Getting Started

The Single Most Important Thing You Can Master for Financial, Personal, and Professional Success

Yesterday, I addressed a great reader mailbag question from a parent who was worried about their 11th grade child being ready for college. I’m going to share the question (in bold) and the first part of my answer (in italics) below, because it forms a starting point for this discussion. Our son is a high …

50 Small Businesses You Can Start on Your Own

In the past, I’ve discussed how it’s a good idea to spend your spare time dabbling in entrepreneurship: It fills your time with something that you choose (and thus you enjoy) and sets up a potential long-term revenue stream. I also discussed how I got a side business going myself. But that was 2007, and …

Where Do Investment Returns Come From?

The whole point of investing is to give yourself the possibility of earning better returns than you can get from a savings account. If you can find a way to make your money work just a little bit harder for you, maybe you can reach those long-term goals a little bit sooner. But where do …

Handling Unhappiness Without Breaking the Bank

Most of the time, I’m pretty happy with my life. I have a great wife and wonderful children. I have a burgeoning social network and plenty of hobbies that fulfill me. I like the area where I live. I’m pretty happy in most regards. Still, there are times where some aspect of my life will …

Categories: Getting Started

Know What to Ignore

Before we even get started, I wanted to note that this article is about your money, but we need to take a little journey into the realm of productivity first. So, just bear with me a little bit. Recently, I had the pleasure of reading Ed Batista’s excellent article on productivity in Harvard Business Review. …

Categories: Getting Started

Some Thoughts on Water Consumption

One thing all of us consume all of the time is water, whether it comes from the tap, flows out of the shower head, gets flushed straight down the toilet, or is cycled through our washing machine or dishwasher. That water has a real cost. In my town, for example, there is a charge of …

The Giant Free Project List

Spring cleaning is one of my favorite tasks of the year. It gives us a chance to freshen up our home after a long Midwestern winter. However, the part that I enjoy the most is simply going through all of the stuff we own. The boxes in the garage rafters. The items stowed away in …

Categories: Getting Started

Eight Strategies for Reducing Financial Dependence

One of the biggest themes that I write about here on The Simple Dollar is the concept of financial independence. I define financial independence as being the state in which you can live off of your passive income, usually in the form of investments that pay out over time such as dividend-generating stocks. As with …

Categories: Getting Started

Life Lessons From a Funeral Home

As a child, it was hard for me to envision what my future would look like. I’m sure I considered being a teacher once, and pondered possibilities of a future as a dancer, veterinarian, chef, and astronaut through the years. So I’m sure you can imagine how surprised I was to find myself working in …

10 More Daily Habits of Frugal People

The other day, I came across a really good article at Eat Local Grown entitled “Ten Daily Habits of Frugal People.” Here’s that list: 1. Frugal people use everything right to the last drop. 2. Frugal people like to stay home. 3. Frugal people don’t spoil their children. 4. Frugal people have productive hobbies. 5. …

Frugality and Trust

It may be surprising, but I’ve found over and over again during the last several years that one of the most important elements of frugality in my life is trust. The simple act of building up trusting relationships with people in my life, then relying on those trusting relationships, has made a tremendous difference. Yes, …

10 Strategies for Beating a Spending Addiction

Most of us enjoy occasional splurges where we buy new things for ourselves – that’s normal. However, for some people, that rush grows into an addiction where they find themselves buying things they scarcely want just to chase that rush. A few sure signs of a spending addiction include buying things that you know you …

Three Simple Money Management Lessons for Teenagers

My most important goal for my children is that they grow up to be independent human beings. Although my twins are only a few weeks shy of being one year old, I fully plan to discuss money management tips with them from now (while they can’t talk back) until they’re teenagers and beyond. I had an unusually good …

How to Master Your Money Habits

Want to master your money habits? According to “The Happiness Project” author Gretchen Rubin, there is no magic bullet. You have to know yourself. “There’s this really strong impulse among habit experts to have one-size-fits-all solutions,” she says in a phone interview from her home in New York. “Like, ‘Only use cash! Always use cash!’ …

Seven Strategies for Working from Home from an Experienced Telecommuter

Since early 2008, I have worked entirely from home, submitting my projects and writings via the Internet. At this point, I have more than seven years of experience doing this. Along the way, I’ve fulfilled the terms of several professional contracts without any sort of serious conflict. I know from others who work from home that …

Does Prayer or Meditation Help with Personal Finance?

When people are struggling in life, they often turn to prayer and meditation to help them to deal with those problems. People who believe in God often pray to their maker, while those who have other theistic views might choose to meditate to bring them spiritual guidance. Some people choose to do both. Regardless of …

The Eight Worst Pieces of Financial Advice I’ve Ever Received — and Why They’re Wrong

As I was growing up and in my early professional years, I would often hear financial advice from people in my life who wanted to steer me down a smart path. Most of it was good. Some of it was disastrously bad. Since I started The Simple Dollar – and especially since I’ve gone full-time …

Categories: Getting Started

Financial Success and Parenting

As Sarah and I roll along the path to financial independence, it naturally has some degree of impact on our parenting. The financial choices and decisions we make, like it or not, are different than the average American family and thus likely different than the decisions made by the families of their friends. Our goal …

Categories: Family, Getting Started

Some Thoughts on the Parable of the Fisherman and the Banker

Over the last week, several people have sent me this story from a bunch of different websites. I’m not sure where it originated, but the first place I saw it was on Financial Mentor. Here’s the parable: The Parable of the Fisherman and the Banker An American investment banker was taking a much-needed vacation in …

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