The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

Profile of The Simple Dollar

Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 5)

Using Serendipity to Maximize Frugality

There’s nothing better than an unexpected positive event happening purely by chance. What’s even better? Serendipity when the price tag is very small or nonexistent, or when you’re able to multiply the value of your dollar enormously. The challenge, of course, is to put yourself in situations where serendipity is likely to occur without inherently having to spend a lot of money. […]

Handling Melancholy Without Buying Stuff

Like a lot of people, I sometimes fall into periods of melancholy. I don’t view it as anything like actual depression, which is a serious mental health condition that deserves proper treatment by professionals, but it’s a sense of feeling sad about my life. […]

Our True Taxes

[T]he taxes are indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us. […]

A Tale of Five Lamps

A few weeks ago, the desk lamp I use at my standing desk went on the fritz. I thought at first that it was just a bad light bulb, but I quickly figured out that there was something fundamentally wrong with the lamp. At that point, I had some decisions to make. I could spend some time taking the lamp apart, figuring out what was wrong with it internally, and attempting to fix it. […]

Questions About 529s, Dollar Shave Club, Solo 401(k), Nagging Coworkers, 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. 529 for child without custody 2. Advising friends without being pushy 3. Found the furniture-selling article! 4. Notable feature of money markets 5. Never want to retire? 6. Paper journal versus Day One? 7. […]

Books with Impact: Atomic Habits

The “Books with Impact” series takes a deeper look at specific books that have had a profound impact on my financial, professional, and personal growth by extracting specific points of advice from those books and looking at how I’ve applied them in my life with successful results. […]

What Are Stocks? What Are Bonds?

Max writes in: Can you explain what the difference between stocks and bonds are? Tried to read up on this on Wikipedia and other sites but it’s not clicking. I’ve explained what a stock is in the past, but it never hurts to dig into a core idea like this again, so let’s start from the beginning. What Are Stocks? Stocks are tiny slivers of ownership of a company. […]

Feeling the Burn Rate

When I was a little kid, my family really didn’t spend much money at all. We raised a lot of our own food with two huge gardens (and a lot of canning), my father’s side gig as a small-scale commercial fisherman, and a lot of chickens in a chicken pen. We didn’t have cable and just enjoyed five channels that we could pick up on the antenna (ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, and Fox). […]

Selling off Your Furniture (and Other Unexpected Thoughts)

Marty writes in: Read an article recently about a guy who sold off his furniture to start a coffee business. Seemed weird at first but then I got to thinking, why is it weird? […]

18 Simple Financial Things I Wish I’d Done (or Started Doing) When I Graduated from College

When I graduated from college, I had moderate student loan debt and a small amount of credit card debt, but I had a solid job lined up and big dreams of establishing a strong financial foundation. […]