The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 3)

15 Financial Mistakes I’ve Made and the Better Solutions I’ve Figured Out Since Then

Getting drinks or dinner after work is a great way to bond with your coworkers. But do it enough, and it becomes a great way to go broke, too. Photo: Alan Light I’ve made a lot of financial mistakes over the years – some obvious, some not so much. If I’ve learned anything, though, it’s that the mistakes you make yesterday do not define you today. […]

Rewards Cards With the Lowest Minimum Spending Requirements

Some credit cards offer signup bonuses of $100 or more just for spending $1,000 in three months — a milestone the average American family can reach on grocery shopping alone. Photo: Fareway via Facebook By now, you’ve likely heard all about how lucrative credit card signup bonus offers can be. In many cases, the best rewards credit cards offer signup bonuses worth $300 to $500, or even more. […]

Personal Finance 101: What Is a Cash Advance?

Taking out a cash advance from your credit card is a better option than a payday loan — but not by much. Photo: sunshinecity So you need some cash, and you need it quick. What about taking a cash advance from your credit card? Well, unless you really don’t have any other options, it’s not a good idea. […]

Build Things That People Want

Creating something you’re passionate about – and that other people find enjoyable or useful – is a great way to invest your spare time, and can potentially lead to an extra income stream one day. Photo: Made by Katrina via Etsy One of the best parts of building The Simple Dollar came during the periods when I actually took a break from managing the site. […]

How to Avoid Excess Bank Fees

There’s no denying that ATMs and overdraft protection are incredibly convenient, but they also bring in billions of dollars in fees for the banking industry. Photo: Jim Pennucci By Peter Miller The world of consumer banking used to be based on the pillars of free checking and equally free toasters, but those days are long gone. […]

If You Want Different Results, You Have to Try Different Approaches

Photo: Library of Congress Albert Einstein is widely credited with saying, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” While I don’t view that choice as insane, I do see it as a common trap that most of us fall into during our lives. Why? We’re humans. Human beings are creatures of routine. […]

Five Things People With Good Credit Have in Common

People with excellent credit stay on top of their bills — paying every single one on time, every month. Set a reminder on your phone or leave a note in your calendar so you don’t forget.  Good credit can’t be bought or sold; it can only be cultivated over time. […]

Questions About Produce, Small Businesses, Market Timing, 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. Saving for infant daughter 2. Produce is expensive! 3. Starting a small business 4. Market timing 5. Homemade dishwashing detergent 6. Brands becoming awful 7. Actual process of buying gold 8. Political perspectives 9. Move? […]

10 Money Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Sometimes the only way to understand the depth of a mistake is to make it yourself. Photo: David Goehring The Internet offers a treasure trove of practical advice for managing your finances. […]

Eight Personal Finance Truths for Your Annoying Facebook Friends

Like a lot of people, I use Facebook primarily as a tool to keep up with the comings and goings of distant friends all in one convenient place. I also use it to participate in a few closed special interest groups and community-oriented groups. One of the biggest frustrations that I find when using Facebook is when people post shared links and images depicting ideas that are easily disproven. […]