The Latest

The Mythology of Spending and Mental Anchors

I have a quick four question quiz for you to run through in your head. Just give your snap response to these – don’t think about each one too much. What is a wedding supposed to cost? What is an automobile supposed to cost? What is a home supposed to cost? What is a three …

Some Thoughts on Easter and Financial Responsibility

Easter weekend is one of my favorite times of the year with my children. The weather is finally getting nice after a long winter, so we’re starting to go outside regularly. We usually conduct some kind of Easter egg hunt for them as well, giving them a great chance to explore outdoors and work on …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Time Machine: April 3, 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 Psychological Trap of Warehouse Clubs

Jonah Lehrer wrote a brilliant little article about Costco over at the Science Blog. An excerpt: The secret of Costco’s success – and the reason I’m willing to pay just to enter the store – is because I trust the company to give me a good deal. As a result, I don’t comparison shop on …

Categories: Shopping

Overcoming Bumps in the Road

As much as we’d like to believe it, our lives aren’t a smooth journey from point A to point B. Unexpected things happen all the time – we do our best to overcome them and move on, but sometimes “our best” results in some pretty challenging consequences. We revert to old, bad habits. We put …

Categories: Getting Started

Seven Tiny Things to Care About and Why

Quite often, you’ll see personal finance writers talk about the big things – the single moves that will save you quite a lot per month. Downgrade your living quarters! Sell that car! Buy a used car! Change your insurance! Those things are flashy because they can save you a lot of money with one action. …

Reader Mailbag: Sports Fan

I am a big fan of three sports: basketball, baseball, and golf. The next week and a half is perhaps the most exciting period of the year for someone who is a fan of those three sports. The Masters. The men’s and women’s Final Four. The opening of the baseball season. Why do I like …

Categories: Books and Reading

Mental Math and Good Spending Choices

Earlier today, I linked to an article at Free Money Finance that included a quote from Mary Hunt: Get into the habit of quickly calculating the annualized cost of things and you’ll achieve an effective way to get mindless spending under control. After reading this, a reader wrote in to me and said: I can …

Categories: Getting Started

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Baby Prep Edition

Preparations for the baby are seemingly endless. I have a giant list of things to do before the arrival and it feels often like I add two for every one I manage to cross off. One item I’m ready to add to the top of the list: a great night of sleep. 13 small things …

Categories: Books and Reading

Personal Finance and the Path of Least Resistance

One of my mentors once told me, quite insightfully, that most people make almost all of their decisions based on whatever is easiest in their life. At the time, he was referring to college life – he argued that people who filled their dorm room with distractions and entertainment were more likely to do poorly …

Categories: Getting Started