The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

Profile of The Simple Dollar

Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 8)

There Is No “Magic Bullet”

Whenever I face a problem in my life, I want to solve it. Now. The sooner the better. When Sarah and I first started to face up to our financial troubles in 2006, I wanted a solution. Now. The sooner the better. I went to the library and checked out a mountain of books. I buried myself deep into the pages. I went crazy with frugality, counting every single penny. […]

Credit Card Interest Typically Compounds Daily – Here’s How to Take Advantage of That

A few weeks ago, I posted an article on the idea of interest that accrues daily. Here’s a brief explanation; check out the full post for more details: Some banks will accrue interest daily. Some even accrue it continuously. […]

Building a Better Day

On Tuesday, I woke up, got the kids ready for school, spread organic fertilizer over our back yard, got in contact with a local Congressional campaign about volunteering for them, spent two hours at the library doing research, wrote three articles, read a few chapters of a challenging book, played with my children for a good hour, made a frittata for supper, walked two miles, spent thirty minutes […]

Reader Mailbag: The Walk

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. Space heaters 2. Trader Joe’s 3. Too cheap around friends 4. Keeping funds separate 5. Parenting and work 6. Clark Howard thoughts 7. Dealing with partner’s debt 8. Lending Club as borrower 9. Parental guilt 10. […]

How Does “Pay Yourself First” or “Bank on Yourself” Really Work?

I often see and hear ads for programs that involve the ideas of “banking on yourself” or “paying yourself first.” They’re pretty prevalent on talk radio and you’ll sometimes see ads for programs like these in the newspaper or in the back of financial magazines. The claims made in the ads seem extraordinary. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Road Trip Edition

This summer, my family along with some additional guests are going on a lengthy road trip that will involve visiting an ocean, hitting multiple national parks, and stopping at Disneyworld along the way. Given that the group size would virtually require two vehicles, we spent a lot of time trying to find a way to rent a large passenger van so we could all ride together. […]

Does Consumption Smoothing Really Work?

Several weeks ago, a reader suggested that I listen to the latest episode of the wonderful Freakonomics podcast. […]

The Single Most Important Financial Skill

Investing? Frugality? Entrepreneurship? The most valuable personal finance skill, in my opinion, lies under all of these things. It seems incredibly simple, but it’s also incredibly difficult to master. It’s simply control over your emotions and desires. Control over your emotions and desires keeps you from buying things just because you want them in the moment. […]

Reader Mailbag: Memorial Day

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. Food pantry dilemma 2. Cheap mortgage, early payoff? 3. Long-lasting soap 4. Job board? 5. Taxes and living off dividends 6. Why no rentals? 7. Dishwashers and lemon? 8. Life in ten years? 9. Paying for impatience 10. […]

The Thousand Mile Journey: Making Long-Term Goals Matter in Your Day-to-Day Life

I have a long term goal of publishing a novel. I’ve always enjoyed writing fiction, but I’ll often write short stories or novellas and find myself really dissatisfied with them, so I’ll toss them aside. I’ve written a few novel-length pieces too and felt the same way – I was just never happy with them. Still, I hold onto that long-term goal. I want to achieve it. […]