The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 6)

Twelve Money-Saving Tactics for Disney World

In late June, my family went on a lengthy vacation through the south, including a long stop in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, a large chunk of a day in Savannah, Georgia, a visit to a relative in rural northern Florida, and eventually a trip to Walt Disney World with our children. Sarah went to Disney World three times during her childhood and it was an experience that she was excited to sha […]

Spend Less? Earn More? Which Is the Best Path?

Pretty much everyone who writes anything about personal finance will agree that the best way to get ahead financially is to increase the difference between what you earn and what you spend. There are, of course, two major ways to make that happen. You can either earn more or you can spend less. No matter which you choose, you’re increasing that gap. […]

Home Cycling as a Financial Strategy

Home cycling is a pretty nifty financial strategy. At its core, the idea revolves around buying a low-end home, fixing and upgrading it, and then selling it for a profit off the back of your own time and energy investment in that home. […]

How to Build a Successful “Shopping Hierarchy”

Last month, I wrote a popular article for U.S. News and World Report about “shopping hierarchies.” Here’s how I defined “shopping hierarchy” in that article: However, there’s stronger strategy you can apply that affects the price of almost everything you buy. I call it the “shopping hierarchy” strategy. […]

The Emotional Cycle of Change

As many of you know, I had a bit of a financial epiphany in April 2006. I came home from work one day, picked up the mail, and sat down to pay our bills, only to realize that we didn’t have enough in our checking account to pay all of those bills. […]

Questions About Clotheslines, Old Credit Cards, Pens, and $2 Bills

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. Buying a house for mom 2. Is Roth IRA enough? 3. Serenity prayer 4. Ice machines and hotels 5. Using a small clothesline 6. Question editing 7. Wealth and tactics 8. Guilt from covering needs 9. Buy it for life: pens 10. […]

Eight Strategies for Preparing Your Kids Early for an Inexpensive College Education (or Other Options)

It’s a worry that pops into the mind of most parents not too long after their child is born. College. How on earth are we going to pay for a great education for our child? Prices at top-tier schools like MIT have seen annual tuition jump to over $50,000 a year, with no end in sight to the rapid climb. […]

Personal Finance Data and Meaningful Decisions

A few months ago, I read a great article by Bill Barnwell of Grantland.com entitled Bridging the Analytics Gap. First, some background. Over the past fifteen years or so, there’s been a huge shift in how sports are analyzed. […]

The Six Pillars of a Strong Personal Finance Foundation

Just last week, I shared my list of fifteen essential personal finance and career books (if you haven’t checked out that list, I highly recommend it). […]

Tactics, Strategy, and Money

I love playing tabletop games – board games, card games, role playing games, pretty much anything like that. Ever since I was a little kid playing Acquire at my aunt’s house, I’ve loved sitting down at the table with other people and playing a game together. […]