The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

Profile of The Simple Dollar

Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 269)

Learn How to Use Online Banking (54/365)

When I wrote 365 Ways to Live Cheap in 2007, online banking was a feature that was far from standard, yet well on its way to becoming a standard. […]

A World without Sarah

Anyone who has read this blog for very long knows that my wife, Sarah, is not only my best friend, but the rock upon which our family relies in countless ways. […]

Opt Out of Courtesy Overdraft Protection (53/365)

A lot of banks offer what they call “courtesy overdraft protection.” On the surface it seems like a good program. After all, they do cover the bad check you wrote, right? Actually, most “courtesy” overdraft protections can end up putting you in a worse situation than just dealing with a returned check. Most courtesy overdraft programs work in a very straightforward fashion. […]

Reader Mailbag: Hair Cutting

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. When to dump a car 2. Comparing home features for energy 3. 401(k)s, IRAs, and taxes 4. Cultural events, cheapness, and children 5. Blogging for money 6. An accountant for taxes 7. Trent’s spending traps 8. […]

If You Can’t Get These Features, Start Shopping for a New Bank (52/365)

Over the last few days, we’ve talked about several features your bank should have: compatible hours, few (or no) fees, solid interest, and a large ATM network. On top of that, I’d add robust online banking as well. The question then becomes what do you do if your bank doesn’t offer these things? I’d suggest shopping for a new bank. Here’s how. First of all, I’d check out local banks. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Games and Drinks Edition

For some reason, three people have contacted me within the last day or two asking me for suggestions on how to deal with drinks and snacks when playing board or card games with friends. They do make a mess. If we’re just playing a game with an ordinary deck of playing cards, I don’t sweat it. […]

Make Sure the Bank’s Hours Match Yours (51/365)

The bank my parents use keeps some rather unusual hours. A few times recently, I’ve been visiting my parents and wished to accompany them to the bank to sign papers or other such things, only to discover that the bank is improbably closed at what seems like a completely reasonable hour. This is a common trait among smaller banks – and even a few bigger ones. […]

Chores, Allowance, and “Above and Beyond” Tasks

I’m often asked about our allowance and chore policies for our children. Recently, some snow on our driveway made us carefully think about these policies and decide exactly how we wanted to handle them. About two weeks ago, we had a snowstorm that covered our driveway with about two inches of snow. […]

Don’t Tolerate These Four Fees (50/365)

One of the surest signs that it’s time to switch to a new bank comes when you examine your monthly statement and see a lot of unnecessary fees. About a decade and a half ago, I was a customer of a large bank chain (Firstar) that was later swallowed up by an even larger bank chain (US Bank). […]

Reader Mailbag: Fun?

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. Long term life insurance 2. Preparing for tax bill 3. Dental challenges 4. Fear of switching careers 5. Money from selling household items 6. Haircuts and appearance value 7. Considering purchases again 8. […]