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

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

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

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

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,

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

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

cleaning out closet

Some Thoughts on Project 333

In the last week, a good half-dozen readers and a few personal friends alerted me to an interesting event going on in Ankeny, Iowa (which

man budgeting with calculator

Why Choose Financial Responsiblity?

Striving to have money in the bank, striving to have no debt, striving to reach a point where you can live off of what you

sisters looking at eiffel tower in paris

When Experiences Become About ‘Keeping Up with the Joneses’

There was a time earlier in my life where I was very concerned with “keeping up with the Joneses.” I ran with a crowd that

man taking money out of wallet for lunch

How to Set a ‘Spending Money’ Cap and Save More Every Month

There’s no right or wrong way to budget your money, just like there’s no perfect way to spend it. But, that doesn’t mean a little

cooking in the kitchen at home

The Experimental Kitchen

“Sounds like an experimental kitchen.” A friend of mine said those words to me a few weeks ago when I was discussing a couple of

two women in conversation

Straight Talk on 10 Common Personal Finance and Career Issues

In a typical week, I hear from 20 to 30 readers by email or social media. Typically, the 12 most interesting questions make it into the reader mailbag.

dad and daughter - money moves to make in your 40s

The Little Things

Here’s a list of wonderful things I noticed yesterday that cost nothing (or next to it): Waking up naturally, without an alarm clock going off

bucket of water

The ‘Drops in a Bucket’ Mindset

“Don’t you ever get tired of just saving money?” “Why don’t you just live a little? You have money in the bank and can afford

golf clubs

How to Enjoy an Expensive Hobby Without Overspending

A few days ago, I was cleaning out the garage when I found my old set of golf clubs. Now, for those of you who

woman with hands over face - recover from overspending

The Negative Domino Effect (or How to Handle Murphy’s Law)

Earlier this week, I had a really difficult spell of writer’s block. I spent far too long writing a paragraph or two, being dissatisfied with