The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

Profile of The Simple Dollar

Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 299)

Shop Around for Car Repairs (44/365)

This is one of those tips that you hear and immediately think, “Easier said than done.” Why? Most of the time when you need a car repair, you’re pinched. Your car failed at a bad time, you need to get to work or school, and you’re willing to just throw money at the problem so you can get back on the road as fast as possible. […]

Compound Interest, Compound Opportunity

One of the first topics covered in almost any personal finance book you read is the power of compound interest. Compound Interest 101 You can skip this section if you’re already familiar with compound interest and how it works. I’m including it for people new to the idea. Let’s say you have access to a savings account that pays 5% interest. […]

Don’t Get Optional Stuff During Maintenance (43/365)

Whenever I get an oil change at one of those typical oil change places (think JiffyLube or something similar), I’m inundated by requests for tons of optional things. […]

Reader Mailbag: Writing Focus

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. Budgeting with bi-weekly paychecks 2. Gross or net income? 3. Investing in this economy 4. Car trade-in time? 5. Blogging workflow 6. Using money before pay cut 7. Sharebuilder IRA? 8. What is a dependent? 9. […]

Don’t Speed – Instead, Use Cruise Control (42/365)

A few years ago, I was pulled over for going 61 miles per hour in a 55 miles per hour zone. I mumbled and grumbled to myself as the officer went back to his car and wrote me a ticket. Instantly, over $100 went down the tubes, and that doesn’t include the bump in insurance rates. Sure, the officer was probably filling a ticket quota. […]

The Different Meanings of Saving for Retirement

My parents and Sarah’s parents are roughly the same age. Their retirement-age experieces are much different than each other. My parents are both retired in the traditional sense. They have a limited fixed income made up of Social Security and some pension money. […]

Eliminate One of Your Cars Entirely (41/365)

Over the last few days, I’ve talked about a lot of options that you can use to get to work and run errands without the use of your own car. Carpooling, riding public transportation, and riding a bicycle can all achieve this goal. There’s still a problem, though. If you use these tactics, you’re leaving that car sitting in your driveway. You’re still making payments on it (if it’s not paid off). […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #59

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. J. M. Barrie on work I don’t really think of work as being time spent earning money. Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else. – J. M. Barrie I sometimes earn money doing stuff I like to do. […]

Use a Bicycle (40/365)

The winter is easily my least favorite season. It is very difficult to be outside for a long period of time when the temperature is approaching 0 F, as it often is in Iowa during the winter. […]

Letting Go of the Past

When I was a boy, one of the biggest things my father and I shared was baseball. We would listen to all of the Chicago Cubs games all summer long on the radio, watch many of them on television, and follow the day-to-day standings in the newspaper. […]