Personal Finance 101: How Does A Bank Work?

The Basics of Banking Recently, I received a lengthy email from a reader who had a ton of basic personal finance questions contained within. I

Building Your Own Monthly Net Worth Calculator Using A Spreadsheet

Upon request from a reader, and building upon my February net worth calculations and my recent postings on building your own mortgage calculator, I thought

What’s In Your Wallet? How I Organize The Finances In My Pocket

Every time I see a CapitalOne commercial chirping their promotional “What’s in your wallet?” line, I actually think of my own wallet and what’s inside

Twenty Places To Hide Money At Home Besides Under Your Mattress

Recently, I posted a discussion about why I keep a small amount of cash at home under the figurative mattress for major emergencies. One of

10 Personal Productivity & Personal Finance Techniques

In the past two weeks, several people have written me asking how I manage to get my finances in order, work full time, maintain this

The $100 Question – And What It Means

If you found a $100 bill floating around, what would you do with it? It’s a question I’ve been asking a lot of people lately,

USPS Announces The “Forever” Stamp: Is It Worth Your $0.39?

Yesterday, the United States Postal Service announced the introduction of a “forever” postage stamp. Here’s how it works: whenever you buy a first class postage

Inflation: What Is It And Why Should I Care?

Inflation is one of those topics that crops up time and time again on the news, and it’s one of those topics that makes my


An Introduction To Compound Interest With Spreadsheets, Part 3: A Simple Mortgage Calculator

Regular compound interest is (basically) the way most loans and savings accounts work, including home mortgages. Here, we’re going to use a spreadsheet to calculate


An Introduction To Compound Interest With Spreadsheets, Part 2: Monthly Compound Interest, APRs, and APYs

Previously, we discussed how compound interest works on a year-by-year basis, but in the real world, interest is usually compounded more often than that. For


An Introduction To Compound Interest With Spreadsheets, Part 1: Getting Started And Defining Compound Interest

Several readers have written me excitedly asking how exactly I do some of the calculations on this site and how compound interest works. Usually, I


Cutting Down On Splurges: How I Did It – And You Can Too

Back before my financial armageddon, I used to splurge on unnecessary stuff almost every evening after work. I’d enjoy things by the armload that I

The Land Of Opportunity

Recently, I’ve had some splendid conversations with a number of people from all over the world who are thinking about coming to the United States

10 Lessons The Simple Dollar (And Its Readers) Has Taught Me

When I started this blog, I made a deep commitment to myself that this was going to be the linchpin for building my understanding of

What Is “The Fed,” What Do They Have To Do With My Money, And Why Should I Care?

Whenever my wife hears mention of the Federal Reserve on television or the radio, her eyes glaze over and she quickly looks for another station

Buying Things Lets Me Forget Who I Am For A While

As I was driving around last night, I was listening to a story on National Public Radio in which an immigrant female who was ashamed


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

Why Traditional Budgets Don’t Work: Wiser Actions You Can Take Instead Of Filling Out A Budget Form

Before I faced my financial armageddon, I tried several times to squeeze my life into a traditional budget. I’d fill out some spreadsheet that someone