• Reader Mailbag: Hand in Glove

    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. Investing in a taxable account 2. Pushy mother of child’s friend 3. Buying furniture 4. Going back to school 5. The burden of care 6. Idle …

  • Review: The Power of Full Engagement

    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. As many long-time readers of The Simple Dollar know, I’m quite focused on time management practices. Without good time …

  • Savings Account as Investment

    Quite often, I’ll get emails from readers saying that they’re looking to invest their money and that the money they want to invest is currently sitting in a savings account. What these readers often overlook is that the money in their savings account is already invested. An investment simply means that you’ve put aside a …

  • Wrapping Paper Alternatives

    One common theme in the emails I get this time of year is the cost of wrapping paper. Many people find it difficult to swallow that they’re investing $15 to $20 into paper that’s simply there to cover a box and will be torn to shreds on Christmas morning – and, frankly, I don’t blame …

  • Ten Pieces of Inspiration #50

    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. Sarah and I spent a lot of time assembling Christmas gifts this week, so our mind was on the spirit of the season. 1. ifttt Have you ever taken pictures …

  • The Soup Kitchen

    From about mid-October to roughly the end of March, we have some form of soup for dinner two or three times a week. It’s incredibly easy to make, has infinite variations, and is really inexpensive. What’s not to love about it? Here’s exactly how we do it. The Basic Tools Obviously, the most basic thing …

  • Saving Pennies or Dollars? Space Heaters

    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 …

  • Planning a Group Vacation

    Two summers ago, my wife, my children, my parents and I all traveled to Texas together, in part to visit relatives but also to enjoy the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Because we took some time to plan the trip in advance and involved everyone going on the trip in the planning, we ended up finding quite …

  • Reader Mailbag: Book Suggestions

    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. Investing in tax liens 2. How much for housing? 3. Stuck in a rut 4. Choosing an investment house 5. Turning the economy around 6. Investing …

  • Developing Self-Control and Perseverance

    Laurie writes in: My main observation though is the constant path of self control and perseverance you seem to follow. I commend you highly for being able to do this. I guess my question is, even though you manage to make it all sound so (sometimes not) simple and using a lot of common sense, …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Struggling to Write Edition

    Whenever there’s a challenge going on in my life, I find it much harder to write. I find my thoughts drifting away from the words and onto other things. For me, the best solution is to simply spend some time reflecting on that challenge. I put aside feeble attempts to work and focus on that …

  • Remembrance

    A few days ago, my wife’s aunt passed away. She was a wonderful woman. She possessed an incredibly positive spirit, even though her life had brought her unbelievable hardship through no fault of her own. She overcame more challenges in her life than anyone else I’ve ever known, and it was a privilege to have …

  • Your “Someday” List Can Change Your Life

    Whenever I think of something I’d love to do if only I had the time, I write it down in a little notebook I have that I call my “someday notebook.” It’s just a long list of projects that I’d love to take on in the future. Here are a few examples from a random …

  • Saving Pennies or Dollars? Home Photo Printing

    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: A Day with Mom

    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. SmartyPig update 2. Figuring out debt repayment order 3. Buying elderly mom a home 4. NCUSIF insurance 5. Ending naptime 6. Credit card challenges 7. NACA …

  • Review: How to Retire Happy, Wild, and Free

    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 vast majority of retirement books I’ve read focus on maximizing every dollar to actually arrive at retirement. They …

  • Dressing for Success and Career Goals

    I got a great email recently from Marjorie: My husband’s father just gave him a huge speech about how he doesn’t dress appropriately for work and how he will never get promoted or “become a manager” dressing the way he does. My husband is a computer programmer who works with a bunch of engineers. He …

  • Van Gogh’s Tenacity

    Self Portrait (1887) by Vincent van Gogh, image courtesy David Flam Vincent van Gogh spent most of his life destitute. The one woman he loved rejected him. Almost everyone who saw his paintings found very little value in them. He would often trade those very paintings to sympathetic familes in Holland and in France in …

  • Ten Pieces of Inspiration #49

    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. Whether the date on the calendar says so or not, winter has started where I live. Snow, freezing rain, the whole nine yards. Winter’s on my mind and that’s reflected …