The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 290)

Use Cloth Diapers (64/365)

When Sarah and I first started cloth diapering, quite a few of our family and friends thought we were completely crazy. Rather than focusing on the mountain of benefits (it is incredibly less expensive if you have multiple children, it’s far better for the environment), they focused on one of the drawbacks, which is actually fairly negligible. […]

Reader Mailbag: Paper Search

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. Refinancing into extremely low ARM 2. Over the Roth cap 3. Dealing with well-meaning family 4. Value of supporting local businesses 5. Walking away from great employer 6. Investing fluctuating income 7. […]

Start Saving for College as Early as Possible (63/365)

Let’s say you have a child today. You’re estimating that their college education will cost $25K a year, so that child is going to need $100K in eighteen years in order to pay for college. […]

Repetition Is a Losing Life Battle

Over the past few days, I’ve been exchanging messages on Facebook with an old friend of mine. This person (that we’ll call Chris) has spent virtually every weekend (and many weeknights) getting completely drunk since Chris was in college more than a decade ago. At one point, Chris told me the following: Most of the last decade is a giant blur. […]

Ignore Freebies Given Just for Signing Up for Financial Accounts (62/365)

Let’s say you’re running a bank. You need to get some new customers signed up for checking and savings accounts so that you have more money to lend out for mortgages and the like. How do you get those new customers? Well, one option would be to offer better interest rates, or perhaps lower your fees, and then advertise those things. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #62

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. Walter Elliott on perseverance The hardest challenges in life seem like incredibly long slogs through difficult terrain. […]

If You Have an Unexpected Windfall, Put It in a CD (61/365)

When I wrote 365 Ways to Live Cheap in 2007, a person could easily find a bank CD that offered a 6% return. All you had to do was lock up your money at the bank for a year or so and they’d give you back six cents on every dollar. That’s a pretty good deal. In fact, if it were available today, I would have a lot of my money in such CDs. […]

Rules Versus Facts

Personal finance articles often state “rules” of various kinds for people to follow when it comes to their money… You should be saving 10% (or 15%) of your pay for retirement. Don’t buy a home unless you have a 20% down payment. Don’t sell when the market is going down, and don’t buy when the market is going up. You get what you pay for. If you want to get a good paying job, you have to go to coll […]

Automatically Build an Emergency Fund (60/365)

Whenever I’m asked for a single piece of financial advice for someone, I usually offer up “spend less than you earn.” When they inevitably ask me for something more specific, I tell them “start an emergency fund and stick with it.” An emergency fund is one of the best financial tools a person can have. It makes the ups and downs of day-to-day real life so much easier to get through. […]

Reader Mailbag: Personal Projects Undone

Reader Mailbag: Personal Projects Undone 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. Is more retirement savings necessary? 2. Netflix streaming series 3. Imminent financial disaster 4. Loan debt and house purchase 5. Paper books or e-books? 6. […]