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 Closet Lesson: What the Stuff in Your Closet Can Teach You About Personal Finance

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been working on a long-term project of cleaning out the various closets and storage spaces around our home, determining which if any of the things I find need to be kept, putting the things back in a sensible fashion, and then figuring out what to do with the remaining things. Yard sale? Craigslist? Goodwill? Trash can? Hand-me-down? […]

First-Time Home Buyer? Check Out These Helpful Programs

If you’re a first-time home buyer, you undoubtedly have that mix of excitement and fear we all experience. The thrill of owning a house coupled with the anxiety of making sure you can afford it can lead you to the medicine cabinet for a couple of antacid tablets. Before you pop open the Tums, take a look at the plethora of programs available to first-time buyers. […]

Attentional Bias: Why You Talk Yourself Into Buying the Thing You’re Obsessing Over in Your Head… and How to Stop It

Every few days, my attention will be grabbed by some new thing (or, on occasion, some old thing that had slipped my mind). Maybe it’s a movie. Maybe it’s a board game. Maybe it’s a new gadget. Maybe it’s a book. Whatever that thing is, something about it sucks in my attention. I’ll read an article about it or watch a video related to it and suddenly that item is on my mind. […]

Business Credit Score Basics

If you’re a business owner, especially a small business owner, there are likely many concerns that occupy your mind on a day-to-day basis. Business owners wear many hats, so you may be used to handling payroll, figuring out your taxes, managing employees, dealing with customers, fussing with inventory, and a host of other daily activities. […]

Questions About Checklists, Birthday Parties, Firewood, Shaving, 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. Working two jobs at once 2. Checklists? 3. Birthday party gifts 4. Building professional network without spending 5. Uses for old tablets 6. Cold brewed coffee? 7. Depressed after financial turnaround 8. […]

Do Non-Deductible IRA Contributions Ever Make Sense?

Traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs are fantastic retirement accounts, but not everyone is allowed take advantage of the tax benefits they offer. Roth IRAs are completely off-limits once you reach a certain level of income. And your ability to deduct contributions made to a traditional IRA is limited if you or your spouse participate in an employer retirement plan and you make a certain amount of money […]

Book Review: ‘Your Playbook for Tough Times’

Despite the best intentions of those of us who write about money, most financial advice on the web is downright unusable for readers in financial distress. What good is an article about building an emergency fund when someone can’t make ends meet? […]

Breaking the Cycle of Repeated Financial Mistakes

Human beings are creatures of habit. Most of the time, those habits are a good thing – they ensure that our basic needs are met pretty efficiently and we get the core things done that we need to get done in a day. Sometimes, however, those habits work against us. […]

The Tax Benefits of Life Insurance

In addition to protecting your dependents from financial hardship, life insurance policies are shielded from taxation under most circumstances. A death benefit is considered to be the reimbursement for a loss, not income. […]

The Best Payday Loan Alternatives of 2016

I don’t like admitting it, but I’ve used payday loan services. Like a lot of journalists who specialize in personal finance, I began writing about consumer financial issues after having my own. I know the feeling: You need money, and you need it now, which is why you’re thinking of going to a payday loan store. If that’s where your mindset is, it’s understandable. […]