My two oldest children have reached the age where they consistently bring home a bag full of school work. Most evenings, they have homework in two or three different subjects. My oldest child is pretty efficient with his homework. His view is that if he just gets it done, then he can go do something … Read moreWhat You Can Control
One of the hardest experiences of moving toward middle age is that I have to watch my parents enter old age. Those two people have been the absolute rocks in my life for as long as I can remember. I remember them clearly at the most active and vibrant times in their lives, when they … Read moreSaving for Tomorrow versus Living for Today
Personal finance can often feel like a very self-centered notion. It involves looking at one’s own financial state and figuring out how to maximize that state, almost within a bubble. Most of the practices intended to improve one’s financial state – frugality, better money management, debt reduction and elimination, better career choices – are pretty … Read moreFinding Spiritual Meaning in Good Personal Finance Practices
Sarah and I live what I would call a comfortable life. It’s far from perfect – there are lots of stresses floating around – but it’s comfortable. We aren’t in any immediate danger of any kind of financial problems. We have a house that’s plenty big and we have plenty of clothes and possessions. We … Read moreIs Being Comfortable a Positive Thing?
At our house, we’re pretty strict on limiting free time for our kids. They get maybe half an hour of screen time after school (after their homework is done) and, on some evenings, half an hour after supper. On weekends and during the summer, it might be a bit more than that, but if they’re … Read moreMaking the Super Quick and Convenient Lunch Much More Frugal
It’s common sense if you know much at all about investing and personal finance. If you intend to save for your children’s college education, the best thing you can do is start early – as early as possible. The reason is simple – it’s all about the power of compound interest. When you save money … Read moreStarting College Savings When Your Children Are Older
As I’ve mentioned a few times on The Simple Dollar recently, I’ve been using Julia Cameron’s “three morning pages” journaling technique most mornings and it has genuinely been a life changer. It’s helped me reflect on lots of different ideas and viewpoints that I have. It’s helped me to reflect on choices I’ve made and … Read moreThe Seven Things I Need to Work On Most To Improve My Financial and Personal Life
Let’s start off with a fact that’s “mildly interesting” on the surface, but takes on a whole different set of meanings when you dig in a little bit. The average American household spends $7,203 a year on food, of which $4,049 is spent on food at home and $3,154 is spent on food away from … Read moreLessons from the Average American’s Food Expenses
I am a strong, strong believer that the good life involves having some time that you’ve set aside for leisure activities that you do solely for personal enjoyment and personal enrichment. I block off significant portions of time in my daily and weekly schedule for hobbies, and although I do sometimes jettison those blocks of … Read more12 Enjoyable Hobbies That Can Actually Save You Money
According to recent polling by Harris, somewhere between 30% and 35% of Americans identify themselves as being “happy” with their life. That means that somewhere between 65% and 70% of Americans are actually unhappy with their life. Why is that? Naturally (given that this is The Simple Dollar), my eye turns to finances. When I … Read moreWhat’s Keeping You From Being Happy?