man packing a single bag - the one bag challenge

The ‘One Bag Challenge’: What I Learned by Living Out of a Single Duffel Bag

A few months ago, I spent some time reading about people who are essentially “digital nomads,” meaning that they live their lives with a very

little girl blowing bubbles

Reflecting What You Value in How You Spend Your Money (and Other Resources)

Every few months, I like to go through all of my spending for a month, tabulate how every single dollar was spent, sort and group

friends having coffee

Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff. Sweat the Big Stuff and the Frequent Stuff.

A friend of mine was visiting the other day – we’ll call this friend Donnie – and I offered Donnie a cup of coffee. He

dad and kids walking home from store

Nine Simple Lifestyle Changes to Ease the Challenge of Getting Rid of a Car

For the first few years of my post-college professional life, I didn’t own a car. I lived in a small apartment on the edge of

man budgeting and tracking spending on receipts

Six Strategies for Deleting Stale Spending from Your Life

A few days ago, I was reviewing my credit card bill and I noticed some expenses that surprised me. Two of them were annual renewals

checking investment accounts on computer

A Simple Guide to Choosing a Strong Investment Option in Your Workplace Retirement Plan

Noelle writes in: I finally decided to start saving for retirement using the 401k at work. I’m 39 years old. I have been trying to

woman thinking in stone ruins

Happiness, Low Stress, Pleasure, and a Firm Financial Foundation

It’s likely that at some point, you’ve heard of Abraham Maslow’s well-known hierarchy of needs. If you’re unfamiliar with the idea, let me summarize it

holding tray of muffins fresh baked - frugal gifts

How to Surprise Someone for Their Birthday (or Other Special Event) Without Spending a Ton of Money

Maybe you’re in the midst of a financial turnaround. Maybe you’re having a hard time finding a job. Maybe you’ve just been waylaid by a

man in forest

No One Owes You Anything

I recently ran across a letter written by the writer, investment advisor, and politician Harry Browne. It was a letter intended for his nine-year-old daughter

friends celebrating at a dinner party

How to Celebrate Personal Success Without Breaking the Bank

Personal success often translates into a time for celebration. You just got a promotion at work. You just got a great new job. You just

woman hiking

Choose the Life You Want. Your Wallet Will Thank You.

Whenever I see a headline like that, I can’t help but think that it’s drenched in positive thinking. Then, I look at a day like

driving with a map

Course Corrections

About a week ago, I was listening to a wonderful friend of mine, Heidi, talking about Amelia Earhart. Out of the blue, right in the

looking at the ocean through recycling arrows

The ‘Repeat Players’

Once a week, I go to a community board game night for several hours. There’s usually about 20 people in attendance with a healthy mix of

family busy in kitchen kids

Putting Frugality in Context of a Busy Modern Life

Springtime is incredibly busy around our home. Our children each participate in a spring sport of their choosing (if they want to). They’re also finishing

ant on flower

The Ant, the Grasshopper, and the Child

When I was a kid, my parents had a few relatives and friends that were pretty big spenders. I had a cousin who always had


A Simple Guide to Getting Maximum Value from Your Credit Cards

Sometimes, the simplest questions are just perfect. How do people even use credit cards without messing everything up? A reader we’ll call Jean sent that


Using Meditation or Prayer to Help Achieve Financial, Professional, and Personal Goals

It’s not a secret to long time readers of The Simple Dollar that meditation is one of my daily practices. I spend at least 10 minutes

graduate hugging mom

To My Nephew on His High School Graduation

Dear Nephew, After 13 years spent in school, you’ve finally earned a high school diploma, which is basically a ticket for your first steps into the