The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 3)

The Best Kohls Coupons and Deals

Photo: Mike Mozart Finding high-quality items for affordable prices is a never-ending pursuit that can often fuel frustration. How do you know you’re getting the best price at the best time when deals keep changing? When it comes to shopping at Kohl’s, getting a bargain is almost guaranteed — you should rarely, if ever, have to pay full price. […]

The True Cost of Student Loans

Choose an expensive college or borrow more than you need, and you might still be writing student loan checks when you’re 50. When you’re 18 years old and preparing to leave the nest, it’s easy to think you’ve got it all figured out. You’re ready for college, and you know that a college degree is a good investment in your future. […]

What Is a Good Credit Score?

What is a good credit score, and why is this three-digit number so important? Can it really affect your everyday life, and what kind of control do you have over it? In this guide, I’ll tackle all of these questions. […]

How Big Should My Down Payment on a Car Be?

Reader Jimmie wrote in with a good question about the ideal down payment on a car: I’m going to buy a new car in several months and I’m trying to figure out how much down payment I should have. I’ve heard tons of different answers from different people. […]

Questions About Cheap Wine, Book Swapping, Smartphones, and More!

Sample several low-end wines in a blind taste test so you can find a go-to cheap option that you really enjoy. 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. The smartphone carousel 2. Freezer thawing frustration 3. Planning out a move 4. Disheartened by 401(k) mistakes 5. […]

Using the HARP Program to Refinance an Underwater Mortgage

The real estate market has been recovering, but if your mortgage is still underwater, you might benefit from the HARP program. Photo: Kai Schreiber Just a few weeks ago, reader Sarah wrote in for advice on how to handle her underwater mortgage. […]

How to Create a Budget With a Credit Card

Pairing a credit card with online budgeting tools can help you stay on top of your spending and find your weaknesses. In the world of personal finance, it’s not very often that you hear “credit card” and “budget” used in the same sentence. Still, I have to be honest here. […]

Financial Independence and Permaculture

Planting shade trees or perennials like black-eyed Susans is a more sustainable and effortless approach to landscaping than painstakingly manicuring a lawn each year. […]

Why You Shouldn’t Lease a Car (and Other Similar Money Moves)

Leasing a car may be tempting — it’s a chance to get a nice new car at a lower price — but it’s not a smart money move. More than once on this site, I’ve argued on behalf of renting instead of buying a home. Renting comes with a number of financial advantages, not the least of which is that it’s far cheaper per month than owning your own home. […]