The Simple Dollar

How to Get Maximum Value out of a Personal Finance Book

My preferred way of preparing new ideas and posts for The Simple Dollar is that, once a week or so, I head off to the local library with a notebook in my backpack. I’ll go to the new release section

Half-Price, Not Half-Baked: Save a Fortune at the Bakery Outlet

Every couple of weeks my partner visits what he calls “the used bread store.” That’s wiseguy-ese for “bakery outlet,” and those visits save us a ton of money. Multigrain bread for $1.50 (and sometimes

The Big Cutback: The Value of Longer ‘No-Spending’ Challenges

During the early days of our financial turnaround, Sarah and I often did “money-free weekends,” where we would simply go for a weekend – from the time we got off work on Friday until we returned to

How to Get a Spring Break on Caribbean Travel

A Caribbean spring break may get pricey for college kids heading to resorts, but anyone shivering and shoveling their way through winter can get a spring break of their own on the cheap. The Caribbean

12 Key Principles for Financial Success in Today’s World

Whenever a person makes a thoughtful decision, it’s usually based heavily on a set of internal principles, whether that person can spell out those principles or not. Principles are simply sets of

My Credit Card Issuer Lowered My Credit Limit – Why?

It may come as a surprise, but credit card issuers have the flexibility to modify the terms of your account after it’s been opened. While that fact may be understandably unsettling, there’s not much

Questions About Flying, Subscription Boxes, Credit Unions, Mass Transit, 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. International

These Financial Decisions You Make in Your 20s and 30s Can Make or Break Your Financial Future

Have you ever wondered which life decisions brought you to where you are right now – at this very moment? Or, how your life might be different if you made a few decisions differently along the way?

Bulk or Bunk? We Compare Prices at Walmart vs. Sam’s Club

The common rule of thumb for consumers is that you ultimately pay less for goods that you buy in bulk. But does that necessarily make warehouse stores – and their paid memberships – a better deal than

Finding Internal Measures of Personal Finance Success

Recently, in the midst of an exchange with someone who was considering some major life changes, I wrote the following almost-completely-off-the-cuff comment that I wanted to share here: “Feeling

The Financial Value of a Quality Information and Media Diet

Over the last few weeks, the stock market has jumped up and down like a yo-yo. Many readers have contacted me asking if I think they should make moves in their retirement account. My answer is an

Overcoming the Double-Edged Sword of Career Specialization

When I first left college and entered the professional world, I was very lucky to have a marketable skill set that several employers were interested in. I interviewed for several positions and wound

What the Olympics Can Teach You About Your Credit Scorecard

If you’re like most of us, you’ve probably been glued to your television to take in the 2018 Winter Olympics. It can be captivating to watch the best athletes in the world compete at the highest level

Serenity and Personal Finance

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. – Reinhold Neibuhr Serenity is simply the state of being calm,

One Year Later: How We Make It as a One-Car Family in the Suburbs

A little over a year ago, my husband and I faced a decision: what to do with my old, beat-up minivan. Even though the van had been paid off for a while, it was starting to cost us more than we wanted

Putting the 10/10/10 Rule to Work in Your Life

Recently, I came across an article by Chip and Dan Heath in Fast Company magazine, entitled The 10/10/10 Rule For Tough Decisions. In it, the Heaths discuss a framework for analyzing choices that they

Six Things to Look for in a Life Insurance Policy

If you’re an adult with a house, a spouse, kids, or any financial liabilities, and you don’t have a life insurance policy already, getting one should be near the top of your to-do-list. With life

Questions About Tips, L.L. Bean, Disasters, Diets, 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. Finding a

How to Start Investing on a Tight Budget

If you’re living paycheck-to-paycheck, without much wiggle room in your budget, you might assume that investing just isn’t something you can do right now. And in some cases you may be right. Sometimes

Nine Things Nobody Tells You About Starting Your Own Business

For many people who are inherently entrepreneurial, starting a business is the ultimate dream. With their own business plan in the works, they could escape the 9-5 rat race, work on their own terms,