Family

Seven Quick Tips To Make Your Thanksigiving Dinner Cheaper, Tastier, and Faster

Many of you are sitting there browsing The Simple Dollar but thinking about tomorrow’s Thanksgiving dinner and wondering how you can make it even better. Here are some quick tips you can add to your meal to make it cheaper, tastier, and perhaps a bit faster. For the first thirty minutes of cooking a turkey, …

Categories: Family, Food, Frugality

The Finances and Interactions of Alternative Living Arrangements

Recently, there has been some talk in our house of inviting my wife’s sister to live with us on a permanent basis (in fact, my wife and I have already extended the invitation and she is thinking about it, though it is far far far from a done deal). We have the room to allow …

Preserving The Things That Money Can’t Buy

A few days ago, I bought an external hard drive and started the process of archiving a lot of items that basically would be irreplaceable. I’ve started making high-resolution scans of old family pictures, personal documents, and so on, and saving digital copies of videos as well. Eventually, I plan to take this drive, encrypt …

Categories: Family

Five Reasons Why Having A Child Isn’t As Expensive As You Might Think

In the last week, I’ve received four emails from nearly-panicked people who have recently discovered they’re pregnant, crunched the numbers, and thought “MY GOD WE CAN’T AFFORD THIS CHILD!!!” and fell quickly into panic mode. Don’t. There are a lot of reasons why having a child isn’t the financial bomb that it’s made out to …

Categories: Family, Frugality, Parenting

Some Notes on the Environment

This post was written for Blog Action Day, in which a group of bloggers are all posting on environmental topics on the same day. I’ve written several times in the past about environmental issues and saving money: The Green Dollar Conserve Energy, Save Money, Save The World Prosperity and the Planet 42 Ways Going Green …

Categories: Family, Parenting

Planning A Frugal Halloween With Family

Halloween is one of my favorite times of the year. Where I live, children trick-or-treat door to door by the dozens, dressed up in all manner of costumes. My family particularly enjoys the idea of Halloween as something of a harvest celebration as well. The best part? Halloween offers all sorts of opportunities for frugality. …

Categories: Family, Frugality

Seven Things I Thought About While Holding My Second Child For The First Time

As I held my daughter for the first time, I looked down at her and thought several things at once, which I later jotted down in a journal. A few of these are relevant to personal finance – some are not – but overall I thought they painted a great picture of why it’s worthwhile …

Categories: Family

Waiting

As I write this, I’m sitting in the hospital waiting for the arrival of my daughter. When you read this, she may have already arrived. My wife is in the early stages of labor and is resting, so I’m sitting here typing away, my mind full of all sorts of thoughts on the subject of …

Categories: Family, Meta

A Glimpse At How A Frugal Family Spends Their Weekend

Last night, my wife and I sketched out a rough outline of the things we wanted to do this weekend. When we finished, we realized that most of the things on the list were, in some form or another, frugal. Here’s what I mean. On Saturday, it’s my moring to get up early with Joseph, …

Categories: Family, Frugality

Seven Ways To Advance Your Career Or Small Business And Spend Time With Your Family

Quite often, I feel a strong tug between family needs and professional needs. I work very hard on The Simple Dollar, but sometimes I would rather spend time with my family. Thankfully, by focusing carefully on what opportunities I have available, I can do both. Here are seven ways that you can simultaneously advance your …

Categories: Careers, Family, Parenting

Summer Camp In The Neighborhood: How To Get A Collective Of Parents Together To Save A Ton Of Money On Daycare During The Summer

A while back, I made an offhand reference to a neighborhood summer camp: All of the children three and over are attending a rotating day camp at the different houses of their parents. Each week, one set of parents uses a week of vacation, hosts the camp at their house, and watches all of the …

Categories: Family, Frugality, Parenting

Starting A Savings Account For Your Newborn

Last night, I was at a party for several homes in our neighborhood and I had a long conversation with a couple who were completely intrigued by The Simple Dollar. They asked me a lot of questions about it, and also asked a few personal finance questions. The one that really piqued my interest was …

Categories: Family, Saving Money

An Inexpensive, Fun Family Vacation Idea From My Childhood

When I was young, my family did not have a whole lot of money for trips. Most of our “vacations” were trips to Grandma’s house – she lived a few hours away and had a big house that even had a hidden tunnel in it that let you sneak from one bedroom to another through …

Categories: Family, Frugality, Travel

Musings On Spending $3 On A Candy Bar

I spent $3 on a raspberry chocolate bar the other day. The three of us sat in the parking lot in the rain, breaking off little pieces, giggling, singing along to Gnarls Barkley on the radio, and watching the rain drops bounce on the hood. Was that $3 an effective use of money? Of course …

The “White Sheep” Syndrome: What To Do If You’re The Only Financially Sound Person In Your Family

About three weeks ago, I had a long conversation with an old family friend who finds herself in a situation something like my own. In both of our cases, we are earning more than any of our siblings, and in both cases, we are the youngest sibling in a set of them. Since she’s substantially …

Categories: Family

Teaching Entrepreneurship and Investing To Children

Over Mother’s Day weekend, my wife and son and I drove several hours to pay a surprise visit on my mother. We spent most of the ride talking about our newfound financial success and wondering what sorts of activities we could involve our child in in order to give him the spirit of entrepreneurship and …

Categories: Family, Parenting

Seven Inexpensive Ways To Celebrate Mother’s Day

When I was younger, Mother’s Day would sneak up on me and I would often find myself scavening around Hallmark at the last minute, buying some lame Mother’s Day card that expressed a half-baked sentiment. I’d drop it in the mail, give her a five minute phone call on Mother’s Day, and then feel guilty …

Categories: Family, Frugality

How To Handle Guests That Abuse Their Welcome – And Your Wallet

This was a very interesting note that I received yesterday that I felt deserved some discussion: My husband’s brother moved into our apartment complex recently. At first I was happy to have him here, but now he spends all of his waking time when he’s not at work at our place. He raids our fridge …

Categories: Family, Psychology

Eight Baby Items We Bought That Weren’t Worth The Money

Yes, the rumors are true: there is another addition to The Simple Dollar family coming in September. On that note, my wife and I were digging through the closets to evaluate what baby stuff we had that was actually worthwhile. Here’s the stuff that’s headed to the yard sale, even with the knowledge of another …

Categories: Family, Parenting