• Saving Pennies or Dollars? Restaurant Discounts

    Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers …

  • A Mindful Life

    When I first started The Simple Dollar, a little over five years ago, I had just started the process of turning around my finances and I wanted to share that story with my friends. Before that, I hadn’t really been mindful about my financial choices. I would spend with reckless abandon, fulfilling the things I …

  • Reader Mailbag: Focus On, Focus Off

    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. Refinance timing question 2. Encouraging better financial choices 3. Old credit card debt 4. Nostalgia battles 5. Self control and financial drought 6. Risk and living …

  • Saving Pennies or Dollars? Dishwasher or Hand Washing

    Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Snow Edition

    I woke up this morning to the first snow of the year. Thankfully, it’s going to melt away in the next few hours so I don’t have to pull out the snowblower, but I did get to have some fun teaching my one year old how to throw a snowball at his four year old …

  • That “Someday” Thing

    Someday, I’d like to finish my fantasy novel, and then follow that up by self-publishing it and promoting it myself starting with an electronic version and perhaps moving to a paper version. Someday, I’d like to move forward on a long-planned series of video reviews of board games and card games that my friend and …

  • Children as Financial Paradox

    Karen writes in: I have a question I think it would be interesting for you to attempt to tackle. You approach so many decisions with a methodical and disciplined calculus that often leads you to great time and money savers…Can you address what I’ll call ” the children paradox” and maybe provide some insight that …

  • Saving Pennies or Dollars? Going Below Speed Limit

    Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers …

  • Reader Mailbag: Clock Confusion

    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. The price of tea 2. Preemptive computer replacement 3. Retirement account confusion 4. Secret Santa thoughts 5. Infrared heaters 6. Investing in I-bonds 7. Children and …

  • Review: The Finish Rich Workbook

    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’ll be the first to admit that personal finance workbooks never really clicked for me. I’ve tried reading and …

  • Online Financial Tools and Security

    A long while back (was it really 2008), I wrote an overview of the web-based personal finance tools available at that time. I didn’t really give a strong recommendation to any of them, though I did end up serving as an advisor for a time with Wesabe. Today, Mint.com is clearly the frontrunner in this …

  • Some Thoughts about Holiday Cards

    As November rolls forward, one end-of-year task that starts floating in my mind is holiday cards. This is usually a fairly time-consuming project for us, but I consider it to be a very worthwhile one. Here’s how we do it. Send it early. With a large project like this one, it’s incredibly easy to keep …

  • Ten Pieces of Inspiration #45

    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. Joyce Lock on strengths and weaknesses I’ve become a big believer in the idea that you should work to make your strengths as strong as possible so that they …

  • Dinner With My Family #37: Curried Chickpea Stew

    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. My wife loves this recipe and finds reasons to make it …

  • Saving Pennies or Dollars? Making Your Own Coffee

    Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers …

  • How Important Is It to Start Early?

    I get a lot of emails from people in their forties and fifties who are suddenly panicking about their retirement savings. Often, they don’t have any or they have very little, yet they still want to retire at age 65. At the same time, I also get emails from people in their twenties who are …

  • Reader Mailbag: The Family Months

    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. Charter school conundrum 2. Roth as college savings 3. Saving Legacy TreasuryDirect 4. Favorite board game 5. How I read 6. Education debt question 7. Community …

  • Saving Pennies or Dollars? Roomba

    Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Parent-Teacher Conferences Edition

    This week, Sarah and I are going to our first parent-teacher conference, obviously regarding our oldest child. He brought home his first report card, which showed pretty solid progress in almost every area. He has a few little things to work on, but it mostly seems good. I’ve got a pretty good sense as to …