The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 9)

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. […]

Hindsight Bias and Personal Finance

We’ve all heard the old nugget: hindsight is 20/20, right? From the perch we sit on right now, the mistakes of the past look obvious. Why couldn’t we have predicted it? At the same time, we often look back at our past successes and see them as practically inevitable. That’s just how the story goes, right? […]

Five Weekend Adventures That Teach Your Kids Frugality

Almost every weekend, particularly during the summer when I’m working at home and Sarah is on break from teaching, we plan some sort of family “adventure.” The goal of these “adventures” is to either visit some location or engage in some large project at home that will teach the children something useful. They might learn a life skill or learn about how some element of society works. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #179

Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. 1. Thomas Fuller on the differences between people “The real difference between men is energy. […]

The $2,000 Question

If an emergency arrived in your life, could you come up with $2,000 in cash to cover that emergency? Believe it or not, if you’re an American, it’s a coin flip as to whether or not you could pull this off. […]

Eleven Tactics from the Meal Assembly Line

A few months ago, I posted a detailed guide to making meals in advance. It’s a very useful guide for preparing full meals, but quite often that’s not exactly what you want. You want an individual meal you can pull out when you want. I want this, too. Often, I eat leftovers, but lately, I’ve been enjoying pulling meals from the freezer in the morning and enjoying it for lunch. […]