man in the forest

The Forest and the Trees of Financial Independence

A few days ago, I happened across a wonderful article from Erica Johnston at the Washington Post, entitled How one family is sending 13 kids

brandon's box truck

How One Man Lives in His Truck to Turbocharge His Savings

Late last year, a blog called Thoughts From Inside the Box started to attract a lot of attention. The media had picked up on the fact that

big picture_ tsd

The Moment Versus the Big Picture

Recently, a reader who I’ll call Jenny sent me a very long and thoughtful message, of which one part has left me thinking for quite

frugal and spendthrift

Can Money Buy You Happiness?

Yesterday, as I was sifting through my bookmarks for future Simple Dollar articles, I came across this wonderful article by David Short: Happiness Revisited: A Household

neighbors having a party

Seven Ways Millionaires Next Door Become Wealthy (and Stay That Way)

When most people think “rich,” they automatically envision people like the Kardashians, Brad and Angelina types, pop stars, and professional athletes. They picture luxury homes,

50 in candles

Under Pressure: The Optimal 50 Strategy

In a given week, the only real “unstructured” time that I have is the hour or two that I set aside for “family time” each

Memories Frugal

Using Memories of the Past to Build a Memorable and Frugal Future

Step back for a second and make a brief mental list of some of the best moments of your life. Let’s say… 10 of them or


Financial Independence on a Smaller Income

Anyone who has read my articles on The Simple Dollar in the past few years knows that Sarah and I have set a personal goal

walking away

It’s Not ‘Early Retirement,’ It’s ‘Walk Away Money’

Marjorie writes in: Why would you and Sarah want to retire in your 40s? You seem like a very productive person. I can’t believe you

hiking up mountain

How Much Do You Really Need to Save to Retire Early?

If there’s one financial question that really hangs over my head these days, it’s probably this one. How much money do I need to have

Handwritten gigs and goals list

Five Strategies for Handling Slow Progress Toward Your Goals

When you start paying attention to your finances, the progress can feel amazing. Over the first few years of our financial turnaround, we saw our

How to Maintain Self-Motivation After Recovering from Financial Disaster

I remember those first months of our financial turnaround so clearly. It was honestly a pretty exciting time. We had this ongoing sense that our


Living an Amazing Life via the Reverse Retirement Plan

One of my cousins and her husband live a life that many people find to be a bit unusual. They have what I would describe

the frugalwoods

Here’s What Living on Half Your Income Really Looks Like

If you ask anyone who plans to retire early what their secret is, they’ll all say the same thing — it’s a high savings rate.

The Ten Bulls Revisited

Over the course of the last decade, I’ve seen my perspective on financial issues change radically many times. I started off as a person who

Nicolas Berggruen speaking

Some Lessons from the ‘Homeless Billionaire’

Over the past several years, a number of media articles have popped up that discuss Nicolas Berggruen, a person known colloquially as “the homeless billionaire.”


‘You Shouldn’t Go Through Life Worrying About Money. It’s Not Healthy.’

Not too long ago, I was having a conversation with an old friend about life, the universe, and everything. We talked about career choices, our

Photo: Phil Long/TSD Illustration

The Money Onion: Peeling Back the Layers of Personal Finance Success

One of the most interesting things I’ve found over the years of working on The Simple Dollar, charting my own financial progress and changes, and

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