The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Questions About Taxes, Work Lunches, Books, Cold Basements, 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. Book buying habit 2. Lifestyle inflation and workplace lunches 3. Spending in line with values 4. Why did taxes change? 5. Research materials after major project 6. Why not buy rental properties? 7. […]

Exploring the Connections Between Your Mental and Spiritual Life and Your Financial Life

This is the second entry in an eight part series exploring the connections between your finances and other areas of your life. Last week, I started a series exploring the connections between personal finance and the other “spheres” of my life. […]

16 Little Perks I Use To Boost My Mood When I’m Down Without Spending Money

The winter blues strike me hard each year. When the Iowa winter reaches a point where it’s fairly miserable to go outside and the days are short to boot, I wind up spending far too much time inside. […]

Making a Long-Term Committed Relationship and Financial Success Go Hand in Hand

Today is Valentine’s Day, and for millions of couples around the world, it’s a day spent finding ways to share in some form of romantic bliss. It can be deeply meaningful for some and stressful for others. Sarah and I will celebrate today in a pretty low key style, not ignoring it but not going all out in any way. […]

Airline Miles or Points About to Expire? Here Are Eight Easy Ways to Keep Them

Airline miles, hotel points, and flexible travel points make it easy to see the world at a discount — and sometimes even free. Unfortunately, the devil is often in the details since points and miles can be difficult to use. If you’re using airline miles in particular, you must find an award seat on the flight you want before you can redeem them. […]

18 Two-Minute Chores to Tackle Right Away

All too often we explain away our lifestyle or money messes by saying, “I just don’t have time to do [whatever would have prevented the problem].” Here’s a simple, supremely effective tactic: Any time something can be done (or at least well-begun) in two minutes or less, then for heaven’s sake, do it! The two-minute rule can’t fix everything in our lives. […]

Cryptocurrency and Taxes: A Starter Guide

As the 10th anniversary of Bitcoin passes by, murky waters continue to cloud the crypto seascape. Skeptics, supporters and talking heads alike have tabled the same questions that arose when cryptocurrency cannonballed into the public discourse in 2009: How exactly does it work? How can we ensure its security? Which cryptocurrency might emerge as the dominant medium of exchange? […]

Balancing Financial Success and Meaningful Life Experiences

Megan writes in with a great question: It seems to me that working toward financial success by spending significantly less than you earn is directly opposed toward having a life full of meaningful experiences. For most Americans spending 30-40% less than you earn puts you in a hand-to-mouth existence, cutting off opportunities for things like travel. […]