Getting Started

Books With Impact: The Millionaire Next Door

The “Books with Impact” series takes a deeper look at specific books that have had a profound impact on my financial, professional, and personal growth by extracting specific points of advice from those books and looking at how I’ve applied them in my life with successful results. The previous entry in this series covered Voluntary …

Categories: Getting Started

A Look at My 2015 Resolutions

At the end of a year, I like to look back on the year that’s gone by, both in terms of my achievements and failures. What good things have I done? What things have I left undone? How can I make the coming year better than the previous one? Often, these end up taking the …

The Secrets Behind Successful Budgeting

Budgeting is one of the trickier issues of personal finance. It can be very tricky to make a budget work for you. For starters, you don’t need a budget to be financially successful. I like to compare a budget to a power screwdriver. You can definitely get that screw into the wall without that power …

The Truth About Your Future Self

In the moment where you simply want something, it’s really tempting to find justifications for it, and one of the easiest justifications is to simply say that your “future self” will pay for it. You can use a credit card, after all, or some kind of payment plan. The actual payment won’t happen today or …

Categories: Getting Started

Why We Strive to Be Financially Responsible

When this article appears on The Simple Dollar for the first time, many readers will be celebrating Christmas morning, hopefully surrounded by family and friends. I hope to be doing the same exact thing with my own family. For me, the Christmas season is also a time for reflection. It’s such a unique opportunity during …

Categories: Getting Started

What I Carry Every Day

A few weeks ago, I finished up the weekly reader mailbag column with a question about what I carry every day. Here’s the question and the answer, reprinted for you I love seeing “everyday carry” articles where people show off what they carry around with them every day. It usually reveals items that the person …

Categories: Getting Started

What Do Frugal People Genuinely Do For Fun?

Over the past six months, this is probably the question I have heard the most often from readers. “What do you do for fun?” “Frugality seems so boring because it takes away all the fun.” “What can I do that’s fun and cheap?” Behind all of these questions lies a simple problem: people perceive “fun” …

Making a “Daily Practice” Work for You

The single best idea I’ve learned this year came to me courtesy of James Altucher, who I heard as a guest on Episode 139 of the podcast Gweek. On that episode, Altucher talked about his book Choose Yourself, but also elaborated a bit on an idea he called the “daily practice.” Simply put, a daily …

Categories: Getting Started

The Single Biggest Money Mistake People Make

Let’s just cut right to the chase. The single biggest money mistake that people make is that they put too much emphasis on the short term and not enough on the long term. Whenever you splurge, you’re choosing the short term over the long term. Whenever you buy something you don’t really need, you’re choosing …

Categories: Getting Started

Ending the Cycle of Excuses

During my second and third years in college, I made some poor decisions regarding which classes to take. Those poor choices, during a period when I was no longer sure about my major, ended up tacking an extra year onto my college experience. My response should have been to talk to advisors and figure out …

Categories: Getting Started

How to Prevent Financial Relapse

It’s a pretty common story. You have some debt. Maybe some student loans or a big home mortgage. You have a good job, but you want more. So you put some stuff on a credit card. Then some more stuff. Then you get another credit card. You sign up for a fat data plan for …

Categories: Getting Started

Wants Don’t Last

In 2011, I sat down with my two oldest children and the three of us each made a list of things that we wanted for Christmas. I used it as a way to get some ideas to share with grandparents and aunts and uncles, but more than that, it was a way to get them …

Categories: Getting Started

Figuring Out the Path Forward

Most of the questions I get from readers about their finances have some things in common. They’re at a crossroads of some kind. Whether it’s triggered by a major life change or not, they have a sense that their current direction in life isn’t perfect for where they think they want to be going. They …

Categories: Getting Started

Zenhabits’ Leo Babauta on Mastering the Art of Change

I recently got the chance to sit down and talk to Leo Babauta, the creator of one of my favorite blogs, Zenhabits. We got to chat about habit change, debt, procrastination, and the common root of all of our problems, among other things. Leo is living proof that we can control our lives and change them for the …

Warren Buffett’s Two Lists and Your Money

A few weeks ago, there was a pretty great story going around various business and finance websites about Warren Buffett. According to the story: One day Buffett went up to his pilot named Steve and jokingly said to him that “the fact that you’re still working for me tells me I’m not doing my job.” …

25 Smart Ways to Handle a $1,000 Windfall

A tiny windfall is pretty easy to spend. If you find $10 or $20 on the street, you can just use it to help pay for groceries or some other regular expense to give yourself just a bit of breathing room in your budget. A huge windfall – like an inheritance or a legal settlement …

Categories: Getting Started

The Parable of the Whopper: The Big Impact of a Little Treat

When I was a college student, I lived for about a year with a few other people in a shared apartment. None of us had much money at all, so we basically packed as many people in there as we could get away with to make the rent cheap. For me, that meant that the …

12 Common Money Mistakes New College Graduates Make

Life after college graduation can be an overwhelming experience. Your whole world is changing. You may be both thrilled and sad to be done with your college days, excited for the new beginning, and nervous about what the future holds. College may have been the first time you were somewhat on your own financially. But now …

How One Simple Change Spreads Throughout Your Life

To me, personal finance is about far more than just dollars and cents. Not only does the money you earn open a lot of doors and give you a lot of opportunities, those things are connected to almost every element of your life. It’s not surprising, then, that making a change in one little part …

Categories: Getting Started

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