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How to Create a Bare-Bones Budget

Whether you’re struggling to get your debt under control or simply want to build up an emergency fund or a down payment as quickly as possible, a bare-bones budget is a powerful tool to help get you there. It’s just what it sounds like: your essential expenses, and nothing else. A simple, stripped-down budget can be helpful for an aggressive …

Ten Apps I Use Every Day to Help My Productivity

For me, every day is filled with personal and professional tasks that require the use of a computer and/or a smartphone. I have articles to write. I have emails to send. I have research to do. I have a book draft to work on. I have images to edit. I have videos to edit. I …

ALDI, Fareway, and the Value of Discount Grocery Stores

Recently, I came across a great article about ALDI in Forbes Magazine. For those unfamiliar, ALDI is a discount retailer in the eastern half of the United States (and in Germany) that focuses almost entirely on having the lowest prices on its merchandise. One method ALDI uses is relying entirely on store-brand products – you’re hard-pressed …

Categories: Shopping

13 Ways to Save Money and Protect the Planet at the Same Time

With Earth Day 2015 almost upon us, it’s a good time to think about how our actions impact the planet and, more importantly, what we can do to reduce our carbon footprint and improve our environment. Because, let’s face it, this is our home. And right now, it’s the only place we’ve got. 13 Ways …

The $64,000 Question

A few weeks ago, I was at a fundraiser for my children’s school when I struck up a conversation with a friend, who then introduced me to a third person that I didn’t know before. We chatted a bit and then he learned that I wrote The Simple Dollar, so the conversation turned to the …

Categories: Getting Started

A Look at the Average American Budget – and How the Average American Can Start Saving More

Recently, I saw this infographic about the average American budget in 2013 and it left me thinking about the stories people tell about their money. It’s no secret that many people live paycheck to paycheck. 76% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck, which definitely includes a lot of people earning both more and less than …

Categories: Getting Started

Some Thoughts About Living on $29 a Week for Food

Recently, I heard a news story about the Food Bank NYC Challenge, which challenges people to live on $1.38 per person per meal, or $29 per person per week, for food. Although the politics of this challenge are interesting (it’s always compelling when people have a chance to understand, at least a little bit, how …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

Should You Pay Off Your Mortgage Early?

If you have a mortgage on your home, you’ve probably wondered at least once whether it would be worthwhile to pay it down ahead of schedule. And if so, you’re not alone. The debate over whether to prepay your mortgage has persisted in the personal finance world for some time now, and it’s not going away any time …

Questions About The Career Game, Virtual Assistants, Rust, Life Insurance, and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Very low interest debt 2. Family white board 3. Loaning money to a friend 4. Virtual assistant 5. Dividend stocks or not? 6. A little rust …

Categories: Reader Mailbag

Seven Hidden Benefits of Frugal Living

In a world where rampant consumerism is the norm, choosing a frugal lifestyle can sometimes mean living as an outcast. Your friends may shake their heads when you opt out of expensive restaurant dinners, and your neighbors might get a good laugh out of your penchant for amazing garage sale finds. Maybe your family members …

Categories: Frugality

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