The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 298)

Your Degree Isn’t a Ticket to a Career

About once a week, I get an email from a panicked student about to graduate from college (or recently graduated). They’ll tell me about how they entered into a major that they thought led to a great career, only to find upon graduation that they’re working at Starbucks or not working at all, as are many of their friends. […]

A Seven Year Old Learns About Credit Cards

Here’s some food for thought for those of you out there raising children and hoping to teach them good lessons about money. I was at the store recently with my seven year old son. […]

Avoid the Home Insurance Catch-22: Follow Through on Repairs

This is the second installment of The Simple Dollar writers’ personal stories. Take a look at Karla’s story about naming her baby the beneficiary of her life insurance policy over here. Today, I’m excited to share Randy Woods’ experience with home insurance claims and how much of a Catch-22 they can be. […]

Reader Mailbag: Picnics

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. Snowballs and variable rate loans 2. Frugal haircut strategy 3. Startup farm funding 4. Sunday paper cost effective? 5. Debt payoff or emergency fund? 6. Hiding money from social network 7. Car payment options 8. […]

How Does Inflation Affect a Mortgage?

Karen writes in: My brother has argued with me that I shouldn’t make any extra payments on our mortgage because we’re losing money over the long term by making early payments. He says that with inflation at 3% and our money able to earn 1% at minimum in a savings account and more if we do other things, we’re losing money by making early payments on our 3.75% mortgage. […]

The Recreational Choice

Connie writes in: I don’t see how saving money really works for a family making minimum wage. Let’s say you have two people who make minimum wage at home so they only bring home about $15,000 each. If the family spends $1,000 a month on housing and $500 a month on their automobiles and $500 a month on food, that’s $12,000 a year right there. […]

My Plan for Handling a Big Windfall

Kelly writes in: What would you do if you won the lottery? Since I don’t play the lottery, I’ll answer this question under the assumption that instead I’m just receiving a very big inheritance from my unknown Uncle Rockefeller and Aunt Vanderbilt. The first step I’d take is to make absolutely sure all taxes on that income were paid. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #119

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. Joseph Addison on happiness “Three grand essentials to happiness in this life are something to do, something to love, and something to hope for.” – Joseph Addison Something to love builds from your past. […]

Buy Your Groceries Sensibly

I live close enough to the Des Moines area that I often shop in the city for groceries. In Des Moines, unsurprisingly, there’s a lot of grocery competition. […]

First Impressions and Displaying Your Social Status

Like it or not, we all display signs of social status when we go out in public. From our clothing to the car we drive, we give others indications of all kinds of things about us. Quite often, people buy into the idea that expensive items display high social status. […]