The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 9)

The Problem with “Hot” Investments

About once a week, I take a trip to my local library to read up on the latest information about personal finance. I’ll grab current issues of all of the personal finance publications like Money and Kiplingers along with a newspaper or two and whatever personal finance books are on the “new release” shelf. […]

30 Great Gifts for $5 (or Less!)

Gift-giving can be an expensive proposition. Most of the ideas that tend to pop into people’s minds when it comes to exchanging gifts are expensive ones – or, at least ones that add up to a lot if you have to buy many of them. That doesn’t have to be the case. There are a lot of good ideas for inexpensive gifts for people that are thoughtful, enjoyable, and don’t leave you hurting. […]

Questions About Excel, L.L. Bean, Food Processors, Wallets, 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. Excel for tracking spending 2. Looking at old receipts 3. Setting up life without cable 4. Is a food processor necessary? 5. Divorce and life sabbatical 6. Planned obsolescence 7. How to carry a wallet 8. […]

From the Scarcity Mindset to the Abundance Mindset

Four years ago, I wrote a very brief article on the idea of scarcity and abundance mindsets. At the time, it was an idea that was pretty fresh in my head, and so I didn’t yet have the opportunity to really cover it with any depth. […]

Self-Reliance, Part One

Of all of the essays and short articles I have ever read, the one that has had the greatest impact on me is Self-Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson. If you’ve read my “Pieces of Inspiration” column before, you’ve probably seen me quote from it several times – and for good reason. […]

Why Fees Matter

The absolute first thing I look at when comparing investments is the fees that are charged on that investment. I look at it before I look at the history of that investment or anything else. Why am I so interested in the fees? There are two reasons. First, the fees charged on your investments are real and take a major bite out of how much you earn. […]

Moments of Change

One of my favorite posts I’ve ever written for The Simple Dollar was called “The Longest Night.” In it, I discussed the day that I hit financial bottom. It was an afternoon in April 2006. As I sat down to pay some bills, I looked at the balance of our checking account and realized that we simply did not have enough cash on hand to pay those bills. […]

Inspiration from Walt Whitman, Cardinal Sessions, Rule of Three, and More…

Once a month (or so), I’ll share a dozen things that have inspired me to greater personal, professional, and financial success in my life. I hope they bring similar success to your life. Quite a few people have written to me requesting that I bring back the old “Ten Pieces of Inspiration” series. I’ve decided to change it up a little. […]

The Dangers of Heroic Budgeting

There have been at least two periods in my life where I lived in an extremely cheap fashion. The first was during a period in college in which I lived in off-campus apartments with roommates. I lived off of ramen noodles and whatever was on sale at the grocery store (I lived on lots of eggs) and whatever was being given away at campus meetings. […]