10.18.17
putting post-its on a whiteboard

Personal Finance Success and Directionlessness in Life

A few days ago, I received a handwritten letter from an old acquaintance, someone I hadn’t seen in a healthy handful of years. The letter

man and woman using laptop - apply for credit card with cosigner

Guanxi: Thoughts on Building Relationships for Professional and Personal Success

Over the years, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have some great friends from other cultures. Back in the late 1990s, I was lucky enough to

10.20.17
Slow Cooker

The Art of the ‘Dump Meal’: Nine Super-Simple Ways to Get Maximum Efficiency and Value from a Slow Cooker

One of the most efficient ways for a family to save money is to simply eat meals at home as often as possible. Feeding three

paying cashier with credit card

The Double-Edged Sword of Financial Friction

The other day, I was at a home brew supply store. I had stopped in to simply buy some bottle caps with which to cap

10.20.17
woman hugging her mom and daughter - the sandwich generation

Getting Through the ‘Sandwich Years’

A few days ago, I was listening to the always enjoyable Talk of Iowa program on our local public radio station. They were having a

mail slot in door

Questions About Whole Foods, Dumpster Diving, Spices, Health Insurance, and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to

man using hedge clippers

The Battle Between Freedom and Affluence

During two of the years I was in college, I had enough scholarships to provide me with a small living stipend if I lived off-campus

10.12.17
man working on laptop

How Block Scheduling Has Solved Some of My Greatest Career (and Life) Challenges to Date

For many years, I was a huge fan of the to-do list as the primary tool to keep on top of the myriad of things

woman at the mall

The Struggle Against Fleeting Wants and Desires

I have a bunch of unread books on my Kindle and many books that I’m on the reserve list for at several different libraries, yet

10.12.17
dad with teenage children - teen checking account

Some Thoughts on Raising Children to Make Good Financial Choices

When I first started The Simple Dollar, I had one child, who was a toddler at the time. Since then, we’ve had two more children,

10.07.17
frying eggs in a pan

Surviving and Thriving on an Extremely Small Food Budget

When I first started writing for The Simple Dollar, the then-governor of Oregon, Ted Kulongoski, made a big splash by choosing to eat for a

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Questions About Job Hopping, MLM, Jury Duty, Reliable Brands and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to

10.03.17
woman thinking - how to raise your credit score

Inspiration from Emily Esfahani Smith, Cus D’Amato, Steve Martin, and More

Once a month (or so), I share a dozen things that have inspired me to greater personal, professional, and financial success in my life. I

10.03.17
spreadsheet numbers

Withdrawal Rate and What It Means for You

One of the most important factors to consider when thinking about retirement is your withdrawal rate. It comes up time and time again in articles

10.05.17
older woman working

When It’s Too Costly to Retire

A few days ago, the Washington Post published an amazing article by Mary Jordan and Kevin Sullivan entitled The New Reality of Old Age in

10.04.17
fresh thyme grocery store farmer's market

The Temptation of a New Store

As a resident of rural central Iowa, I often visit Ames and Des Moines for shopping purposes, with Ames being somewhat more convenient for my

10.02.17
woman looking out window - protect credit in a divorce

Finding the Right Side of the Fine Line Between Contentment and Deprivation

One of the main principles of frugality that I live by is what I call the “principle of contentment.” It’s the idea that the best

mail slot in door

Questions About FDIC Insurance, Envy, Goal Journals, Soap, and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to