• Pets and Money

    Earlier today, I opened a can of worms by suggesting that, if your budget is overly tight, you may wish to consider looking for a new home for your pet. My mention of this issue was extremely brief (not nearly enough to actually explore the issue in detail), but a number of readers grabbed ahold …

  • Big Dreams, Small Income: Financial Planning Without A Large Salary

    Recently, Fred wrote in outlining his situation: I’m 35. I make $30K a year. I lose about $4K of that every year to child support. A divorce (and student loans) has placed me about $20K in debt. The region of the US I live in considers $30K a year a very good income. I have …

  • Helping A Teenager Take The First Steps Towards Financial Freedom

    Yesterday, I had a very long IM conversation with a young cousin of mine who is in high school and has a pretty lucrative lawn care business going on right now. Most of my younger cadre of cousins and nieces and nephews look to me for advice on a lot of things that they would …

  • I’m Making All The Right Moves, But I’m Still Unhappy

    After my recent article about personal finance and happiness, I received the following email from a reader named “Constance”: I’ve always been pretty responsible with my money and lived a frugal life, especially over the last few years with my husband in school full-time. But what would you say to someone like me who doesn’t …

  • The Simple Dollar Convinces Someone To Quit Their Job

    This is a really interesting story that I thought I would share with all of you. I do have a few comments below, but I thought I would let Kelly tell her story (I edited this email a bit to eliminate some privacy concerns and polish a few tiny grammar issues): I wanted to write …

  • Six Points of Advice If You’re considering Loaning Money to a Friend

    About three weeks ago, I made the mistake of loaning a small amount of money to a friend against my better judgement. This friend promised to pay me back in small installments each week over a period of time and we even wrote it down on paper and both signed it. He missed the first …

  • Helping A Soldier Plan An Inexpensive Vacation

    I received a very interesting note from a reader who really deserves a vacation: I’m in the Army National Guard, currently serving in Iraq. I am scheduled to get home around mid-July, and my wife and I want to take a nice vacation. We’re planning on going to Ireland next year, so we’re not looking …

  • Questions From Anonymous Readers

    Like any person who runs a popular website, I keep statistics on how many people visit The Simple Dollar (I get about 75,000 visitors on an average week). These statistics me the sometimes interesting (and sometimes strange) things people search Google with that lead them to The Simple Dollar. On occasion, they inspire me to …

  • If You Take Home Anything At All… Seven Fundamental Tips

    I write about a huge variety of topics on this blog and I’m quite sure that not all of them are interesting to every reader. Some of you love the frugality material, others like the investment advice, still others are big fans of personal development tips, and so on. As much as I write, though, …

  • Handling Biweekly Pay Periods: What To Do During Those “Three Check” Months

    At one point in my life, I was on a biweekly pay period schedule that occasionally caused me to be paid three times in a month. Of course, at that time in my life, I was an utter fool and I would spend the money on a big splurge, like, say, a weekend trip to …

  • A Reader Runs In Place

    I recently received the following email from a reader, who I will call Annie: I’ve been reading your site for a while now, and while I do enjoy much of your advice, I must admit there is one thing that really frustrates me. You talk a lot about saving and investing, but what if you’re …

  • What The 1960s Taught Our Parents About Money – And Why We Should Filter Their Financial Advice

    To set the mood: The 1960s were the decade in which my parents grew up. Their parents were the so-called Greatest Generation and I, for one, actually think that moniker is appropriate, considering that their childhood was the Great Depression and their early adulthood was fighting World War II, a set of experiences almost beyond …

  • The Simple Dollar Guide To Shaving

    Several people have written me in the last month asking how I shave (assuming that I do it in a somewhat frugal fashion) or offering suggestions on how to save money by shaving frugally. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I place a high value on personal appearance, so I feel it’s appropriate to get …

  • When Should Other Values Trump Sound Personal Finance Decisions?

    After the recent discussion of stay at home parenting and the stellar response that it received, it became clear that the question about whether to be a stay at home parent wasn’t so much about money as it was about values. In most situations, sound personal finance choices are in line with typical goals, such …

  • The Value of Etiquette

    Recently, I wrote an article about little things that immigrants to America might be surprised to know about money, consumerism, and human relations in the United States. It kicked up some interesting controversy in the comments, in which some immigrants basically stated that I shouldn’t be offering advice to them because I don’t understand their …

  • What’s Keeping You Financially From Living Your Dream?

    What’s your dream? Close your eyes for a moment and think about what you would be doing if it wasn’t for the obstacles in your life. For me, I imagine myself behind a large mahogany desk near a large window, a stack of books near me, a cup of hot chocolate on the desk, and …

  • Through The Looking Glass: Watching Someone Else Find Their Way Through Debt

    One of the best parts of writing a site like The Simple Dollar is that you get the opportunity to find out what problems others are having with their personal finances. I’ve heard some incredible stories, a few of which I’ve had the opportunity to share on here, and I’ve learned a lot – not …

  • Three Money Lessons My Grandfather Taught Me

    I was only seven when my grandfather passed away, but during the last year and a half of his life, he made a special effort to take me under his wing and express to me, as only he could, some of the lessons life had taught him. Some of them were hauntingly accurate; others, more …

  • Child Is Father To The Man: When Financially Stable Children Want To Help Their Parents Prepare For The Future

    Several times during the ongoing discussion of financial independence on this site, readers have asked about how they, as young and financially stable professionals, can help their parents who have given them so much. Parents are often very uncomfortable about such situations, as they view it as a reversal of the parent-child relationship that they …