The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 384)

Buy Fewer Children’s Toys, but Buy Higher Quality Items (68/365)

Every so often, Sarah and I go through our children’s toys and set some aside to donate to Goodwill. Our children tend to receive a lot of gifts on their birthdays from their army of loving grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins, so they tend to wind up with a large number of toys. From those toys, we find ourselves pulling out the same type of toys over and over again. […]

Breaking Through the Frustration Barrier

Personal finance can be really frustrating at times. For starters, money success can take a long time to achieve. If you’re in a big hole of debt, you’re looking at years of digging just to get back to zero. People are often encouraged to start saving for retirement in their twenties, even though most won’t actually retire until their seventies. […]

Take Advantage of Hand-Me-Downs (67/365)

When Sarah and I had our children, we were somewhat lucky in that a lot of our friends and family were having children around the same time. […]

Reader Mailbag: Parent-Teacher Conferences

Reader Mailbag: Parent-Teacher Conferences 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. Medicare, Social Security, and 401(k)s 2. Water cooler and cable TV 3. Helping people in need 4. Handling an underwater house 5. Bad babysitter 6. Retirement savings troubles 7. […]

Shop Yard Sales for Young Children’s Clothing (66/365)

Newborn. Three months. Six months. Nine months. Twelve months. Eighteen months. Twenty four months. 2T. 3T. 4T. Children go through clothes sizes incredibly fast. I’ve watched my own children blaze through all of the above clothes sizes in three to four years. That means children simply aren’t going to wear out the clothes you buy for them. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Springing Forth Edition

On Sunday, we had a snowstorm that deposited several inches on the ground and left me shoveling the driveway. On Tuesday, the temperature reached 70 F and I went on a long walk in short sleeves. Spring springs suddenly. Marginal Tax Rate VS Effective Tax Rate – What are They and How do They Affect You? I see mistakes made all the time when people publicly discuss income tax rates. […]

Make Your Own Baby Wipes (65/365)

Over the years, Sarah and I have used two different approaches to cut down on the cost of baby wipes. Both of them save significant money over buying wipes at the store. Our first approach involved doing almost exactly what’s depicted in the picture above. […]

Toxic

It’s the little things that inject poison into your life. There’s a particular flavor of soda that I really like. I often absentmindedly buy a bottle or two of it when I have an opportunity. […]

Use Cloth Diapers (64/365)

When Sarah and I first started cloth diapering, quite a few of our family and friends thought we were completely crazy. Rather than focusing on the mountain of benefits (it is incredibly less expensive if you have multiple children, it’s far better for the environment), they focused on one of the drawbacks, which is actually fairly negligible. […]

Reader Mailbag: Paper Search

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. Refinancing into extremely low ARM 2. Over the Roth cap 3. Dealing with well-meaning family 4. Value of supporting local businesses 5. Walking away from great employer 6. Investing fluctuating income 7. […]