The Simple Dollar

Take That, 9-to-5: Two Brooklynites on How They Make a Living as Professional Dog Walkers

On a recent walk to my local park, I counted six people who were clearly professional dog walkers. You can tell who the pros are because they walk three to five dogs at once while wearing several

A Lifetime of Lessons

Over the past week or two, some of you may have heard the story of Sylvia Bloom, a legal secretary who, on a mid-20th century secretary’s salary, carefully amassed a fairly sizable fortune (around $9

Questions About Textbooks, Food Waste, Conferences, Credit Scores, 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 jump straight down to the question. 1. College

The Surprising Figure That Can Torpedo Your Chances at Getting a Mortgage

Finding a home you can afford is hard enough these days. But even that’s only half the battle: If you’re like most buyers, you still have to qualify for a mortgage, too. And before a lender hands you

Save Time, Money, Effort (or Maybe All Three) by Choosing the Right Mower for Your Yard

Every job has the right tool, and every lawn has the right lawnmower. Much as a sledgehammer makes a poor fly swatter and a watercolors set is woefully inadequate for painting your living room, the

The Challenge of Sentimental Items

For many of us, the largest expense we’ll ever tackle in our lives is our housing. The cost of owning a family home easily devours multiples of a person’s annual income. The median home price in

How To Be a Frugal Auto Enthusiast

A couple of my extended family members have a very expensive hobby. They rebuild old cars, turn them into hot rods, and show them off at car shows. They sometimes recoup their financial investment if

The Truly Frugal Diet

Food takes up a major part of a family’s monthly budget. Depending on the size of the family and their food choices, this can range from hundreds of dollars a month to well over a thousand dollars a

Which Bills Affect Your Credit Score?

Making an effort to keep your bills paid on time is always a good idea, and for a variety of reasons. Whenever you make your payments late or become past due on a financial obligation, it can trigger

Today’s Promise, Tomorrow’s Challenge

Most mornings, I wake up at about 5:30 AM and spend an hour or so waking up, stretching, doing a bit of reading and exercise and a few other odds and ends, and planning my day. The day before me feels
Book Award-Winning Excursions and Tours with These Travel Rewards Cards

Book Award-Winning Excursions and Tours with These Travel Rewards Cards

Earlier this year, TripAdvisor came out with a new report highlighting the most popular excursions and tours booked throughout 2017, plus other travel trends. Some of the most popular travel

How We Frame Our Spending Choices – and How to Do It Better

I really love finding ways to save a dollar here and a dollar there. I buy store brands. I skip out on little treats all the time. I make a lot of meals at home. I make a lot of things myself. I

Rich People Still Worry About Money — Here’s Why

Have you ever felt like a specific sum of money would solve every problem you have? Maybe you’re working toward a certain threshold where you will actually feel “rich” — even if you’re technically at

Questions About Work Culture, Haircuts, Choosing Funds, 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 jump straight down to the question. 1. Planning ahead

Announcing: Stories From Our Readers

We’re excited to announce a brand new series for The Simple Dollar that’s written by you! It’s called Stories From Our Readers — a place where we celebrate personal financial stories, not from

How Much Should You Be Saving for Retirement? Use This Spreadsheet to Find Out

There’s one obvious question that usually goes unanswered despite all of the articles, podcasts, and news segments on the importance of saving for retirement: How much money should YOU be saving for

Saving Money as a Serial Wedding Guest

Being invited to a wedding or asked to be a member of a wedding party is an honor, but a costly one. No one knows this better than the serial wedding guest. There are points when the frequency of

10 Things That Shaped My Frugality and Financial Outlook

In my day to day life, I naturally gravitate toward frugal options. I prefer to make a meal at home rather than eating out. I prefer to buy store brand options for most things. I love hitting sales in

A Kitchen Full of Projects

As you walk through our kitchen, one thing you can’t help but notice is that there are usually a lot of food-related projects that are almost always ongoing. In just a cursory glance at our kitchen

The Huge Expense of Cultural Norms

Having a big wedding. Going out to the club with friends routinely. Exchanging gifts at Christmas with extended family. Going out for dinner routinely. Driving a shiny new car. Living in a bigger