The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 269)

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #102

Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. 1. Haruki Murakami on money and time This was one of the most difficult lessons I’ve ever had to learn. “Spend your money on the things money can buy. […]

Breaking Away from “Having It All”

There are so many dimensions of modern life in which people would like to see success. They want to have plenty of money to spend. They want to be in a financially strong state with little or no debt. They want to have a challenging and fulfilling career. They want to have strong connections with their family. They want to have a strong marriage. They want to be reliable parents who are always the […]

Always Ask for Fees To Be Waived (333/365)

Companies love to tack fees onto your bill, no matter what service they’re providing. Why wouldn’t they? Fees are pretty much pure profit for them, and for most customers, fees are glanced at and forgotten. A couple monthly fees per customer times a million customers and you’re talking about a pretty nice chunk of change. However, for most services, we live in a buyer’s market. […]

Reader Mailbag: A Thousand Stars

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. Roth IRA conversion question 2. Topical television versus cost 3. Board games for two 4. Collection plate? 5. ING Direct changes 6. Mobile apps for life organization 7. No bill for cable? 8. Finding hope 9. […]

Know What Every Fee Is on Every Bill (332/365)

This one’s simple: whenever you receive a bill in the mail that contains even one item that you can’t immediately explain, you’re probably losing money. There are two big reasons for this. One, the item on the bill might be misapplied to you. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Organized Life Edition

As I’ve mentioned before, my life tends to oscillate back and forth between organized and disorganized. Sometimes, I’ll feel like my life is chaotic and unproductive, whereas at other times I feel like my life is incredibly well organized and really productive. At the moment, I feel like I’m on the “productive” end of one of those oscillations. […]

The Case for Debt Freedom

A couple times a week, I’ll get an email from a reader asking some variation on this question: If I can refinance my house at 3.5% why would I ever want to pay it off early if I can earn 7% over the long term in the stock market? […]

If You Have Large, Irregular Bills, Save for Them Automatically (331/365)

We have a small handful of large irregular bills that hit us throughout the year. Property taxes. Income taxes (they’re lots of fun for the self-employed). Homeowners insurance. Automotive insurance. Life insurance. Car registration. These aren’t monthly bills, but they still come in the mail pretty much like clockwork, and the amount of each bill is reasonably stable. […]

Ask About Termination Fees (330/365)

Quite often, when people are locked into long-term contracts with their internet provider or cable/satellite provider or cell phone service provider, they consider themselves to be permanently “stuck” and unable to even consider switching until their contract runs out. […]