• The Simple Dollar’s Education in Insurance

    Up until now, I’ve only occasionally dealt with a major component of monthly finance: your insurance. If you’ve got a family, like me, you have to know how your insurance works. For that matter, if you’re financially stable or you’ve got valuable property, grasping your coverage is just as necessary. When something unexpected happens, insurance …

  • The Range of Your Vision

    Because of the strange trajectory of my life, I have friends in rural places and I have friends in cities. I have friends who are on food stamps and I have friends that are millionaires. I have friends who own their own business and I have friends who can barely keep a job. I’ve noticed …

  • Reader Mailbag: The Time Spent

    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. Overseas travel with kids 2. Bitcoins 3. Life or disability insurance? 4. Prepaying funeral expenses 5. Reaching a financially clueless student 6. Self-publishing a book 7. …

  • Making Financial Independence a Part-Time Job

    Carrie writes in: I’m a 23 year old single woman with a solid government job that pays reasonably well. I have quite a bit of free time. What I’d like to do is somehow “bank” that free time so that I can have more free time later on when I (theoretically) have a child, as …

  • The Collection Plate Dilemma

    According to various studies, approximately 40% of Americans attend religious services on a weekly basis (though that exact percentage is disputed). Once a week, they’ll get up and head to the religious institution of their choice to engage in fellowship and worship. One common part of those services is the request for donations of some …

  • Knowing What To Do Versus Actually Doing It

    Chris writes in: “I’ve read all of the usual personal finance books and I know exactly what I need to do to get myself out of this hole. The problem is actually doing it. When I make decisions, I make poor ones, even though I know that in the long run they’ll cost me. I …

  • Ten Pieces of Inspiration #113

    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. Gandhi on action “Action expresses priorities.” – Mahatma Gandhi There is no clearer representation of what you truly value than what you actually do with your time and energy. …

  • Where Is Your Future Pointing?

    Where are you going to be in five years? What will that life look like, assuming you don’t do anything radically different than you’re doing now? Just think about that for a moment. Sketch out what your life will look like at that point. Where will you live? What will your family look like? What …

  • Renters and Keepers

    A while back, I ran across this brilliant quote from Sam Lipsyte’s 2010 novel, The Ask: She was from the people who kept everything. I was from the people who rented some of everything for brief amounts of time. I knew I deserved no pity, would get none from the people who kept everything. They …

  • Three Drawbacks to the Dave Ramsey Plan

    Carly writes in: I recently bought The Total Money Makeover on your recommendation and I’ve been enjoying it. It seems like a lot of your ideas and Dave Ramsey’s ideas overlap. What differences are there between your ideas? Before I get started on this article, I want to point out that I agree with Dave …

  • Reader Mailbag: Reading Lists

    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. What’s our next step? Handling professional disappointment Listerine alternative? Bonding with teenage son Short light bulb life span Student loan repayment worries Debit card worries Investing in …

  • Three Life Lessons About Life Insurance

    Life insurance is a topic that has danced in and out of my life over the years. The Simple Dollar has even written a guide on life insurance. But here are three little tales about the times when life insurance has impacted my life and what valuable lessons I’ve taken away from those experiences. A …

  • Streamlining Your Hobbies, Streamlining Your Money

    I’ll be the first to admit that I have a lot of interests. Without skipping a beat, I can name off a dozen hobbies that I actively enjoy and a dozen more that I enjoy on occasion. I know I’m not alone in this. I have quite a few friends who are roughly my age, …

  • The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Construction Progress Edition

    Out of the window of my office, I’ve had the pleasure of watching an ongoing home construction project. The project has been ongoing for the past two or three months, so I’ve been able to watch almost every step along the way, from the digging and pouring of the foundation to the erection of the …

  • Stomaching the Roller Coaster

    Jane writes in: I think you’re giving bad advice to people when you tell them not to put everything in stocks or real estate when making a long-term investment. Over a long period like ten years or more, you simply can’t beat the returns there. Long-term investing relies on several assumptions, two of which hinge …

  • Lower Monthly Bills Or More Long-Term Money?

    Jennifer writes in: My husband and I are shopping very seriously for houses right now. We will likely be in a home by the start of the summer. I’m writing to you because we’re very unsure about the mortgage. On paper, it makes complete sense to get a fifteen year or even a ten year …

  • Reader Mailbag: The Innocent Man

    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. Worried about student loan debt Accepting lifetime debt Community service suggestions Charity while in debt Cost of second child Starting a financially equal marriage “Freemium” Emergency fund …

  • The Day of Love

    This coming Thursday is Valentine’s Day, and an awful lot of couples out there are going to be spending some cash on flowers, on chocolates, on expensive dinners, and on other gifts on that day (or within a day or two of it). The entire purpose of the day is to express love for your …

  • The Unfinished Shelf

    Recently, I stripped all of the books off of my bookshelf in our bedroom. My wife and I each have a bookshelf in there, stuffed with books and other miscellany. Many of the books I’ve already read wound up in a box headed to goodwill, with the handful of absolute “must-keeps” and the unread ones …