What I Read to Keep Up on Personal Finance

A reader, Jimmy, wrote in with an interesting question recently. Where do you come up with your ideas? I know you read a lot, but

The Single Biggest Money Mistake I’ve Ever Made

The single biggest money mistake I’ve ever made was the day I decided that my future self would pay for stuff that I wanted (not

Credit Reports, Credit Scores, and Hard & Soft Pulls

Over the last few days, I’ve received a ton of questions about so-called “hard pulls” and “soft pulls” on your credit report and how they

Lifestyle Choices as a Hedge Against Inflation

Depending on what sources and metrics you use, the annual inflation rate in the United States right now is somewhere between 6% and 11%. That

Preparing a Budget? Ten Tips for Making That Budget Successful

Mike wrote in lamenting his struggle to make a budget work for him (he attached his budget for me to look at, but I think

Ten Tip-Offs That You’re Getting Bogus Financial Information – And Five Antidotes

Every day, I get ten or twenty solicitations to talk about some sort of shady investment or debt relief product. These people try all sorts

The First Steps Away from Paycheck-to-Paycheck Living

Out of all of the blessings that have come into my life over the last two and a half years or so (a new home,

How to Get Started on Major Tasks

I have this nice big list of projects in front of me. Twelve creative projects, all related to The Simple Dollar or my writing ambitions,

Ten Tactics for Improving Your Luck

Yep, you read that right. Luck. To me, luck occurs when a positive and fairly unexpected event happens in your life, whether it be financial

When Personal Finance Is Boring

If you’re a regular reader of The Simple Dollar, you’re probably not the person I’m writing about here. Instead, this article is probably appropriate for

Savings and Investing: Why Saving Is More Important

About once a week, I’ll get an email from a reader along the lines of this recent one from Leo: I don’t know how to

The Danger of Losing Your Wallet – And How to Protect Yourself

Near the end of a recent long trip, my wife misplaced her wallet. She carries a traditional small pocket wallet, which contains her driver’s license,

Switching to the Net Worth Mentality

A recent conversation I had with an old friend started something like this. “So, now that you’re writing full time, how much money are you

Finding Inspiration for Financial Change

A while back, I wrote in detail about the longest night of my life, the night when I realized that I needed to change my

How to Maximize the Value of a Doctor’s Visit

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t like going to the doctor. I had a few terrible experiences with who I still call

Starting a Natural Collection

My wife and I are both natural collectors. As a young boy, I carefully collected thousands of baseball cards, spending my allowance each week on

Integrity and Advertisements

A reader (Tom) sent in an interesting mailbag question that I thought deserved its own post. Why should I ever trust the content of any


How to Budget Using ING Direct

As regular readers know, I’m a very happy user of ING Direct. They provide my checking services, my savings services, and all of my online

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