The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 290)

Facing Your Little Worries

All of us have something that we worry about. It might slip into our minds when we’re trying to go to sleep, or it might pop up when we’re going through a lull at work or even during the commute. Maybe it’s our financial state. Maybe it’s our own mortality. […]

Get a HUD-1 Form and Know What You’re Looking At (230/365)

If there is a single piece of advice that I would give to the cost-conscious mortgage shopper, it would be to obtain a copy of your HUD-1 settlement statement and study it thoroughly before signing any papers. So, what is a HUD-1 Settlement Statement? […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #87

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. Seth Godin on life and vacations Vacation, to me, isn’t an escape. […]

Consider a Cheaper Part of the Country (229/365)

Sarah and I have relatives and friends spread all across the country: Chicago, Minneapolis, Seattle, Boston, New York. We have friends that live in cities, friends that live in the suburbs, and friends that live out in the country. One thing we’re often amazed by is how drastically different the prices are for homes in those various areas. […]


We all want to have a life that we can be proud of. We want a life that we’re happy to show to others. We want relationships where we feel like equals with the other person. We want a life full of memories and activities that accurately reflect the values we hold dear. Quite often, that pride can drive us to great things. It can push us to work harder. […]

Consider a Cheaper Neighborhood (228/365)

When Sarah and I were shopping around for our home, we looked at the options available in several different communities. During our first rounds of looking at housing, we looked in more affluent neighborhoods. The homes were beautiful and the neighborhood seemed very friendly and well-kept, but the prices were often astronomical. We kept looking. […]

Reader Mailbag: Sleep Interrupted

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. Starting kids with credit 2. Trailing large vehicles on interstates 3. Gifts for children 4. Cost of cheap looking decor 5. Moving and car trading 6. Swimming in ponds 7. Distributing inheritance money 8. […]

If You Don’t Have a Down Payment Yet, Rent (227/365)

When a person arrives at the point in their life where they desire home ownership, that person often doesn’t have 20% of the cost of the house they’re eyeing. In our area, for example, a nice, recently-built family home with several bedrooms will set you back at least $150,000. 20% of that is $30,000. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Back to School Edition

My two oldest children are starting school in a week or so. My oldest child is returning to school, but it’s a new thing for my daughter. In any case, school supplies and such are starting to become a noticeable expense. […]

If You’re Planning on Moving in the Next Five Years, Rent (226/365)

If you’re thinking about buying a home, one of the first things you should consider is how long you’re going to stay in the area. If you’re pretty sure that you’re going to be moving elsewhere within five years, you’re better off renting. Why is that? There are several reasons. First, the first five years of the mortgage are the worst years for building equity. […]