The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 7)

102 Things to Do on a Money-Free Weekend

Some time ago, I offered up the idea of the money-free weekend: For the last few months, my wife and I have been doing something every other weekend or so that we call a “money-free” weekend, in an effort to live more frugally. It’s actually quite fun – here’s how we do it. We’re not allowed to spend any money on anything, no matter what. […]

Setting Attainable and Exciting Financial Goals

To reach long-term financial health, start with attainable, short-term goals with an immediate payoff — like selling anything in your closet that you haven’t used in a year or more. Photo: Meagan Tintari When I look back at my personal finance progress, I’m most proud of the long-term success. […]

How to Save Money With a Balance Transfer

When is the answer to credit card problems yet another credit card? If you can use a balance transfer offer pay off your debt. Photo: Frankie Leon When you’re carrying a lot of high-interest debt, it’s hard to imagine how another credit card can possibly help your situation. […]

Starting Over Again at Age Eighteen

As I write this, I’m thirty six years old. My eighteen year old self existed literally half a lifetime ago. That’s scary to think about, that the person I was during my final year in high school, looking forward to a future education and eventually a great job and all of the dreams that I had, is half my age. Looking back, there were a lot of things I did right. […]

Questions About Guitar Lessons, 211, Convenience Foods, 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. 211 2. Strategies for fast mortgage payoff 3. Breaking convenience food routines 4. Justin Guitar 5. Perspective 6. Storing food staples 7. Haggling in big box stores 8. Mementos worth having 9. […]

How to Create a Bare-Bones Budget

Keeping the lights on, the fridge full, and a roof over your head are essential expenses. Cable TV is not. Photo: Gisela Giardino Whether you’re struggling to get your debt under control or simply want to build up an emergency fund or a down payment as quickly as possible, a bare-bones budget is a powerful tool to help get you there. […]

10 Apps I Use Every Day to Help My Productivity

Photo: Evernote via Facebook For me, every day is filled with personal and professional tasks that require the use of a computer and/or a smartphone. I have articles to write. I have emails to send. I have research to do. I have a book draft to work on. I have images to edit. I have videos to edit. I have audio to edit. All of these tasks require software. […]

ALDI, Fareway, and the Value of Discount Grocery Stores

Discount grocer ALDI offers few frills or services and mostly store-brand products, which makes for an efficient, if spartan, shopping experience. Photo: Mike Mozart Recently, I came across a great article about ALDI in Forbes Magazine. […]

13 Ways to Save Money and Protect the Planet at the Same Time

A reusable water bottle can save hundreds of dollars or more over its lifetime — and help keep plastic bottles out of landfills and waterways. Photo: Ryan Hyde With Earth Day 2015 almost upon us, it’s a good time to think about how our actions impact the planet and, more importantly, what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint and improve our environment. […]

The $64,000 Question

A few weeks ago, I was at a fundraiser for my children’s school when I struck up a conversation with a friend, who then introduced me to a third person that I didn’t know before. […]