• Using Google Maps To Get Free Phone Calls

    I recently discovered a fantastic new feature in Google Maps that can actually save me a lot of money. Here’s how it works. Let’s say hypothetically that I’m sitting at work in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area and I want to pick up a delicious pizza from Papa Murphy’s on my way home from …

  • Short Term Savings – How To Plan For Upcoming Vacations, Auto Purchases, And So On

    As I’ve mentioned before, I maintain multiple savings accounts at various institutions, mostly in an effort to keep my different savings goals in discrete places. For the most part, I only deal with two: one is an emergency fund, and the other I refer to as my “short term” fund. What’s a “short term” fund? …

  • Some Notes On The 60% Solution

    Many people complain that budgeting is too confusing and that they have a hard time setting concrete goals for themselves, and when they do set goals, they’re so loose that they are easy to meet but they don’t really generate any significant savings. One major solution to this problem is the so-called 60% Solution, described …

  • 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 stamp, it will no longer be marked with a cash denomination on it like current stamps are. Instead, it will merely say “First Class” on it. Once you buy it, …

  • The Green Dollar: Being Environmentally Conscious Can Save You Money

    Pop culture today continually urges us to be more environmentally conscious on an individual basis, something that everyone can agree is a good thing regardless of how you feel about climate change. However, most of the ways people mention to save the environment are expensive (Prius, I’m looking at you). What most people don’t think …

  • Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff: Another Way To Find Room In Your Budget For Retirement Or Other Savings

    While I was reviewing David Bach’s book The Automatic Millionaire this week, I noted that he made continuous reference to “the latte factor,” which basically states that you can come up with the money for retirement by cutting small items out of your budget, such as the nominal latte. While that makes a lot of …

  • Ten Tips For A Cheap And Memorable Super Bowl Party

    Hosting a Super Bowl party this year (or thinking about it next year)? Here are some tips for making that party a bit easier on the ol’ pocketbook. Please note that there may be some pro-Colts bias in this post. Host it yourself. Don’t go out to a crowded sports bar – instead, invite people …

  • Musings on Faith and Finances

    It is said that the three things you never talk about in polite conversation are money, religion, and politics. I figure I’ll get two of these out of the way right now, and maybe even touch on a third. I’ve draw a couple of conclusions that even make me uncomfortable. I hope you’ll join in …

  • Emergency Funds: How and Why You Should Get Started Right Now

    Over and over again, I’ve referred to the value of an emergency fund without really explaining what it is and how you can get one. To put it simply, an emergency fund is the most valuable thing you can have because it protects you from the unforeseen things that can demolish all of your financial …

  • A Savings Plan For 2007: The Ulysses S. Grant Plan

    After posting a series of savings plans this week, I received the following email from a reader: I was wondering, could you also do an entry in that series if someone puts $50 away? I’ve shown the article to a few people, and their incomes gravitate to more of $x per month, and around $50 …

  • 35 Outrageous Fees – And How To Avoid Them

    Recently, CNNMoney.com posted an article containing 35 outrageous fees, along with tips on avoiding them. Unfortunately, due to the terrible layout of the article (you’re forced to jump from page to page in a very awkward fashion), it’s almost impossible to see all of the fees and also jump to the one you want to …

  • A Savings Plan for 2007: The Andrew Jackson Plan

    This week, The Simple Dollar is investigating how you can take a small amount each day for the year 2007 and end up with a solid amount of money at the end of the year. These calculations take advantage of offers and promotions available in December 2006 and also use interest rates from that time …

  • A Savings Plan for 2007: The Alexander Hamilton Plan

    This week, The Simple Dollar is investigating how you can take a small amount each day for the year 2007 and end up with a solid amount of money at the end of the year. These calculations take advantage of offers and promotions available in December 2006 and also use interest rates from that time …

  • A Financial Plan For 2007: The Abraham Lincoln Plan

    This week, The Simple Dollar is investigating how you can take a small amount each day for the year 2007 and end up with a solid amount of money at the end of the year. These calculations take advantage of offers and promotions available in December 2006 and also use interest rates from that time …

  • A Savings Plan For 2007: The Thomas Jefferson Plan

    This week, The Simple Dollar is investigating how you can take a small amount each day for the year 2007 and end up with a solid amount of money at the end of the year. These calculations take advantage of offers and promotions available in December 2006 and also use interest rates from that time …

  • A Savings Plan For 2007: The George Washington Plan

    This week, The Simple Dollar is investigating how you can take a small amount each day for the year 2007 and end up with a solid amount of money at the end of the year. These calculations take advantage of offers and promotions available in December 2006 and also use interest rates from that time …

  • Live Like You Were Dying

    So many of us have imagined what we would do with our lives if we had just one year to live. Most of these fantasies involve quitting a job, spending time with loved ones, and traveling around the world. What’s keeping you from doing this right now? Debt? Responsibilities? Don’t know? Don’t worry, you’re not …

  • Conserve Energy, Save Money, Save the World: A High School Teacher Shows the Way

    I recently came across an interesting article in the Christian Science Monitor: Surprise: Not-so-glamorous conservation works best. The article told the story of a high school teacher who wanted to reduce his electrical usage as much as possible, both to save money and help the environment: When high school science teacher Ray Janke bought a …

  • Saving Money For A Rainy Day

    I have a “rainy day” fund that I don’t include in any of my normal financial calculations. It just sits there, quietly accumulating small deposits and interest. In fact, I don’t even look at the account unless I am considering a major purchase or am coming across dire straits. How is this different from an …