The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 7)

Setting Powerful Short-Term Personal Finance Challenges … And 25 Examples to Get You Started

Much of our day-to-day lives has personal finance implications. We’re constantly making choices that either directly spend money or use up resources that are going to have to be replaced. When we eat, we shop, we go to work – all of those things, and many many more, have financial impact. At the same time, humans are routine-oriented people. […]

Questions About Insurance, BPA, 529s, National Parks, and More!

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. Insurance and breast pumps 2. Donations and religious groups 3. Cosigning on a mortgage 4. Cashing out whole life policy 5. Planning a “national parks” vacation 6. Baby bottles and BPA 7. Contributing to a 529 8. […]

How to Start a Blog: A Side Business Primer

One of the most common requests I get from readers is for detailed information on how to start a side business of some kind. With minimal equipment and ample time, how can a person construct a side business in order to earn a little extra money? This is the first in a series of articles describing exactly how to do this. […]

How to Switch to Collecting Experiences Instead of Things

In the old apartment Sarah and I used to live in, I had one whole wall filled with books. The bookshelf stretched from the floor to the ceiling and from wall to wall and, frankly, it was overstuffed. That bookshelf wasn’t too surprising, though. I’ve been a voracious reader since my early childhood, reading more than a book a week for as far back as I can remember. […]

15 Essential Personal Finance and Career Books

Over the years, I’ve read more personal finance and career books than I can possibly count. For the first several years of The Simple Dollar, I actually reviewed a book each week on the site. Yet, for all of those books, there were really only a few that had something inside the covers that stuck with me. […]

The Retirement Guide

With the future of Social Security and pension plans as unstable as ever, saving for retirement carries a whole new meaning today. In 1950, there were 16.5 people paying into Social Security for every beneficiary. In 2010, that ratio became 2.9 to 1. If this trend continues, depending on how young you are, Social Security may not even exist for you in its current form. […]

How to Handle Being Ashamed of Being Frugal

The simple maxim of spending less than you earn stands at the heart of personal finance success. If you can consistently do that one thing, you’re going to succeed when it comes to personal finance. I repeat that idea all the time because it’s so true – it’s the core of everything. People get into financial trouble when they don’t follow that maxim. […]

Twenty Powerful Tips for Discussing Money Topics with Your Partner

Throughout our engagement and the first few years of our marriage, Sarah and I never really sat down and had a real conversation about money. We each just more or less followed the pattern we learned from our parents. We dealt with any shared issues that were absolutely required in the briefest way possible. Needless to say, it didn’t work. […]

Summertime Reading

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. Moving in together 2. Paying no-interest bills ahead 3. Extra car keys? 4. Retirement basics 5. Do I need financial advice? 6. Home ownership questions 7. Home with expensive maintenance 8. Personal car use at work 9. […]

Twelve Simple Tactics to Shore Up Your Career During Work Downtime

When I used to work in an office environment, my days consisted of working on little projects and tasks that would fill half an hour or an hour or so, then I’d have a bit of downtime. I would either be doing some internal thinking about the next thing I needed to work on or I might be waiting on someone or something. The same thing is true now that I’m a self-employed writer. […]