The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 297)

Reader Mailbag: The Arrival of Spring

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. Parents and loans 2. Moving back in with parents 3. Handling my tax refund 4. Advice for military son 5. Income for an expectant mother 6. How much house? 7. Decision-making process for couple 8. […]

When “Happy” Means “Having Money to Spend”

I’ve been a pretty avid journal keeper since Christmas 1991. If you’re wondering how I can be so accurate with the date, it’s because my first entry in my first journal was on that day because my first journal was a gift from my grandmother. Anyway, most of the time, these entries are pretty worthwhile descriptions of whatever issues happened to be weighing on my mind at the time of the entry. […]

Could Cyprus Happen Here? What Can We Do?

Several readers have sent me rather concerned emails over the past week over the banking situation in Cyprus, where the government, facing a deep financial emergency, essentially took money from every bank account in the country, anywhere from 6.7% to 9.9% depending on the size of your balance. […]

Does Amazon Prime Actually Save Money?

Charlie wrote in with an interesting question. I wanted to see if you could run the numbers on this. My family is considering signing up for a year of Amazon Prime for $80. I can see a lot of situations where it would save us a little bit of money, but I don’t know if it adds up to enough money to make it worthwhile. The value of Amazon Prime really, really depends on your buying habits. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #120

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. James Baldwin on reading “You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the world, but then you read.” – James Baldwin To me, books make the world much smaller, not bigger. […]

Your Tax Return Is Not a Christmas Present

Over the past few weeks, many people have started receiving their tax returns if they filed their income taxes early in the year. It can be an exciting time, particularly if your income tax refund check is the largest check you receive all year. […]

Sheltered Children and Money Troubles

Although my parents never had a whole lot of money, they did a wonderful job of shielding me from that financial reality while I was growing up. […]

The Gap Matters More Than Anything

Have you ever noticed a certain trend in the reader mailbag questions? People often ask which approach to paying off their debt is better, or whether it makes more sense to rapidly pay down a 4% debt or to invest that money. In both of those cases, we’re discussing a very small difference in financial benefit over the course of years. […]

Reader Mailbag: Spring Walks

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 TSP versus Roth IRA 2. Sports gambling addiction 3. Maximizing your driving dollar 4. Easy and hard 5. Which car should I sell? 6. No interest debt 7. Investing under Social Security 8. Payday loan cycle 9. […]

Anticipating Wealth

What will you be earning in ten years? Most of us can’t really answer that question. We might have a guess as to the answer, but it’s little more than a guess. However, almost all of us make quite a few decisions today based on our gut feeling about that question. Let’s say you knew for certain that in ten years you’d be making four times as much as you’re making right now. […]