The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 288)

Some Thoughts on Store-Specific Credit Cards

You can barely visit a chain store these days without being offered a credit card associated with that store. From Wal-Mart and Best Buy to Target and JC Penney (and countless others), offering credit has become a big part of the business for many retailers. The usual advice for store-specific credit cards is to avoid them. […]

The Invisible Threads of Community

There’s a food pantry in a town near mine that does tremendous work. The people involved with the food pantry don’t just distribute baskets of food. They help people with their problems, acting as counselors and emotional supporters for people who are really struggling. I’ve had the opportunity to help that food pantry in a few different ways. I’ve helped them distribute holiday food baskets. […]

The Four Best “Personal Finance 101″ Resources I’ve Found Online

Quite a few people enter adulthood without understanding the basics of personal finance. That’s a sad statement – but it’s a true one. Personal finance is often a lesson that parents don’t feel comfortable teaching to their children and public schools rarely take a major role on this topic, either. It’s rarely included in state education curriculums. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #152

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. H. Jackson Brown on time and dreams “Never give up on a dream just because of the length of time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” — H. Jackson Brown A big dream doesn’t happen overnight. 2. […]

Credit Cards and Annual Fees

As I’ve mentioned before on The Simple Dollar, I’m a believer in the healthy use of credit cards. As long as you keep your balance low and pay it off in full every month, I view credit cards as being almost entirely positive. They help your credit. Many cards provide discounts and other bonuses. They provide consumer protection on many purchases. […]

There Is No Such Thing as a Must-Buy Bargain

Not too long ago, I happened to be visiting a tabletop gaming store that was going out of business. (I don’t think it was due to lack of business – the owner was moving away and needed to close up shop.) Anyway, the store was holding a “Going out of Business” sale, where all of the items in the store were getting marked down more and more as the closing day of the store approached. […]

A Gift That Matters

As we approach the gift-giving season for many families, with Hanukkah starting on November 28, Christmas on December 25, and more than a few families celebrating Christmas somewhere between Thanksgiving and New Years, I wanted to suggest a very thoughtful idea for the young ones in your life. If you have a young child that you need to give a gift to this holiday season – say, a niece, a nephew, o […]

Reader Mailbag: Holiday Preparations

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. Direct investing 2. Not motivated at work 3. High inflation question 4. Collection plate 5. First steps toward investing 6. Talking to friends about money 7. Great “kids and finances” story 8. Signing up for credit cards? 9. […]

The Extra Step

Like almost everyone else, my days are constantly filled with choices about how to use my time. […]

How to Quickly Figure Out Your Retirement “Number”

This article first appeared at US News and World Report Money. At some point during each of our professional lives, we wake up to the fact that we really need to be saving for retirement (hopefully, we figure it out when we’re young). We’re all going to retire, and that means we’re all going to need some money put aside for us for retirement. […]