The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 298)

If You Go Over Your Cell Phone Minutes, Upgrade Your Plan (325/365)

When Sarah and I signed our first cell phone contract, we signed up for a plan that gave us roughly 400 minutes per month, which seemed like a reasonable amount based on our estimates. After the two year contract, we found that we had only gone over that limit twice, so we signed up again for the same limit. Before our next contract signing, we sat down to evaluate our situation. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Black Friday Edition

I know several people who often use Black Friday sales as a method for reducing the cost of their Christmas shopping. They do it the sensible way, though. They already have a list of a few items that they would consider buying for the people they need to purchase gifts for, and they simply cross-check all of the flyers and internet ads with their potential shopping list. […]

Clean Up Your Remaining Bills (324/365)

Once you’ve followed all of the suggestions of the last several days, you should have pared down your bills at least a little. Still, you’ll be left with a few bills that you consider untouchable. Your electricity bill. Your water bill. Your phone bill. You’re not going to eliminate those. […]

Christmas Worries

In a recent reader mailbag, Dave wrote: Up until January, I had a wonderful job where I handled all of the IT needs for a small company in our area. At the end of last year, the company was sold and the jobs were folded together with another company with the “redundant” jobs being eliminated, and mine was redundant. […]

Take a Hard Look at Entertainment-Oriented Monthly Bills (323/365)

I’ve talked over the last few days about the value of reviewing monthly bills and subscription services. Today, I’m going to look at two bills that people often think of as “untouchable,” but which essentially just boil down to expensive entertainment. I’m looking at you, cable/satellite bill. […]

Reader Mailbag: Pets and Allergies

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. Pension distributions options 2. Distributing leftovers 3. Degrees over the internet 4. Dangers of hiding cash 5. Political fliers as kindling 6. Shipping clothes? 7. Bookshelf limitations 8. Buying it for life? 9. […]

Take a Hard Look at Club Membership Fees and Gym Fees (322/365)

As I mentioned yesterday, one of the first things Sarah and I did when we began our financial recovery was to start going through all of our regular bills – monthly bills, annual bills, and everything in between. If it needed to be paid regularly, it was examined. This included quite a few club membership fees, subscription fees, and gym fees. We had a warehouse club membership. […]

Setting Clear Long-Term Financial Goals

When Sarah and I first began our financial turnaround, we discovered that it was very easy to set and complete very short term personal finance goals and microgoals. We’d agree to spend a weekend without spending any money. We’d agree to spend a day or two going through our DVD collection and eliminating 60% of it. We’d agree to spend the next month avoiding bookstores. These were strong microgoal […]

Eliminate Any Monthly Services You Don’t Use (321/365)

When we first ran into our financial wall, the first action I took was to head to the library and check out a pile of books on personal finance. I brought home at least a dozen books and I started reading them rapidly and taking notes. One theme that popped up over and over again was cutting costs. […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #100

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. Since this is the 100th “pieces of inspiration” article, I decided to do something a bit different. As many of you know, I’m a voracious reader. […]