Family

College Un-Checklist: 10 Things Not to Bring to Campus

As the first days of school approach, many new college students are trying to figure out what to bring – and what not to bring – to college. Unfortunately, the list of supplies can grow long for students who have never stepped foot in a tiny dorm room, and sometimes with disastrous consequences. Here’s an example: Michelle …

Categories: Education, Family

A Look at Our Inexpensive Vacation in Wisconsin

Last summer, my family went on a rather expensive family vacation in the southeast United States. As is our family tradition, we try hard to balance out expensive summer vacations with much less expensive ones, so this year we planned out a much less expensive vacation. The centerpiece of our vacation saw us camping for …

Eight Things to Think About Before You Get Married

One of the most upsetting and painful arguments that my wife and I ever had came a few months before we got married. We had been dating for six years at that point and had been planning our marriage for more than a year. I was fairly apprehensive about getting married. I had been thinking …

Why Choose to Be a Prisoner to an Expensive Home?

When Elle Décor ran the essay, “I Made a Huge Sacrifice to Buy My Dream Home” by Sarah Scott a few weeks ago, they couldn’t have anticipated the firestorm that followed. Where many people sacrifice financially to buy a home, and especially their dream home, Scott’s apparent sacrifice ran much deeper – so deep, in …

Should Your Parents Have a Say in Your College Major?

When my husband chose to pursue his first bachelor’s degree in theatre arts, his parents were less than thrilled. They wanted him to be happy, of course, but they also wanted him to earn a degree that translated well into real life – and a real career. But my husband forged ahead with his plans, …

Categories: Careers, Education, Family

10 Reasons Moving Always Costs More Than You Think

If you’ve ever considered moving on up to a bigger, more expensive home or apartment, you’re not alone. In fact, a recent survey from the U.S. Census Bureau revealed that a sheer desire to upgrade is the number one reason (14.8%) people packed up their belongings and performed the dreaded deed in 2013. Other reasons …

Categories: Family, Housing

How to Make Money Dog Sitting With Rover

Just because someone owns a dog doesn’t mean they never want to travel again, but it’s not always practical to take the pupper on a seven-hour flight with layovers. That’s part of the reason the pet sitting industry brought in $332 million in revenue at 720,000 households nationally in 2014, according to Pet Sitters International. That’s a whole lot …

Some Thoughts on My Father

In the spirit of Father’s Day, I wanted to share some thoughts about my own father and the huge impact he’s had on my life, personally and professionally. I grew up in a single income household. Most of the time, my father worked in a factory making construction equipment, while my mother stayed at home. …

Categories: Family

20 Ways to Make a Great Birthday for Your Child When Money Is Tight

One of the most difficult experiences when you’re a parent is not having enough money to make your children’s special days feel very special at all. For most parents, their child is a key part of their life and it’s not the child’s fault when you don’t have the resources to make their birthday special. …

The Cost of Raising a Child (and the Baby Checklist You Really Need)

If you just assumed that having children must be an expensive proposition, last year’s “Cost of Raising a Child” report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture removed all doubt. The cost for a middle-class family to raise a child to the age of 18 comes in at around $245,340, according to the report — and that doesn’t …

Categories: Family, Insurance

Five Cheap Vacations to Take This Summer

Summer’s here, and you deserve a vacation. The problem is, can you afford one? We’re here to help. There are a number of ways to get a discount on where you want to go — from cashing in credit card travel rewards, to making the most of online booking sites. But sometimes just picking a …

Categories: Family, Travel

What to Bring to College: The Smart (and Frugal) College Checklist

Angela writes in: In nine days, our oldest son is graduating from high school. He will be the first one in our family to go to college as he is going to [a major state school]. While we have spent a lot of time figuring out scholarships and financial aid and other things, we are really …

How We Decided an Expensive Child Care Center Wasn’t Worth It

I live in Indiana, and in the Midwest, almost everything is cheap – including daycare. According to Pew Research Center, the average cost for full-time infant care in Indiana is somewhere between $6,000 and $8,999 a year. Compare that to $14,939 in New York or more than $16,000 in Massachusetts. Still, averages mean nothing when you’re …

Categories: Family, Home and Life

10 Smart Graduation Gifts for College-Bound Seniors

Summer is almost upon us, and with it a barrage of social events, from backyard barbecues to weddings to, of course, graduation parties. And while you can bring a tray of baked beans to a neighborhood cookout, and something straight off the registry to a wedding, it’s often difficult to decide what to get a newly-minted high school …

Categories: Education, Family, Shopping

Best Home Security System for 2015

The best home security systems have a proven track record in protecting homes and their valuable contents. Unfortunately, many people don’t address home security until it’s too late — after they’ve already had a break-in. According to the FBI, just under 2 million burglaries were reported in 2013, resulting in roughly $4.5 billion in losses. Homes with alarm …

How to Write a Thank-You Note

With graduation and wedding season upon us, you may be faced with the arduous task of finding the proper way to thank others for their generosity. In some ways, it can be difficult to be on the receiving end: Not only do you have to accept your gift graciously, you also have to make sure your loved …

20 Ideas for a Frugal (Not Cheap) Wedding on a Budget

“Angela” writes in: What advice do you have for a frugal wedding? We’re getting married this fall and want to explore as many cheap wedding ideas as we can. Since we are both in our early twenties and don’t have a lot to spend, we were hoping to keep our wedding as small as possible. …

A Basic Guide to an Inexpensive and Incredibly Fun Family Camping Vacation

This summer, my family and I are going to be camping in northern Wisconsin for several days. We plan on camping at two different locations during the trip so that we get a chance to see and enjoy two completely different areas. Small camping trips are a staple of our summer – we usually camp …

102 Things to Do on a Money-Free Weekend

Some time ago, I offered up the idea of the money-free weekend: For the last few months, my wife and I have been doing something every other weekend or so that we call a “money-free” weekend, in an effort to live more frugally. It’s actually quite fun – here’s how we do it. We’re not allowed to …

Become a subscriber of The Simple Dollar and get a free copy of Trent's e-book today plus exclusive updates.