The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar

The Secret Behind Financial and Entrepreneurial Classes and Seminars

I can’t tell you how often I see pitches for personal finance and entrepreneur and career seminars and classes of all kinds. They all follow more or less the same pitch. They present this idea that they hold some kind of “secret” for finding success. […]

Six Times You Definitely Want a Rewards Credit Card

There’s a reason people chase credit card points and miles: A solid rewards credit card can help you earn free stuff with almost no effort on your part, and nearly anyone with good credit can qualify. Still, a lot of people opt for other means of payment, and that includes cash and debit cards – and even the dinosaur of personal finance, personal checks. […]

Managing a Never-Ending Pile of Things to Do

In Monday’s reader mailbag, I answered a question from Marcus about how I manage my time these days. Here’s the question from Marcus, as well as my answer. I enjoy your occasional articles on time management and the new strategies you are figuring out and utilizing. […]

Eight Common Myths About the FAFSA, Busted

Whether you’re heading off to college straight from high school or you’re a nontraditional student getting a new degree, it’s time to think about filling out your FAFSA — the Free Application for Federal Student Aid. While the federal FAFSA deadline isn’t until June 30, 2016, your state or college may have a different (and far earlier) deadline for processing your application and figuring out your […]

The Challenge of Getting Rid of Stuff

I have more things than I need. Over the last several years, I’ve made a conscious effort to pare down my possessions. Most of the stuff I consider “mine” would fit into one room in our house. I could live in my office, in other words, which is about 100 square feet or so, if I slept on an air mattress on the floor. […]

Questions About Car Maintenance, Chess, Checklists, Overwork and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five-word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. We need a financial plan 2. Checking and savings with interest 3. Student loan paydown best option? 4. Time for financial advisor? 5. What car maintenance is necessary? 6. Savings for specific goals 7. […]

Why No One Should Get an 84-Month Car Loan (Ever)

Experian’s quarterly “State of the Automotive Finance Market” report gets worse each time I read it, and the third-quarter summary for 2015 (the most recent available) was no exception. The credit reporting agency’s ongoing analysis packages the horrors of American consumerism into easy-to-read charts and graphs so ugly they’ll make your eyes bleed. Want more details? […]

Real-World Cost of Living Analysis: Los Angeles vs. Madison, Wis.

Awhile back I wrote a post explaining my decision to move from Los Angeles to the Midwest. I’ve now lived in Madison, Wis., for more than five months, and in this follow-up post I’ll do a deep dive into how much money I’ve actually saved since making the move. Hopefully this can inspire others to look into areas with a lower cost of living. […]