Month: May 2014

Buy Clothes Off-Season and on Tax-Free Holidays (90/365)

If you’ve checked out the thrift stores, outlet stores, and consignment shops in your area and still haven’t found the clothes you’re looking for, you can still save some significant money on your clothing bill by just planning ahead a bit with your clothes shopping. I’ll use my oldest son as a shining example of …

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #66

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. Aging Imaginations A friend of mine who is dealing with a death close to her shared this video and said it helped her with grief. After watching it, I …

Wear Old Clothing Around the House (89/365)

Right now, I’m wearing an old pair of jeans with a few small holes and a Chicago Cubs t-shirt that dates from 2002 or 2003 (the shirt references Kenny Lofton, who played with the team in that time frame). These are old, worn out, yet still very comfortable clothes and they’re perfect for wearing around …

Frugality and the Street Vendor

A few days ago, I ran across some older videos that I made during some of the work-related trips I took early in the last decade. Most of them were merely videos of presentations done by me or by coworkers, but some of them were quite nice, such as a long shot of a ship …

Categories: Frugality

Focus on Quality Brands That Hold Up Over Time (88/365)

Almost every article of clothing you buy has a little brand label on it somewhere, whether stitched into the lining or on a little tag or elsewhere. This little piece of information lets you know what company is responsible for making this clothing item. I consider it a pretty useful piece of information when buying …

Reader Mailbag: School Days

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. Back to school dilemma 2. Precautions before romantic trip 3. Pool membership dilemma 4. Favorite vegetable garden plants 5. Telling a story to kids 6. Handling …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Shop at Consignment Shops and Outlet Stores (87/365)

While thrift stores and secondhand stores are my first line of defense when it comes to new clothes, I don’t always find what I need there. I’m very tall with a long upper torso, which means that a lot of shirts just don’t fit me well. They’re either cut for someone who weighs a lot …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Shorts Transition Edition

I’m one of those people that you’ll typically find wearing full-length pants on the hottest day of the year. I’m not much of a fan of shorts for some reason. Everyone else in my house, however, seems to have already made the leap into shorts. We spent much of the last weekend digging clothes out …

Categories: Morning Roundup

Hit Thrift Shops and Secondhand Shops in Upscale Neighborhoods (86/365)

One of my best resources for finding new clothes comes from going to the nicest neighborhoods in a metro area (in my case, usually Des Moines) and finding the nearest Goodwill or other secondhand clothing shop. That’s where I begin almost all of my clothes shopping. Why do it this way? Simply put, people in …

The Vegetable Train: How To Save Money on Produce

For the last twenty months or so, I’ve been switching back and forth between a vegan and vegetarian diet for health reasons (also occasionally eating fish). Sarah has more or less adopted the same diet, although we do often make vegetarian and non-vegetarian variations of the same meal. The result of all this is produce …

Categories: Food, Frugality

Focus on Clothes That Match Well (85/365)

The vast majority of my wardrobe is made up of items that simply go well together. I can grab almost any shirt and any pair of pants and they’ll simply work for a typical day. (That’s not to say I don’t have clothes for particularly nice occasions, of course, but we’re looking at typical days.) …

Reader Mailbag: The After-Rain Smell

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. Taking sick days 2. Ending a cell contract early 3. Homemade putty and playdough 4. International travel for wedding 5. Making everyone happy 6. Basic 401(k) …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Avoid Clothes That Require Washing Separately (84/365)

Several years ago, I owned this wonderful sweater that I liked to wear during the winter. It fit me almost perfectly, the color of it matched my complexion, it wasn’t itchy at all, and I loved the pattern. As much as I liked it, though, I ended up wearing it only once or twice a …

Sorry for the Inconvenience!

On Friday, a bug appeared in the software for The Simple Dollar that prevented a portion of users from viewing some sections of the site. This bug has now been fixed. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

Categories: Meta

How Are My 2012 Goals Progressing?

I thought it might be interesting to take a moment and review the goals I set for myself in 2012 and how they’re coming along. A regular review of one’s goals is a key part in making progress on them. Get Fit the Right Way I’ve had decent success with this, though not overwhelming success. …

Categories: Goals

Be a Frugal Example (83/365)

We all take a lot of cues from the people around us. We see other people doing things and, if it seems reasonable and useful, we often start to mimic it ourselves. It’s a meme, in other words; an idea spread from person to person within a culture. I see it often with my own …

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #65

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. Girl’s first ski jump This is such a beautiful example of someone overcoming fear and trying something scary, new, and challenging. The victory isn’t the jump itself, but the …

Involve the Children in Frugal Projects like Gardening (82/365)

Our family’s gardens consists of three raised terraces, a small patch along the side of our house, and a decorative patch in the front. We have a few trees that need tending as well. Sometimes, the work in the garden provides a solitary respite for either Sarah or myself. The garden can be a quiet …

Thoughts on Social Savings Inside the Store

A few days ago, Sarah and I were buying shoes for our daughter. She’s graduating to shoes with laces, as she’s developed the finger strength and dexterity to tie them for herself, plus her feet are just getting too big for her old ones. After checking prices in several different stores, we found the perfect …

Categories: Getting Started