged but not completely overwhelmed? Do they have a balance of free time and learning activities? Are they healthy? I worry about my parents. Are they still doing all right? As they grow older, are they prepared for the passing of one or the other of them? […]

Worried About Economic Collapse and Your Retirement? Here’s Some Food for Thought

The last question in this morning’s reader mailbag left me thinking. Let me repeat Alan’s question again, for all to read. “I’ve been putting away the maximum amount I can for retirement for the last six years. I’m 29 and I already have almost twice my annual salary saved for retirement. […]

Reader Mailbag: Pancake Breakfast

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. Storage areas 2. Recovering drug addict 3. Hourly pay calculations 4. Magic: the Gathering collection 5. Tax refund confusion 6. Adjusting a sleep cycle 7. Parental gifts and financial disagreements 8. […]


There are days where life seems crazy and almost completely overwhelming. I’m wracked with writer’s block and project deadlines. My wife is running late from work. I have a cold and a headache is blooming. My youngest child demonstrates why his age is sometimes called the “terrible threes.” I break a handmade ceramic plate on the floor. […]

Frugality Regardless of Money

Several years ago, there was nothing better than going out to eat in the evening with my wife. We didn’t have any children, so we’d often go out to a nice restaurant, order a few drinks, have a wonderful meal, and pretend not to think about the outrageous balance of the check. Doing anything else at mealtime – particularly in the evening – seemed boring. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #140

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. Oscar Wilde on anonymity “Give a man a mask and he will tell you the truth.” – Oscar Wilde The truth might be about you, but more likely, the truth is about the person behind the mask. 2. […]

The Art of Figuring Out “Bang for the Buck”

For me, frugality means figuring out which products do the job they’re supposed to do well, then finding those products for the lowest price. In other words, I’m always looking to maximize “bang for the buck.” For many products, the generic or store brand version works well. […]

The Justification for Failure

Virtually no one likes to think of themselves as a failure. It’s not a good feeling. Whenever we do fall into that trap, there’s usually some self-loathing and sadness involved. […]

The Heartbreaking Puzzle of Life Insurance

I want to tell you a story about a friend of mine. I’m obviously going to alter some personal details here to protect privacy, but the core of this story is completely true. This friend of mine spent the last ten years or so of his life in poor health. […]