The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 350)

A Deeper Look at the Average American’s Budget

Recently, I came across this wonderful graphic over at The Credit Blog that spells out how the average American spends their paycheck: I actually pointed to a similar graphic a few years ago, but this is a revised one with updated figures. Let’s pull out the data, shall we? An average “consumer unit” in this picture consists of 2.5 people, of which 1.3 are wage earners. […]

Four Big Things To Do Today That Will Change Your Financial Situation

Want some action points today that can change your financial situation pretty rapidly? Willing to make a few big changes to your life? Here are four things you can do starting right now to make a radical shift in your finances and set you on a better track. 1. Cancel your cable or satellite service. Cancel it. Pay the termination fee if you have to. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #114

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. This past week, our family has been talking about places in the world that we’d like to visit. As I often do, I pulled out a bunch of photographs of things I wanted to see in the world to show to my children. […]

Bulk Buying Versus Overconsumption

I love orange juice. I just love the stuff. When there’s orange juice in the fridge, I am constantly tempted to pull out the container and pour me a glass of it. This is particularly true when the container is mostly full, but when the container starts to get low, I slow down. I know that the juice will run out soon, so I savor it a bit. […]

There Are Twenty Enjoyable Things I Could Be Doing Right Now. Why Not Do The Cheapest One?

That’s the thought I have pretty often when I have a few free hours on the weekends. I usually have a ton of things that I’d like to be doing. I could go buy some books I’ve been wanting, then curl up with them. I could go golfing. I could go out to eat at a restaurant. […]

What Is Your Logjam?

During the months leading up to our financial meltdown in April 2006, I knew that there were some serious financial problems brewing in our life. We had a lot of debt and didn’t own any major assets and we seemed to be consistently spending less than we earned. […]

Reader Mailbag: The Calm Before the Storm

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. Using a blog for sales 2. Emergency document contents 3. No 401(k) at work 4. Local bookswap 5. Whole life insurance 6. Handling windfall 7. Pen-and-paper games 8. Negotiating with credit cards 9. Hand sanitizer or soap? 10. […]

Investments, Taxes, and Worry

Johnny writes in: The one thing that has kept me from diving into investing is fear of taxes. Every time I read about taxes and investments, it seems really, really complicated and I’m worried I’m going to be stuck with a big tax bill at the end of a given year even if I think I did everything smartly. That’s an understandable worry. […]

The “I’m Never Going to Retire” Retirement Plan

Stephen writes in: I’ve basically made the decision that I’m never going to retire. I’m going to keep working until I literally cannot work any more, at which point my physical and mental decline should be pretty steep and swift. Given that, what’s the point of saving for retirement? […]