The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 384)

The Second Life of Food

This morning, I was doing a bit of advance planning for our dinner this evening. […]

Giving Experiences, Not Things, This Holiday Season

The holiday gift-giving season is upon us once again. For many of us, that means stress. What gift can we give to the people we care about that actually means something? Why do the holidays have to be so expensive after we buy gifts for everyone on our Christmas list? […]

The Five Whys and the Power of Analyzing Your Life

Over the last month, I’ve mentioned a technique I call “the five whys” two or three times. The technique itself is simple: when you see something in your life that’s not working like you want it to, you start asking “why” until you come to something where you can’t say “why” any more. […]

Is the Dollar Store Really a Bargain?

Before he passed away a few years ago, my uncle Ken (who I still miss greatly) was a fanatic shopper at dollar stores. He did most of his shopping at a pair of local dollar stores, where he would buy virtually all of his household supplies and quite a bit of his food. […]

The Hawthorne Effect and You

We all do it. When we know we’re being watched, we’re on our best behavior. We often tend to perform better and we usually tend to make better choices, too. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Post-Book Lull Edition

After turning in my book a week ago, some of my friends who had already published books wrote to me with an interesting point. “After your book is done,” they said, “you’ll find that you go through a bit of ‘writing burnout.’ You won’t want to write anything for a while.” At first, I didn’t think this was true, as early last week, I got a lot of writing done. […]

How I Use My Net Worth as a Psychological Carrot

I like keeping score. Keeping score is an easy way for me to know how well I’m doing. It lets me judge, in a very clear way, whether I’m improving and whether I’m making forward progress towards my goals. For a long time, I was obsessed with keeping score in various aspects of my life against other people. I’d keep score with the various gadgets we had. […]

The Meaning of the Dow Jones Industrial Average

Mickey writes in: In the last week, the Dow Jones Industrial average closed at a thirteen month high and, at the same time, unemployment hit double digits for the first time since the early eighties. I thought that the Dow Jones was supposed to represent how the economy was doing, but that’s not the case. What does it mean? […]

Investing Isn’t Just for Rich People: Five Ways Anyone Can Reap the Rewards of Investing

Quite a few readers simply tune out when I mention investments. They don’t believe the topic applies to them at all. “How can I possibly worry about investing when I can barely put food on the table?” they’ll ask. The answer is simple: virtually every single person has the resources with which to begin investing. […]

Reader Mailbag #88

Each Monday, The Simple Dollar opens up the reader mailbags and answers ten to twenty simple questions offered up by the readers on personal finance topics and many other things. Got a question? Ask it in the comments. […]