The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 384)

Change for a Dollar

Every once in a while, something just appears out of nowhere and strikes the perfect chord in your life. Yesterday, a friend of mine sent me a link to a short YouTube film, Change for a Dollar. Here’s the video. Please, take the time to watch this. For me and for a lot of us, December is filled with spending money on things for others. […]

Does a Basement Greenhouse Really Save Money?

When I was a child, my father used to grow plants in our basement all year long. I remember going down there in the middle of the winter with several inches of snow outside, only to find tons of tomato and pepper plants thriving under an array of grow lights. I remember how the basement smelled like fresh spring while the rest of the house smelled like… well, a winter home. […]

Personal Finance and Intuition

A few weeks ago, I was exchanging emails with a reader (who asked not to be quoted, but said I could paraphrase the conversation). She told me that she makes most of her decisions entirely on instinct and intuition and feels that this is why she often gets into financial trouble. Frankly, I agree with her conclusion. […]

Reader Mailbag: The Big Christmas Run-Up

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. Retiring at age 50 2. Return to work or not? 3. Handling an inheritance 4. Christmas games 5. Money and relationships 6. Housing predicament 7. Pie options 8. 40/30/30 question 9. Wanting frugal gifts 10. […]

Review: Your Credit Score

Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. […]

Charity and Your Tax Bill

Edit: I made a mistake with the standard deduction math and explanation near the end of the original version of this post. I have since corrected it. Thanks to the readers who pointed it out. Monica writes in: Last year, I took the advice of my older brother and made several charitable donations during December to help out my taxes for the year. […]

Beginning Frugality with the End in Mind

One of the most empowering things I do on a regular basis is to create a detailed sketch of what I want my life to be like in five years or so, and then I repeat this exercise with periods further down the road (ten years and twenty years and then when I’m about 70). […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #51

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. Sounds of the Winter by Walt Whitman I love to get all bundled up and go on a walk in the winter. […]

My Top Tactics for Reducing Online Shopping

I find it very easy to buy stuff online without adequate thought. I’ll click a few times and suddenly the item I want is on the way. I particularly struggle with three sites directly connected to three of my biggest hobbies: Amazon (for books), Cool Stuff Inc. (for board games), and Steam (for computer games – and, yes, Steam sales are particularly my weak spot). […]


In 2002, I started a blog about dreams and dream science. It eventually failed. In 2004, I started a blog about sports. It eventually failed. In 2005, I started a blog about parenting. It eventually failed. In 2006, I started a blog about personal finance. […]