The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 7)

Measuring Frugality

Most of the time, when I’m evaluating the usefulness of a frugal tactic, I convert that tactic into dollars per hour. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: OneNote Edition

Evernote is a software package I use several times each day. I use it for quick note keeping and some simple project organization. However, before I switched to using Evernote, I was a big user of Microsoft OneNote. I actually used that package for casual notes as well as organizing tons of different projects. Why did I switch? The cost was a big issue, as OneNote was part of Microsoft Office. […]

Best Prepaid Debit Cards of 2014

Finding the best prepaid debit card was once a task traditionally reserved for people who had trouble opening a bank account. Today, prepaid debit cards are becoming much more versatile. Many families and college students are regularly using them to manage their finances. […]

4 Steps to Take If You Loan Money to Friends or Family

This article first appeared at US News and World Report Money. A friend or a family member is struggling with a financial problem. That person comes to you and asks you to lend money to help them through their crisis. What do you do? This situation comes up quite often in tightly-knit families where there are different levels of financial success. […]

How I Made a Pocket Recording System Work for Me

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I rely heavily on a pocket notebook for recording ideas and jotting down expenses or things I want to investigate further. At least once a day, I run through these notes and deal with them in whatever way is appropriate for each note. […]

A Few Thoughts on Couples and Spending

This past weekend, Sarah and I enjoyed a “getaway weekend” in the Amana Colonies with another couple that we’ve been friends with for many years. Whenever Sarah and I have a “getaway weekend,” we plan ahead for a budget for that trip, setting a soft limit on how much we’re going to spend on food and other items, and this weekend was no different. Most of the weekend was very enjoyable. […]

Reader Mailbag: NCAA Tournament

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. Elevation Group question 2. Income and home ownership 3. Prime price change 4. Struggling with expensive housing 5. LED bulbs break even point? 6. Buying gift cards 7. Handling an art collection 8. Ashamed of overspending 9. […]

Six Principles of a Marriage Without Money Fights

During the first three or four years of our marriage, Sarah and I regularly argued about money issues. It never seemed as though there was enough money to pay for everything and, of course, it must be the other person’s fault, so we’d argue. Now? I honestly can’t remember our last argument about money. […]

Parenting, Permissiveness, and Money

Sarah and I have a laid-back policy when it comes to how our children spend their money. We regulate their allowance to a certain extent by requiring that they give a certain amount to charity and save some for the future (as discussed here). We also require that they put aside a little for a personal savings goal, usually an expensive toy, but as for the rest? […]

On Splurging and Regret

About a month ago, I spent about $150 on a giant pile of used books for a tabletop role playing game. A friend of mine was moving out of the country so I “borrowed ahead” on my personal spending money and dove in headfirst. […]