Technology

Using Paprika for Meal Planning and Grocery Shopping

Most of the time, I prefer to talk about free computer programs and smartphone apps that are useful for me financially, but today I’m going to make an exception and talk about a paid program – Paprika. (It costs $4.99 for smartphones and tablets and has a $19.99 desktop version for Mac (with a Windows …

Categories: Frugality, Meals, Technology

Four Frugal Technology Recommendations

Readers often contact me asking for recommendations for technology items at a low cost. They have a use in mind and they just want the item that will fulfill that use at the lowest price without any serious negative drawbacks. Four of these requests tend to repeat themselves quite often, so I thought I’d just …

Categories: Frugality, Technology

Best Tax Software for 2014: TaxACT vs TurboTax vs H&R Block

All the best tax preparation software companies have released their 2014 versions. After reviewing 15 online tax software programs and using the top products, I found three products worth recommending this year. The three best tax software products for 2014 are: 1. TurboTax 2. H&R Block 3. TaxACT Quick Update: I just filed my 2013 tax return for …

You Don’t Need a New Computer

Every so often, I’ll hear from a friend or a reader who wants me to point them toward a great deal on a new computer. “My old computer is so slow!” is a frequent refrain from them, and if that’s what I hear, I usually suggest something besides replacing their hardware. Simply put, the only …

Categories: Frugality, Technology

Doing the Math on Refilling Ink Cartridges

Many of us (myself included) have an ink jet printer at home for home printing needs. We certainly use ours for lots of things, from printing off forms to making pictures of our children for various uses. It’s also widely known that it’s possible for people to refill their ink cartridges. It’s fairly simple to …

Categories: Frugality, Technology

So, What Free Software Do You Use?

On Sunday, I reviewed the worthwhile book Getting Organized in the Google Era by Douglas C. Merrill, during which I mentioned that most of the productivity software I use for my work is free. A few people emailed me and asked about them, including this one (which made me smile) from Dot: As much writing …

Categories: Technology

Meet the New Money, Same as the Old Money

This month, Wired Magazine is running an interesting cover story entitled The Future of Money: It’s Flexible, Frictionless and (Almost) Free. The article was quite thought provoking, but the general focus of the article was pretty deftly summed up in the final paragraph: A generation ago, when people made the choice to switch to plastic, …

Categories: Technology

Amazon’s 25 Software Bestsellers – And Their Free Equivalents

A few days ago, I was browsing through Amazon’s software category when I stumbled upon the

Categories: Frugality, Technology

Nine Pieces of Free Software I Use Every Day

I spend hours each day at one of my two computers – either my desktop Mac (a Mac Mini – the most cost-effective type of Mac) or my Linux laptop. As a result, finding a core set of software to use for the things that I do every day is vital. Also important to me …

10 Best Personal Finance Apps For Success on The iPhone

This article has been requested by a small army of readers. For many of you, this article won’t apply much at all – for a few of you, hopefully this article will prove quite useful. As I mentioned a while back, I received an iPod Touch as a Christmas gift this year. An iPod Touch, …

Categories: Technology

The Frugal Laptop

Lately, my lust for gadgets has been going utterly crazy. I want one of those nifty netbooks. For those unaware, a netbook is a very small laptop (think a nine inch screen or so) that focuses on efficient energy use rather than power. For the most part, these devices are mostly just designed to run …

Categories: Frugality, Technology

25 Free Mac OS Software Solutions

About two years ago, I wrote a very popular piece for The Simple Dollar called 30 useful Pieces Of Free (and Open) Software for Windows. In it, I talked about how I had a new Dell laptop and that I didn’t want to spend a lot of money on additional software for it, so I …

Categories: Technology

Money Podcasts

Most mornings, I tend to listen to a handful of podcasts while I write. I listen to a wide variety of things to keep informed, from tech podcasts and food podcasts to sports podcasts and personal development podcasts, but I keep quite a bit of time open to personal finance podcasts. They’re a great way …

Categories: Technology

The Cheapest Fully Functional PC Money Can Buy

I get five or so requests a week from people who want a PC at home that they can surf the web and check email from. Most of them don’t want to do anything much more complicated than watching YouTube videos. I usually give them all the same recipe for doing this on the cheap, …

Categories: Technology

Our Experience with Skype

A few days ago, I made an offhand reference to using Skype to nearly eliminate the cost of a land line phone at home. A surprisingly large number of readers were curious about this and wrote in with interesting questions of all kinds, so I thought I’d walk through what Skype is, how we use …

Get Personal & Professional Value from Idle Web Surfing

Given how the usage of The Simple Dollar spikes during the normal workday in the United States (this phenomenon occurs on many other blogs, too), it’s easy to conclude that many visitors visit the site during downtimes during their workday, seeking information to improve their financial lives and their career. While this is an effective …

8 Energy Savings Tips For Your Computer

It only takes a few small adjustments in your routine to build up some significant energy savings, and one of the best places to start is with your computer. With just a few little tweaks, you can save hundreds of dollars in computer energy use over its lifetime – and these tweaks can go almost …

Comparing Online Personal Finance Analysis Tools

There’s been a lot of discussion lately about web-based personal finance tracking tools, especially since Intuit launched Quicken Online and Mint won the TechCrunch 40 award. These conversations have led in many directions – clearly these tools are useful, but are they worth the security concerns? Let’s take a look at what these tools have …

Ten Thoughts on Quicken Premier

After my recent discussion about why I’d rather use a spreadsheet rather than Quicken or Microsoft Money, several readers challenged me to actually fire up both packages and see if they’re really as cumbersome as I thought. So I installed and fired up Quicken Premier 2008 and started making a list of my thoughts as …

Categories: Technology