The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

Profile of The Simple Dollar

Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar

The 10 Core Principles of The Simple Dollar

IDEA: Start a personal finance blog. Two Cents? Articles focused on practical stuff, positive, straightforward, earnest. Personal finance is easy to understand but hard to actually do. […]

You Can Improve This Part of Your Credit Score Almost Immediately

Last week, we discussed how the way you pay (or don’t pay) your bills has the single biggest impact on your FICO and VantageScore credit scores. […]

Questions About Electric Cars, SEP-IRAs, Charities, Wedding Registries, 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. Why Trent isn’t financial advisor 2. SEP-IRA basics 3. Holding onto sold yardsale items 4. Vesting schedule questions 5. Late model used electric car 6. Pressure cooker question 7. […]

Why and How to Open a Roth IRA for Your Child

The Roth IRA is one of the most powerful retirement tools available, giving you the benefits of tax-free growth and tax-free withdrawals. It’s also an incredibly flexible tool, with possible uses ranging from holding your emergency fund, to serving as a down payment on your first house, and even paying college tuition. In fact, one of the most interesting ways to use a Roth IRA is as a launchpad f […]

What I Wish I Knew Before Taking Out Student Loans

More than $1.3 trillion dollars, with $2,726 added every second. That’s how much student loan debt Americans have accumulated, and how much debt gets added with every second that ticks by. To many people, this amount is nothing more than an outrageous number to balk at – an anomaly shared on the nightly news. But for others, their share represents so much more. Fear. Shame. Frustration. […]

Our Family’s Strategies for Saving a Mint on the Back-to-School Season

It’s an annual tradition of sorts for parents all across the country. The summer starts to wind down. They get a letter from the school telling them about their student’s enrollment for the next year and who their teacher is. They start seeing hints of “back to school” at the store and in their mailbox. […]

Should You Ever Refinance a Car Loan?

More than half of used cars and a full 86.3% of new cars were purchased with a loan in the first quarter of 2016, according to Experian. The average new car buyer borrowed $30,032 for 68 months for their new ride, while the average used car buyer borrowed $20,723 for 66 months. Compare those figures to last year’s, and you’ll notice an expensive trend. […]

Personal Finance and Grit

A few weeks ago, I made an offhand mention in a reader mailbag about the wonderful book Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance by Angela Duckworth. Duckworth defines grit in very simple terms – it’s simply perseverance and passion for long-term goals. […]

I Sat Through a High-Pressure Timeshare Sales Pitch (and It Wasn’t the Nightmare I Expected)

Enduring a high-pressure timeshare presentation was never on my must-do list. Then again, it’s not that difficult to lure me in with the promise of a cheap vacation when all you’re asking for is two hours of my time. It all started when I received an offer from Holiday Inn Vacation Club: five nights at the Holiday Inn Orange Lake Resort in Orlando, Fla., for a grand total of $299. […]

Avoiding the Temptation to Spend Money on ‘Free-to-Play’ Online Games

Max wrote in with a great question that started off in the reader mailbag, but eventually grew into a rather long post. Here’s what he had to say: Most good mobile games are free to play but they offer optional purchases that make the game a little easier or give you a boost or a cosmetic improvement. […]