The Latest

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: November 21, 2009

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

“So, What Do You Want for Christmas?”

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard this question several times from various people who find me on their Christmas gift list this year. I’m guessing they’re all thinking more or less the same thing: what do you get for a guy who doesn’t really want anything? So they ask me, and then I’m left …

Categories: Frugality, Shopping

10 Tactics for a Frugal Thanksgiving Dinner

By this time next week, most Americans will have gathered with friends and family and eaten the traditional Thanksgiving meal. I’ll be gathering for three separate Thanksgiving dinners during this holiday weekend. Quite often, I’ll see people spend exorbitant amounts of money on lavish Thanksgiving spreads. While I completely understand the reason for doing this …

Categories: Frugality, Meals

The 40/30/30 Rule

Recently, I was reading a great article at The 99 Percent entitled The 40-30-30 Rule: Why Risk Is Worth It. I originally intended to include it in my weekly roundup, but as I thought about the 40-30-30 idea, I found that the connections to careers, personal finance, and life were profound. What is the 40-30-30 …

Personal Finance 101: How Averages Lie

Whenever a personal finance writer – or a writer of any kind – wants to make a bold, shocking point, they’ll often pull out an “average” of some set of numbers. That average, when read without further investigation, is often really shocking. Could that really be true? Here are some examples. The average square footage …

Categories: Getting Started

Should I Save for Something or Not Buy It At All?

Andre writes in: I’m interested in replacing a piece of home audio equipment that is experiencing occasional malfunctions, but works OK most of the time. The receiver I’m looking at costs $500 on Amazon. I’m a little conflicted. The more frugal side of me says to not even buy it. Make do with the broken …

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Home Movies Edition

For the longest time, I didn’t really see the point of taking home movies. I would take some because I’d be encouraged to do so, but they always seemed to just wind up in boxes collecting dust somewhere. Until last night. I was digging through one of our closets and came up with a few …

Categories: Books and Reading

My Garage Sale and Thrifting Toolkit

I really enjoy visiting garage sales, yard sales, and thrift stores. I almost always find an item or two that I’m either looking for myself or I’m sure I can sell on eBay for a small profit. Plus, I’m always amazed at the things other people have largely decided to throw out. Whenever I head …

Categories: Frugality

Starting a Lifetime Savings Journey

Recently, my son Joe had his fourth birthday. Sarah and I had made the decision that we were going to introduce the idea of an allowance to him after his fourth birthday, along with the idea of saving for specific goals. In order to accomplish this goal, we decided to get him a Money Savvy …

Categories: Family

What Are You Buying When You Buy a Car?

Over the last few months, I’ve been slowly shopping for a minivan to replace my truck. Since the truck will not seat three young children safely (I could jam them in there in an illegal fashion), I will have to replace the vehicle by April at the latest. That’s on top of the fact that …

Categories: Automobile