The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 294)

Is Moving Closer to Work Worth It?

It’s a classic problem for people who live in a city. Initially, they choose to live well outside the city because it’s less expensive to find housing. Eventually, they start to realize that it’s not the great deal they thought it was. The commute is long. If they’re driving a car into the city each day (usually, they are), the cost of gas and maintenance starts to add up. […]

Five Simple Tactics for Keeping the Winter Chill Out

It is cold here. Really, really cold. During the day, I usually turn the temperature in our house down fairly low. I work on the top floor, where it’s usually a few degrees warmer than other parts of the house, and I wear layers of clothes and warm socks. […]

Reader Mailbag: Friends After School

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. Alternative sources for student loans 2. Early writings 3. Reusing packing materials 4. Is newspaper gift wrap okay? 5. It won’t sell on Craigslist! 6. Home equity for credit cards? 7. Savings bond question 8. […]

My Thoughts on Bitcoin (and Other Digital Currency)

Over the last year, quite a few readers have written in asking me for my take on Bitcoin and, lately, other digital currency such as Litecoin. As I often do when I get many emails on the same topic, I thought I would sum up my take on the issue in a single post so that I can simply refer back to it in the future. First of all… What Is Bitcoin? In simplest terms, Bitcoin is digital currency. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Parenting Dilemmas Edition

When you’re buying a gift for your child, do you get them the item that you know they’ll enjoy more or the one that they’ll enjoy a little less but will likely provide more worthwhile stimulation for them? How about this one: when your child loses his or her treasured nighttime blanket, what lengths do you go to in order to replace it? How about another one: when you find out that your child has b […]

Have Escape Weekends Without Breaking the Bank

This article first appeared at U.S. News and World Report Money. My wife and I have three children in elementary school and/or preschool, so the opportunity for “escape weekends” have been few and far between for a very long time. […]

Why You Should Consider Trade School Instead of College

For a lot of people, going to a four year college seems like an automatic choice when they graduate from high school. The reason is obvious – more income. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, a college degree accounted for $15,000 in additional income per year versus a high school diploma ($30,000 versus $45,000). […]

It’s Never Cheaper to Buy Two: Why “Buy One Get One” Sales Often Don’t Work

On the surface, a “buy one get one” sale sounds like a good deal. “I really want two shirts and if I buy one shirt, I can get the other one for free!” “I really want two games and if I buy one game, I can get the other one for 50% off!” Almost everyone is on board with those kinds of deals. The problem is that, in reality, deals don’t quite work out like that. […]

Reader Mailbag: Snowblower Repair

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. Stocks before emergency fund? 2. Curbside furniture salvage? 3. Planning for early retirement 4. Alcohol and holiday celebrations 5. Lending money to a friend 6. Do CDs make sense? 7. Public speaking opportunities 8. […]

The Temptation of “Best of the Year” Lists

During December, “best of the year” lists pop up all over the place. The best books of the year. The best albums of the year. The best movies of the year. […]