The Latest

Retirement or Education?

Chris writes in: We are friends with another couple that is around our same age, income level, status, and number and age of children. When I was mentioning to them that we were planning to pay off our car this year (leaving us with our mortgage and a small student loan) and the starting to …

Categories: Education, Retirement

Shade Trees as a Smart Financial Investment

You read that right. Shade trees. One of our plans for the spring is to plant a shade tree or two on the southwest side of our home. These trees won’t be very large now, but in several years, they will grow to a reasonable size, providing some nice shade on summer days when our …

Categories: Getting Started

Reader Mailbag: Boycotts, Baseball, and New Beginnings

This is Reader Mailbag #100. With this mailbag, I’ve decided to start naming the mailbags based on an interesting question or two answered within the mailbags, making it easier to find such mailbags (in theory). I refuse to buy gas from BP [due to various political reasons]. In my town, however, the BP station almost …

Categories: Books and Reading

Review: Snap Judgment

Every other Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a book of interest. Over the last few years, I’ve come to believe that the biggest key to personal finance success is controlling your own psychology and impulses. Our entire lives are filled with quick decisions we must constantly make – and, for the most part, we’re good …

Getting Good

Samuel writes in: Much like you with your piano resolution, I decided to finally bite the bullet and begin a career path towards becoming a professional chef this year. I have a substantial amount of money saved up, so the costs of this choice aren’t a problem. My problem is this: it’s a lot more …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: January 30, 2010

Many newer readers of The Simple Dollar haven’t been exposed to the hundreds of great articles in the archives of the site, so this is a weekly series that highlights the five best posts from one year ago this week, two years ago this week, and three years ago this week. I call it … …

Categories: Books and Reading

The Side Business Question: What Is Your Time Worth?

Bob writes in: I’m in my mid twenties, worked doing tech support all through college, and worked out of college as the IT director for a political campaign of 120 staffers. I now have left to a job that fits my interests a little bit better, but clearly still have a lot of IT skills. …

Categories: Entrepreneurship

A Real Story about Priorities

Jill writes in: I don’t earn much and am consequently unable to save much and what little I save is often wiped out by breakdowns (e.g. household stuff), minor illnesses and other emergencies. I am actually quite a frugal person, it’s just that my income is not much and tends to be irregular. I am …

Categories: Getting Started

Frugality and Being Social

Recently, I had a conversation with a friend of mine about some of the things I write about here on The Simple Dollar. Even though she’s struggling with some serious debt issues, she told me flatly that she didn’t want to take most of the advice given on The Simple Dollar. When I asked her …

Categories: Frugality

Emergencies Versus Opportunities

Tim writes in: We are working on our emergency fund. We put almost all of our extra income into the fund. The problem that I am wrestling with is that it is hard to watch opportunities go by while we work on this fund. It will take a year or two to fully fund our …

Categories: Getting Started