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Back to Basics

I am often asked what kind of personal finance lessons I’m teaching my children. I think many people hope that because I’m a personal finance

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Anchor Prices and You

Lately, I’ve been thinking about sales and sale prices because of an epiphany I had in a store recently. Sarah and I were shopping for

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The Receipt Cycle: How to Keep Tabs on Your Spending and Tax Deductions All at Once

Back in March, I sat down to file my family’s income taxes, both federal and state. Part of that process is taking a serious look

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15 Financial Mistakes I’ve Made and the Better Solutions I’ve Figured Out Since Then

I’ve made a lot of financial mistakes over the years – some obvious, some not so much. If I’ve learned anything, though, it’s that the

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Build Things That People Want

One of the best parts of building The Simple Dollar came during the periods when I actually took a break from managing the site. I

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If You Want Different Results, You Have to Try Different Approaches

Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” While

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10 Money Lessons Learned the Hard Way

The Internet offers a treasure trove of practical advice for managing your finances. With the click of a mouse, you can find information any personal finance

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Eight Personal Finance Truths for Your Annoying Facebook Friends

Like a lot of people, I use Facebook primarily as a tool to keep up with the comings and goings of distant friends all in


‘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

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How a Proactive Bucket List Can Change Your Life

A few years ago, I wrote an article about “bucket lists” and shared my own. Rather than just reiterating my explanation of what a bucket

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The Rich Man, the Average Budget, and You

One of the biggest struggles I had during my teen and early adult years was feeling jealous of people who had extreme amounts of wealth.

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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


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

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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

debit card

Personal Finance 101: What Is a Debit Card?

A debit card looks like a credit card — and functions like one at the cash register — but acts as a direct link to

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20 Reasons Why You Need an Emergency Fund

If you don’t think you need an emergency fund, think again. No matter how financially prepared you are, life has a way of throwing curve

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PANIC MODE! Why It’s Dangerous and How to Avoid It

In 2006, I realized that I couldn’t pay my bills any more. I did the math and I realized that we just didn’t have the

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Six Money Messes to Clean Up Before Your 30s

For both my husband and me, reaching our mid-20s seemed like a huge “adult milestone.” For the first time in our lives, we had “real

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