The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

Profile of The Simple Dollar

Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 6)

Books with Impact: You Need a Budget

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. […]

The Ten Year Old Test

A few years ago, when my oldest had freshly turned ten years old, he began to ask a lot of questions about our family’s financial state. He wanted to know if we saved money, how much we saved, and where we saved it. […]

The Path to Financial Independence in Detail

Gary writes in: What exactly do you mean when you talk about financial independence? Can you break it down a little? In simplest terms, when I talk about financial independence, I’m referring to a situation in which your living expenses are fully covered by your investments for the rest of your life. […]


I fail all the time. I spend money on things I shouldn’t. I’ll see something at Target or on Amazon and buy it without giving it any sort of reflection. I’ll forget my grocery list, go to the store anyway, manage to get most of what was on the list, but buy a bunch of unintended stuff, too. I’m not as organized as I’d like to be. I have lots of bins and boxes with random things in them. […]

Taking an Ingredients-First Approach to Cooking at Home

Most of the time, my process for acquiring food and cooking at home looks something like this: I recognize that we’re at the end of our planned meals, so it’s time to go to the grocery store. I download a grocery store flyer from the website and then start to assemble a meal plan based on that flyer, choosing recipes that incorporate a lot of that on-sale stuff. […]

Questions About Libra, Campfire Cooking, Investment Books, David Bach, 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. Using rewards card for everything 2. Thoughts on Monat 3. Work, motivation, and retirement 4. Campfire cooking advice 5. Using 403(b) loan for debt 6. Uses for old spices 7. Easy beginning investment book 8. […]

“The Simple Dollar” Is Not “The Easy Dollar”

Most of the strategies I write about on The Simple Dollar are quite simple for most adults to understand. They’re not complex ideas. They’re not difficult to understand. They’re not challenging to visualize. They are things that almost all of us can do – some might require us to have a little bit of money in hand first and use that to grow more, but most don’t. […]

Some Simple Advice for Estate Sales and Auctions

One of my favorite things to do on a lazy Saturday is check out an estate sale or estate auction. These types of sales occur when someone passes away, the family removes personal effects and neatens up a house, and then it’s partially opened so that people can go in and buy or bid on the items. Estate sales exist in a wide variety of formats. […]

How to Get Better at Anticipating Your Financial Needs

One of the most valuable tools for keeping your financial life as stable as possible is to improve your ability to anticipate your future expenses and financial needs. This enables you to take some steps to prepare now for those expenses and thus reduce their impact in the future. For people who aren’t naturally familiar with planning ahead, this can feel like a major shift in thinking. […]

How We Go Camping – And Some Suggestions for New (and Experienced) Campers

Joel writes in: First, what is your car camping set-up. I’m thinking of getting a canopy tent for hanging out — something like a 10×10 foot bug protection for placing over the picnic table. […]