• Using Twitter to Save Money: Ten People I’ve Found Worth Following for Savings

    Perhaps my favorite online development over the last year or so has been the explosion of Twitter. For those living under a rock who have not yet heard about Twitter, it’s pretty simple: it’s like instant messaging except everyone can read conversations and join in. You sign up for a free account there and can …

  • Accused of Being a Cheapskate

    A few days ago, I was giving a phone interview about The Simple Dollar and general frugality and personal finance topics when the interviewer threw me a bit of a curveball. After hearing me talk about frugality for a bit, he pauses for a second, then asks if he can be honest with me. He …

  • The End Is the Beginning

    In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s mind there are few. Shunryu Suzuki When I first began my financial turnaround, I was open to trying anything to improve my financial situation. I signed up for online savings accounts at several different banks. I constantly strove to shave every penny I …

  • The Intelligent Investor: Four Extremely Instructive Case Histories

    This is the eighteenth in a weekly series of articles providing a chapter-by-chapter in-depth “book club” reading of Benjamin Graham’s investing classic The Intelligent Investor. Warren Buffett describes this book: “I read the first edition of this book early in 1950, when I was nineteen. I thought then that it was by far the best …

  • Some Thoughts on Celebrating Valentine’s Day

    Ever since the first Valentine’s Day that my wife and I spent as a couple (1998, for those curious), we’ve done a wide variety of things to celebrate the day. We’ve went out for the fancy dinners. We’ve seen a vase full of roses on the dining room table. We’ve popped open boxes of chocolate. …

  • My Own Private Frugality

    I really enjoy reading big collections of frugality tips. Books like The Complete Tightwad Gazette and web pages like 100 Things to Do During a Money Free Weekend are resources that I enjoy browsing through, looking at ideas and imagining how they might fit in my own life. That’s a big reason, actually, that I …

  • Going Back to School and Still Working

    Julie writes in: I have decided to apply to a library science master’s program. I can afford it without taking out a loan, it will take two years, and I will be able to take all my classes in the evenings after work and on weekends. The problem? I don’t work in a library. I’m …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Obsolete Edition

    A recent BusinessWeek article (Obsolete Computers That Still Do The Job) inspired me to think about the “obsolete” things in my own life. We have a television in the basement that’s reached double digits in age, has some colorization issues in the upper left corner, and weighs more than my wife, but it still does …

  • Five Things to Do If You Have a Great Idea

    A reader I’ll call Mitch has an interesting question: About a week ago, I was sort of daydreaming while watching television when all of a sudden I had a great idea. I really think this idea has a lot of potential to affect a lot of lives. I’ve been doing a ton of internet research …

  • Life Advice to a Graduating College Student

    A long time reader that I’ll call “Samantha” wrote to me with the following question: I’m a senior in college and will be graduating in May. I’m extremely blessed in that I will be graduating with no debt – a scholarship provided all of my tuition expenses, and my parents were able to cover room …

  • Bigger Dreams, Smaller Houses

    A few years ago, there was a very widely circulated statistic from the National Association of Home Builders about the increase in home sizes over the last sixty years. According to their numbers, the average American home grew from 983 square feet in 1950 to 2,434 square feet in 2005. I grew up in a …

  • Reader Mailbag #48

    Each Monday, The Simple Dollar opens up the reader mailbags and answers ten to twenty simple questions offered up by the readers on personal finance topics and many other things. Got a question? Ask it in the comments. You might also enjoy the archive of earlier reader mailbags. As usual, we’ll start things off with …

  • Review: The Power of Less

    Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal development, personal productivity, or entrepreneurship book. I’ve been a reader of the Zen Habits blog nearly since its inception. The author of the blog, Leo Babauta, applies a very simple filter to countless aspects of life: how can we break it down and make it simpler? …

  • The Bills Your Parents Didn’t Have

    When I was young, my parents always managed to make ends meet, even though my mother was a stay-at-home mom (she had a less-than-ten hours a week part time job when I was in school, but nothing else) and my father worked in a factory. Sure, we were able to bring in a little extra …