• Five Really Easy Recipes To Make Once-A-Month Cooking Work For Busy People

    Many people look at once a month cooking and shy away because the effort required to make dozens of complete meals at once is quite frightening. To tell you the truth, it scares me a bit, too. What I’ve found, though, is that some items are actually very suited to once a month cooking. These …

  • The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: The Sadness Edition

    A relative that my wife is very close to is extremely ill and likely won’t make it for a lot longer. She has been very upset the last day or so. I didn’t know this relative very well, so mostly I’m providing a shoulder for my wife to cry on. Seeing her hurt makes me …

  • Looking At New Student Loan Benefits – And Low-Cost Careers

    For many people going to college, they’re scared to get involved with a major that won’t pay a lot. I know I was – after strongly considering stints as both an English major and a math major, I instead got into a major with significantly higher earning potential because I didn’t want to face huge …

  • Is It Worth Higher Prices For A Quality Shopping Experience?

    I confess that I do not shop at the grocery store with the lowest prices on my staple goods. Yes, that’s right – I intentionally go to a different store that, if I buy all of my staples, will actually cost me a few dollars more than the cheapest place. If you’re interested, here’s a …

  • Which Is Best: Paying Off Debts Now – Or Avoiding Future Ones?

    Ken wrote in with an interesting question that sometimes shows that paying down debts might not be the most prudent financial move: My girlfriend and I both went to a private college. Fortunately, my parents paid most of my tuition, but I still have $11,000 worth of loans, which I plan to pay off as …

  • The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Bananas Foster Edition

    I made some bananas Foster for dessert last night, something that impressed my wife with the ease of cooking it. All you have to do is put half a stick of butter, a cup of brown sugar, and a half teaspoon of cinnamon in a bowl together, mix it until it’s consistent, then cut four …

  • Does Tiredness Make You More Susceptible To Unnecessary Spending?

    Usually, I like to stick to personal finance topics I can quantify, but I felt this was an interesting issue worth discussing. Let me start with a story. Several nights ago, I went grocery shopping in the evening with my wife and son, intending to bring him straight back and put him in bed. Typically, …

  • The True Monthly Cost Of An Appliance

    I felt compelled to write about this topic after reading a comment by Garvey on Is A Deep Freezer Worth It?: There is no way a freezer costs $10-15/month … to run. It’s more like $3-4. This was in response to my statement that the cost of owning and maintaining the deep freeze is about …

  • Maximizing Frugality Is More Important Than Maximizing Investing (Unless You’re Already Rich)

    With a title like that, I’m sure to grab some attention, but it’s true – unless you are already rolling in the cash, frugal choices and finding ways to save money is much, much more effective than maximizing your investments. That’s not to say maximizing your investments isn’t worthwhile, but that you can often find …

  • The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Spurring Discussion Edition

    Lately, I’ve been choosing to write posts that don’t always have a clear-cut answer, or have another perspective or two that aren’t in the post. Why? They spur discussion, and frankly, the comments on many posts are at least as interesting (if not more so) than anything I write. That’s because of the passion and …

  • How Much Does It Cost To Grill?

    Yesterday, I spent much of the day assembling a propane grill given to us as a housewarming gift. It was a fun project, but along the way I began to wonder exactly how cost-effective propane grilling actually is. In this comparison, I’m going to exclude the cost of the appliances themselves, though over the long …

  • Renting To Get Richer?

    This MSN Money article argues quite vehemently that renting is cheaper than owning a home: I have something un-American to confess: I rent an apartment despite having enough money to buy a house. I plan to keep renting for as long as I can. I’m not just holding out for better prices. Renting will make …

  • Five Things My Nintendo Wii Has Taught Me About Personal Finance

    As most readers know, after months of saving and planning, I finally splurged and bought a Nintendo Wii and a few accessories for it (Wii Play – mostly for the second controller – and some points to download old games). Aside from the joy of downloading and playing some fondly-remembered old games and getting routinely …

  • The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Edition

    Got the book on Saturday. Finished it on Sunday. Sad that there won’t be any more on Monday. How Often Should I Rebalance My Investment Portfolio? A Brief Article Review This is a great summary on how often you should look at your investments (including those in your 401(k) or Roth IRA) and move things …

  • Review: First Things First

    Each Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal productivity or personal development book. Several weeks ago, I reviewed in detail Stephen Covey’s classic personal development book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. I found it to be an interesting read and was quite open to reading more books from Covey, and the blurb on …

  • Debt Repayment 101: A Perfect Candidate For The Ol’ Debt Snowball

    Brad’s looking at his debt and wondering where to start: My wife and I are trying to decide what to do with our “extra” income each month: pay down our home equity ($18K at 9.13%), pay down our other debt (student loans of $6K at 7.14% and $13K at 3.75%; car loan of $8K at …

  • Seven Frugal Things I’d Love To Try

    For every frugal idea that I have and am able to implement, I have at least two or three that simply aren’t reasonable at the moment. They seem incredibly fun and, in the long run, would save some significant money, but due to various factors (my living location, the time investment required, etc.), they aren’t …

  • Parenting Teaches Lessons About Financial Security

    Today, my son took a tumble down the stairs. He was attempting to go down the stairs in the same way that I do, but his twenty month old legs simply aren’t long enough to traverse the steps forward and he started to tumble. I was watching him come down from the bottom and was …

  • Michael Wants A Ph.D.: A Deeper Look At Intermediate-Term Investing

    Michael writes in and asks: I am planning to eventually get my PhD in 4-10 years. Should my savings be in a high-yield savings account or is there a significantly better place to put it with a little more risk but not as risky as an index fund? An index fund is about as low …