An Appreciation of My Father

I’m pretty sure that my father will read this sometime today or tomorrow, or else my mother will read it aloud to him. In either case, I’ll start off with the most important thing: thank you, dad, for everything I’ve written about below and so much more. My father is in his mid seventies now, and simply typing that is almost unbelievable to me. […]

Summer Vacation!

Well, apparently I need a vacation after my European vacation! I've come home to a Real Life in which I have too much to do and not enough time to do it. […]

Buyer’s Remorse and Forgotten Things

Open up your closet door, dig past the first things you see, and look at ten things you happen to find in the back (or everything, if you want). Out of those ten things, how many of them fill you with buyer’s remorse? How many of them had you completely forgotten? Look at the last ten purchases on your Amazon account (or all of them, if you want). […]

Why Cruises Are the Best Option for a Cheap Family Vacation

Planning a family vacation is often part fun and part stress. After all, you ultimately need to settle on a vacation idea most of your family will enjoy — without going over your predetermined budget, of course. While camping or renting a condo at the beach can be both frugal and fun, many... […]

The Hartford Renters Insurance Review

If you don’t own your home (or no longer do), but you still have plenty of prized possessions, purchasing a renters insurance policy makes sense. This coverage is very affordable nationwide, with average costs of $188 per year according to the Insurance Information Institute (III). […]

State Farm Renters Insurance Review

State Farm is well known within the insurance world, mostly due to their popular auto insurance, homeowner’s insurance, and life insurance policies. […]

Nationwide Renters Insurance Review

While your landlord purchases a homeowners insurance policy that covers the building you live in, it’s important to note that their insurance coverage doesn’t insure your personal belongings. Ultimately, that’s why many tenants purchase renter’s insurance. With this type of policy, you can insure your personal belongings against damage or theft. […]

What to Do When Your Financial Improvements Are Making You Unhappy With Your Life

For me, one of the most powerful side effects of turning my financial life around was that it made me feel genuinely, though modestly, happier in my day to day life. As we were paying off debts and starting to really save for our future, it felt as if this background layer of stress was slowly removed from my life. […]

How to Keep Home Improvement Projects From Busting Your Budget

There's a leak in my dining room that my husband and I are afraid to fix. We're not worried about destroying the old plaster (the water is doing a fine job of that on its own). Nor are we concerned that we can't handle the necessary work, since we plan to contract it out. No, we're wary of this... […]

Join Our Tweetchat on Thursday 6/13, 12pm Pacific for a Chance to Win Prizes

Join our Tweetchat this Thursday at 12:00 pm Pacific for lively conversation and a chance to win one of two $10 Amazon GCs! Use #WBChat to participate. This week's topic: Having a Frugal Father's Day! Learn about DIY/affordable gifts for dad, fun and frugal activities to do with dad on... […]

The Grind

“Most people overestimate what they can do in one year and underestimate what they can do in ten years.” —Bill Gates One of the biggest changes in my perspective on personal finance since I started The Simple Dollar is how to succeed at your goals. When I first started to turn things around, I set what I thought was an enormous, audacious goal. […]

Are Free Credit Scores ‘Fake’ Credit Scores?

In the credit scoring world, two credit scoring platforms dominate the market. FICO is the most commonly used brand of credit score. However, it’s certainly not the only game in town. Between mid-2017 and 2018, over 10.5 billion VantageScore credit scores were used by 2,800 unique users. You Have Hundreds of Credit Scores While FICO and VantageScore are the most visible credit scores in the U.S. […]

12 Enemies of Good Spending Habits

It’s really easy to have good spending habits if you’re sitting in a comfy chair in your living room reading a book from the library. It’s really easy to have good spending habits if you’re in the midst of a hike in the middle of nowhere. […]

How a Big Emergency Fund Can Lower Your Insurance Bill

Paying monthly insurance bills, whether it’s for a home, renters, or auto insurance policy, is one of life’s least enjoyable chores. Not only is it an expense we often see little return on, but the cost of car insurance, in particular, has been increasing for years—with the largest insurers increasing their average car insurance premiums between 2.3% (Nationwide) and 15.38% (Travelers) in the last […]

Ask the Readers: Where Do You Shop For Household Goods?

There are some household goods that every family needs on a regular basis, like personal care items and cleaning supplies for daily messes. The more people you have in your home, the faster you go through your stash of toilet paper and hand soaps. Just buying the basics can eat up a good chunk of... […]

How to make better (and quicker) decisions

Last week, I wrote about how I've embraced mindful shopping. I'm teaching myself to be more deliberate about the things I own and buy. My goal is to buy less and, more importantly, to own less. As part of this, I don't want to waste time shopping. I'm trying to train myself to make better decisions more quickly. […]

Questions About Retirement Contributions, Umbrella Insurance, Kanopy, Washer Balls, and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. What should I contribute? 2. Investment income and savings rate 3. Systems versus goals 4. Amazon Prime? Hulu? Netflix? 5. Young people renting everything? 6. Umbrella insurance for average person 7. […]

Amica Auto Insurance Review

Amica auto insurance offers policies consumers can customize to meet their coverage needs. Once you apply for a quote online or begin working with an agent, you can choose among several coverage limits, deductibles, and add-ons that fit with your lifestyle and help you sleep better at night. […]

How to Sell Your Old Mobile Devices for Top Dollar

The following is a sponsored post. I don’t know about you, but I have several old cell phones and an iPad laying around the house. They’re laying around because I haven’t figured out what to do with them. Wouldn't it be great if there was a way to sell your old mobile devices that were easy and available online? Of course, the carriers would love to take them off your hands for you. […]

Seven Things Not to Skimp on When Building Your Emergency Fund

Establishing an emergency savings account to cover life’s unexpected expenses is an important, if not critical, part of a solid financial foundation. The prevailing wisdom among personal finance experts has long been that one should have at least three to six months of living expenses set aside. While reducing household spending is a popular way to reach that goal (and a good habit in general), ex […]