Trimming the Average Budget: Alcoholic Beverages

Alcoholic Beverages – $457/year The solution to cutting this element of your budget is easy. Don’t drink. For many of us, though, that’s not really


A Real Life Look at the Rent or Buy Question

Howie writes in: My wife and I have been running our own home-based business for three years now. We rent and work out of a


Trimming the Average Budget: Housekeeping Supplies

Housing – housekeeping supplies – $639/year Garbage bags. Dishwashing detergent. Window cleaner. Vacuum bags. Laundry detergent. These are all housekeeping supplies and, over the course


Trimming? What About Earning More?

During the entire “Trimming the Average Budget” series, the focus has been on spending less money. It’s a walkthrough of every significant financial element of

Trimming the Average Budget: Miscellaneous (Including a Surprising Biggie)

Miscellaneous – $808/year “Miscellaneous” seems like a vague category at first, but when I actually dug into the items included in that chunk, I quickly

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Bugs Edition

Lately, I’ve been working with a coder to help me with some back-end issues with The Simple Dollar, as there have been a few bugs

Trimming the Average Budget: Household Operations

Housing – household operations – $984/year Household operations? Think housecleaning services, nannies, babysitters, child care, and the like – services people pay for to keep

I Want Something, But I Don’t Know What It Is

Six years ago today, I wrote that in my personal journal. It was the first sign that I was able to find that there was


Trimming the Average Budget: Education

Education – $945/year Education is another expense that varies widely from family to family. Many families have no education-related expenses at all. Other families have

Reader Mailbag #98

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

Review: The Collaborative Habit

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a book of interest that’s not directly related to personal finance, but can provide deep insights into the

Trimming the Average Budget: Household Furnishings

Housing – household furnishings, equipment – $1,797 This category focuses entirely on furniture, decorative items, and some minor household items (like computers), but excludes major

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: January 16, 2010

Many newer readers of The Simple Dollar haven’t been exposed to the hundreds of great articles in the archives of the site, so this is


Trimming the Average Budget: Savings

Cash Contributions (optional retirement and cash savings) – $1,821/year The average American family contributes $150 a month to their retirement plans and/or to their personal

Trimming the Average Budget: Apparel

Apparel and Services – $1,881/year Clothes make up the largest part of this category, in which the average American family drops $150 a month (on


Trimming the Average Budget: Gasoline and Motor Oil

Transportation – gasoline, motor oil – $2,384/year The average American family drops $200 a month on gasoline and motor oil – and that’s at early

Addresses, Corporate Changes, and Paying Attention to the Details

A few days ago, in the mail, I received a notice from my homeowners insurance company notifying me that they were cancelling my policy as


Trimming the Average Budget: Eating Out

Food – food away from home – $2,668/year The average American family spends $225 a month eating away from home – dinners eaten out, quick