• The Reality of Earning Money Online

    I hear every single day from readers who want to know exactly how I’ve made money with The Simple Dollar or how they can make money doing a similar thing, whether it’s starting a blog or posting Youtube videos or writing ebooks. I’m going to spell all of this out in detail so that the …

  • The Diminishing Returns of Yard Sales

    A few days ago, I had a great conversation with a couple that live about a block away from us. They have regular yard sales throughout the summer and we’ve stopped at the sale a few times. Their process is simple. They have an area of their garage that they devote to “yard sale” stuff. …

  • Is a Second Job the Right Decision for Increasing Income?

    Undoubtedly, frugality can be a powerful tool that can help you start digging out of a financial hole. Every time you make a choice to cut your spending, you’re directly leaving more money behind in your bank account. It’s an immediate effect, too. That’s money you can use to pay off debt, buff up an …

  • Saying “The Little Things Don’t Matter” Is An Excuse

    Recently, I’ve come across several financial “gurus,” both in print and online, who make the claim that the little expenses in life don’t really matter in terms of getting ahead. “You’re wasting your time worrying about the details of lunch,” they say, “when you should be focusing on drastically increasing your income.” It’s an appealing …

  • Is Self-Employment Risky?

    It was just under five years ago that I made the decision to step away from a secure full-time job to become self-employed. It was a very risky decision, but there were several reasons why I made that choice. First, my work had turned into something I didn’t enjoy nearly as much. During the first …

  • You Don’t Need Money to Start a Side Business

    When I started my computer consulting business, I spent about $150 in startup costs. I printed some flyers, had some business cards made, and had a lawyer check over a few documents. That’s it. When I started The Simple Dollar, I spent even less. I spent somewhere around $40 launching the site, all told. In …

  • Review: EntreLeadership

    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’ve written about 250 book reviews on The Simple Dollar since I started the site in late 2006. Along …

  • Two Paths to Financial Success

    One of my favorite statements about personal finance is that it all boils down to five simple words. Spend less than you earn. Often, I’ll break this down into two methods you can use to earn more money. You can either increase your earnings (through a better job, better investments, and so on) or you …

  • Review: The Entrepreneur Equation

    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. One of the biggest reasons that people fail in their entrepreneurial ambitions is that they simply didn’t lay the …

  • Turning the Corner with a Side Business

    A few weeks ago, I put out a call on Twitter and on Facebook for detailed posts that people would like to see. I got enough great responses that Iā€™m going to fill the entire month of July ā€“ one post per day ā€“ addressing these ideas. Tammy on Facebook wants to know about “How …

  • Side Businesses for Stay-At-Home Parents

    A few weeks ago, I put out a call on Twitter and on Facebook for detailed posts that people would like to see. I got enough great responses that I’m going to fill the entire month of July – one post per day – addressing these ideas. Julia on Facebook asks about “Good ways to …

  • Personal Finance, Small Businesses, and Spouses with Disabilities

    A few weeks ago, I put out a call on Twitter and on Facebook for detailed posts that people would like to see. I got enough great responses that I’m going to fill the entire month of July – one post per day – addressing these ideas. On Facebook, Patsy asked about “Spouses with disabilities… …

  • Got Unused Vacation Time? Put It to Use with a Personal Sabbatical

    In September 2004, I was about to leave my first post-college job. My boss at that time – who happens to be one of the people I respect the most in this world, even now after my radical career shift – observed that I had a pile of unused vacation time that was basically going …

  • When Is It Better to Be Frugal? When Is It Better to Earn More?

    One thing I love to do is to browse through random personal finance blogs. I’ll jump on links from one blog to another, just to see what a new voice will have to say. Doing this helps me get a pretty good idea of the various perspectives and ideas that are out there. It also …

  • Some Thoughts on “How to Make Money in Six Easy Steps”

    A few days ago, I read Jason Fried’s wonderful article How to Make Money in Six Easy Steps. The article details Fried’s growth as an entrepreneur from a young child to running the successful software firm 37signals. Fried’s “six easy steps” are as follows: 1. Understanding the buyer is the key to being a strong …

  • Review: Conquer the Chaos

    Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. Here’s the flat-out truth about running a small business: you, the business owner, are where the buck stops. Period. Small businesses are a great way to start earning more money, but they’re not easy. When something goes wrong, it’s up …

  • What Do You Really Have to Lose?

    This post goes out to all of the readers who are about to graduate from college (and from high school, for that matter) and are wondering what comes next (hopefully, you already know and have a plan for it, but if you do, you’re in the minority). A few days ago, a college student I …

  • The Side Business Question: What Is Your Time Worth?

    Bob writes in: I’m in my mid twenties, worked doing tech support all through college, and worked out of college as the IT director for a political campaign of 120 staffers. I now have left to a job that fits my interests a little bit better, but clearly still have a lot of IT skills. …

  • Review: Escape from Cubicle Nation

    Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal development, personal productivity, or career book. Several months ago, I wandered upon Pamela Slim’s excellent blog, Escape from Cubicle Nation. In a nutshell, the blog covers the transition from working in a cubicle (i.e., a traditional job) to self-employment – and all of the issues in …