• The Financial Implications Of Living With Mom And Dad

    Recently, “Joel” wrote in with the following question about living with his parents after college: Currently I’m a 22 years old and fresh out of college with a bachelors degree in Computer Science. I have secured a job which puts in me in a great financial situation – I will be bringing home $50,000 a …

  • Cook Once, Eat Twice With A Crockpot

    My wife and I regularly check out cookbooks from our local library to scavenge for new ideas for our cooking repertoire. While most of the time, the recipes are complex and the ingredients expensive, we occasionally check out an interesting one that really hits a frugal sweet spot. This week, we checked out Cook Once, …

  • The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Sleepy Sunday Edition

    At our house, it was a very sleepy Sunday. We all spent most of the day quite drowsy and my son even went to bed almost an hour before his regular bedtime. Is it something in the air, perhaps related to the fact that the days recently have been among the longest of the year? …

  • Review: Time Management From The Inside Out

    Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. I’m a big advocate of the Getting Things Done system of time management, but more than a few readers have written to me stating that GTD simply didn’t do the trick for them, but that other systems helped them get their time …

  • Pets and Money

    Earlier today, I opened a can of worms by suggesting that, if your budget is overly tight, you may wish to consider looking for a new home for your pet. My mention of this issue was extremely brief (not nearly enough to actually explore the issue in detail), but a number of readers grabbed ahold …

  • Trimming The Fat: Forty Ways To Reduce Your Monthly Required Spending

    One of the biggest challenges in personal finance is figuring out ways to reduce the regular bills that we all face each month. These continuous regular expenses simply fill up our budget, leaving us less money to invest for the future – and also less money to spend on things that we enjoy. The best …

  • How Much Emergency Fund Is Too Much Emergency Fund?

    Yesterday, I mentioned my desire to have a twelve month emergency fund, which resulted in some very interesting discussion. Some of the readers thought it was a good idea – others felt that it was simply too much and that I should invest some of it. Back in April, one of my favorite bloggers covered …

  • How To Calculate APR And APY In A Spreadsheet – And Why You Would Want To

    In the past, I gave a brief discussion about the difference between APR and APY when talking about simple and compound interest. What I didn’t explain, however, is why the difference is important and how you can use Microsoft Excel to calculate one from the other. First, let’s define the two: APR (annual percentage rate) …

  • Figuring Out A Debt Strategy After The Home Purchase

    My wife and I have spent extensive time thinking about a plan for repaying all of our debts after we move into the home. Our goal is to be debt free (including the mortgage) in fifteen years – a goal that my wife heavily believes in. For me, although I don’t believe it maximizes our …

  • Finding The Best Credit Card For You (And It’s Not The Same One For Everyone)

    I often get emails from readers asking me what the “best” credit card offer is. I write back and say there isn’t one, which I’m sure doesn’t win me any friends, but it’s the truth. There is no best credit card for everyone, but I’ll certainly say that the best offer for you probably wasn’t …

  • Review: Pay It Down

    As a lot of you know, I’m a fan of Money Magazine – in fact, I review each issue because there’s a lot of good stuff between the covers. One of the editors and regular columnists is Jean Chatzky – I find her columns quite interesting because I either think they’re a complete home run …

  • The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Three Excellent Novels Edition

    Packing has given me a great opportunity to dig through our accumulated book collection, and in the process I’ve came across some novels I dearly loved and have read several times in the past. Three of them brought back such fond memories of their contents that I immediately added them to my “to be read” …

  • You Don’t Need Six Figures: The Financial Realities of Living in Iowa

    At various points, readers have seemed quite surprised to find out that I live in Iowa and that I can see cornfields in two directions from the back porch of the house I’m about to buy. By sheer numbers, many more people live in urban environments than live in an environment like this, and many …

  • Money, Spirituality, and Charity

    While writing about personal finance and personal development books, several people have written in to ask me to write about Rick Warren’s The Purpose Driven Life and especially Joel Osteen’s Your Best Life Now. In case you’ve been living under a rock for the last several years, Warren and Osteen are charismatic Christian evangelists with …

  • Predicting the Future: Where Will Tax Brackets Go In Thirty Years?

    I try very hard to avoid political discussions on The Simple Dollar because it often winds up in partisan bickering, but I feel that a discussion about the future of taxes and their impact on your personal finance decisions today is vital. First of all, why is it important to think about future tax rates? …

  • The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Dedicated Hosting Edition

    Yesterday, I made a complete switch of The Simple Dollar to dedicated hosting. Over the last month or two, the traffic for The Simple Dollar had simply outgrown what my previous hosting service was capable of providing. You’ve probably noticed periods of slowness and some periods of downtime as a result of this. When you …

  • Ten Things To Do When You Move Into A New Home

    Since my wife and I are less than three weeks away from moving into our first home, we’ve been researching the things that we need to do as soon as we move. It wouldn’t be The Simple Dollar if I didn’t compile a list of the things we’ve found and posted it here! Here are …

  • The New Roth 401(k) Versus The Traditional 401(k): Which Is The Better Route?

    Recently, a number of readers have asked me about the new Roth 401(k). Is it really a good deal, they ask? In a nutshell, it’s a very good deal for almost anyone eligible for it, but let’s walk through the scenario carefully. What Is A Roth 401(k)? A Roth 401(k) is not all that different …

  • 25 Excellent Personal Finance And Personal Development Sites

    Recently, I wrote about the only personal finance sites I visit every day, and I made an offhand mention of having a lot of sites that I peruse daily via Google Reader, even if I don’t visit the site itself daily. This begged an obvious question that several readers called me on: what do you …