• Four Financial Realities of Being in a Relationship

    One of the most common themes I see in questions I receive from readers is an uncomfortable sense of what financial roles are in a relationship. A person lives with someone/is engaged to someone/is married to someone and is unsure about how to handle their partner’s debt/spending/shared purchases. That sentence covers the core of a …

  • Reader Mailbag: Art Museums

    What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Am I oversaving for retirement? 2. Same-sex marriage and taxes 3. Pricing of e-books 4. Handling a complex debt snowball 5. The very first step 6. …

  • Why Care About the Long Term?

    Mark sent me an email regarding my recent article, Some Thoughts on the Long Term, in which he asked the following question: I still don’t see any compelling reason to worry about my future more than about five years down the road. I can think about where I’d like to be in ten years, but …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Three Bicycling Tips Edition

    I’ve been bicycling a lot this summer after previously not bicycling much at all for several years. I’ve learned three simple things that really make bicycling enjoyable for me rather than the punishing exercise I imagined it to be. Go slow. It’s not a race. You don’t have to fly along the road or bike …

  • Career Dreams – In Three Parts

    What will I do with my life? How will I leave my mark on the world? These questions have been a constant part of my life since I was very young – and it’s still a guiding question in my life. Now that I’m a parent to three children and a mentor to other adults, …

  • The Executor Decision

    Recently, someone I care about named me as an executor on their will. This is something of a new experience for me, so I naturally spent some time reading up on what’s required of an executor in that state as well as trying to understand what exactly they wanted to happen with their assets (which …

  • Why Should I Hurry to Pay Off Low Interest Debts?

    Quite often, when I write answers to reader mailbag questions, I encourage people to keep pushing hard against their debts no matter the interest rate. Almost everyone agrees that it makes sense to rapidly pay off the 15% debts, but I’ll often get a lot of disagreement about the 3% debts. People will often ask …

  • Reader Mailbag: The Band

    What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Student loans and retirement 2. Being a frugality mentor 3. Food shortages 4. Selling unused items 5. International transitions 6. 2011 versus 1980 7. Annuity rollover? …

  • Review: The New Good Life

    Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance or other book of interest. Also available is a complete list of the hundreds of book reviews that have appeared on The Simple Dollar over the years. I really enjoy it when an established author from another field writes a personal finance book because they often …

  • Abundance, Scarcity, and the Idea of Being Rich

    Whenever I read or hear things about getting rich, the first thing I always think of is how I don’t really understand what “rich” means. Rich is a nebulous concept that means something different to each of us. For a lot of us, it means having some quantity of money, probably a large one. But …

  • Handling Clogged Drains Frugally

    I’m going to be kind and spare you with pictures in this post. Yes, I took them. No, I don’t really think they’re all that appealing. This past week, I had to clear out two different clogged drains around our home. This surprised me a bit, as I usually try to keep them clear using …

  • Ten Pieces of Inspiration #25

    Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. 1. Daniel Tammet on different ways of knowing We all perceive the world in different ways. The real trick is digging past our own perceptions and trying to see the …

  • Dinner With My Family #21: Stone Soup

    Each week, I’ll present a low-cost meal (or a meal that demonstrates a lot of options for cutting costs) that my family eats for dinner and enjoys. Many of the recipes will be vegan or vegetarian, with options to add other ingredients for non-vegetarians. One of my children’s favorite bedtime stories is the classic tale …

  • Goals, Values, and Methods

    In a few years, we hope to pay off our home mortgage. After that, we’re intending to save up for a parcel of mostly wooded land in the country, then we’re going to build a home on that land. We’re both using retirement savings vehicles with the intention of starting to use them the day …

  • Fooling Yourself

    One of the first big financial lessons I’ve learned is that you can’t trust your own sense of how good your financial shape is. Almost always, if you’re reflecting on your financial state without evidence, you think that you’re in better financial shape than you really are. There are a lot of reasons for this. …

  • Reader Mailbag: Rain

    What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Capital One and ING Direct 2. Increased used car prices 3. Freelancing for a college student 4. Advance baby planning 5. The optimal mortgage size 6. …

  • Secrets of Money and Life Success

    Here are some little thoughts and things that have improved my finances, improved my career, and made my life better over the past decade. Don’t throw away your childhood dreams. Find a way to still do them in the spare moments and hours of your life. You can never judge a person by their appearance. …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Fishing Edition

    This past weekend, my five year old son caught six fish. He hauled in more fish than his age. The fish were small ones and we tossed them back into the water, but the sheer joy he had in catching them, the pride he took in his catch, and the seriousness he applied to things …

  • Some Thoughts on the Long Term

    A few days ago, Donald left a provocative comment on my recent article How to Get Rich Quickly!. Although I think his tone is a bit aggressive, he does bring up an interesting point: Yes this is good advice – work for 45 years, squirrel away your income the whole time, and when you are …