• The Value of Money

    As I’ve mentioned before, the single most valuable personal finance book I’ve ever read is Your Money or Your Life by Joe Dominguez and Vicki Robin. I read this book at a key point in my financial turnaround: the point at which I had hit my financial “bottom” but hadn’t really started to turn my …

  • The People Who Do Matter

    One of the biggest themes of The Simple Dollar is how you should stop caring what other people think. This is one of the most valuable things I’ve ever done in my life. The less impact that I allow the thoughts of others to have on my own choices, the easier it is to make …

  • Reader Mailbag: The Little Things

    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. Car leasing question 2. Separate savings accounts 3. Handling reduced income 4. Relationships and honesty 5. Why savings accounts? 6. Planning for debt freedom 7. Upgrading …

  • Review: Dig Your Well Before You’re Thirsty

    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. One of the best books I’ve ever read is Keith Ferrazzi’s Never Eat Alone (here are some of my …

  • Living What You Believe

    Every day, I get ten or fifteen emails from people who strongly believe in some particular issue or perspective. I hear from extreme political liberals and extreme political conservatives. I hear from devout literal Christians and outspoken atheists. I hear from people who live almost entirely off the grid and from others who are incredibly …

  • How to Get Rich Quickly!

    Here’s how to get rich quickly. Whenever you receive income of any kind, immediately put 25% of it into a savings account. Whenever that savings account reaches $5,000 in total balance, invest it in something, ideally something different than what you’ve invested it in before. Buy stocks. Buy CDs. Buy commodity or precious metal or …

  • Ten Pieces of Inspiration #24

    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. This week, I’ve been looking at piles of public domain and Creative Commons licensed photographs for a project I’m working on. I’m going to be sharing some of the ones …

  • Dinner With My Family #20: Quinoa Monk Bowl

    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. I’m not quite sure where we picked up this simple recipe. …

  • Shallow Bottoms and Deep Bottoms

    For many people, making a significant change in their life requires them to hit bottom. They have to reach a low point of some sort where the drawbacks of continuing down their current path are so severe that they overcome the addictions or behavioral tendencies that have taken them down their current path. I’ve discussed …

  • Personal Finance 101: What Is an Asset?

    When I’m writing about personal finance issues, I often use a subset of terms that, to me, feel like common sense. Stocks. Bonds. Savings. Frugality. These things all seem commonplace. One word that’s nearly in that group for me is “asset.” It’s a simple term to describe a simple thing. Which brings me to this …

  • Reader Mailbag: Working Ahead

    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. Recovering from a big loss 2. A disastrous turn of events 3. Feeling scared all the time 4. Dodgy seminar? 5. Basic budgeting for young adult …

  • Some Thoughts on Wearing Things Out

    What you see above is one of my sandals that’s beginning to (finally) fall apart. I’ve been wearing this same pair of sandals during the summer since 2003. They’ve went on vacations with me. I’ve worn them on walks through parks, strolls around the block, and countless other activities. They’re older than any of my …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Camping Edition

    One activity my family does quite a lot during the summer is go camping. We’ll head to a state or national park, pitch a tent for a few days, spend all day outdoors roaming around in the woods or swimming in lakes, then eat a meal prepared over a camp fire and crash in a …

  • How the Shifting Economy Changes (and Doesn’t Change) Personal Finance Advice

    When I first started writing The Simple Dollar, it was quite easy to find savings accounts that offered interest rates as high as 5%. Even more amazing, banks offered certificates of deposit (CDs) that had rates that approached (or sometimes crossed) 6%. In that environment, there were a lot of pieces of personal finance advice …

  • 15 Shopping Rules of Thumb

    I recently read a wonderful post over at The Technium containing twelve simple shopping rules of thumb for various products, mostly technology related. Some of them are great. A few of them are outdated. I find I use some of them myself; here are the ones I really find value in: Pay for RAM, not …

  • The Things You Don’t Want to Hear

    The things you don’t want to hear are often the very things you should be thinking about and focusing on. Whenever my weight used to peak, the last thing I wanted to hear from anyone was a remark about my weight. It made me angry to hear it and I would often just walk away …

  • Reader Mailbag: Longer Hair

    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. Painful consequences 2. Starting a blog 3. Saving for international college 4. Financial plan feedback 5. Separating personal and business money 6. Buying a vehicle 7. …

  • Review: The Rules of Money

    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. The Rules of Money is one entry in a series of “Rules” books written by Richard Templar (such as …

  • A Little More Than the Minimum

    Carolyn writes in: For the longest time, I’ve been making larger than minimum payments on all of my debts. I got the idea from Suze Orman because she said that if you just make minimum payments, you’ll never get rid of debt. I have two credit cards and a student loan. Here are their interest …