The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 4)

When to Use an SEP IRA

For freelancers, small business owners, and other self-employed workers, an SEP IRA is often the best way to save for retirement. Just a few decades ago, opening a simplified employee pension — otherwise known as an SEP IRA, a retirement plan for self-employed workers — wasn’t a big concern for most people in the workforce. Times were different then. […]

What Is FDIC Insurance?

No doubt you’ve seen this sign at a bank. What does it mean? FDIC insurance protects customer bank deposits in the event of a bank failure. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the independent government agency that runs the program, was set up in 1933 to restore faith in the financial system during the Great Depression. […]

Throwing Away the ‘Retail Therapy’ Crutch

Whether it’s to celebrate a success or stave off the blues, shopping makes for an expensive emotional outlet. Photo: Cristiano Betta Mary wrote in with a brilliant question that I feel deserves a much longer answer than what fits into the weekly mailbag. Here’s Mary’s problem: First, the facts: I am 26 years old. […]

Protecting Against Credit Card Fraud

Credit card fraud is all too commonplace, and identity thieves’ methods can range from high-tech data breaches and Internet scams to old-fashioned stolen mail. Photos: Monkey Business Images / Porsche Brosseau With credit cards quickly becoming the most popular form of payment around the globe, it’s no wonder that credit card fraud is on the rise. […]

Be Careful When Reading Financial Advice! Three Strategies to Keep You Safe

A few days ago, I came across this article from Betterment entitled Safety Net Funds: Why Traditional Advice Is Wrong. The article argues that the idea of having a cash emergency fund is a bad idea because a cash emergency fund earns a relatively poor annual rate of return. […]

Best Hotel Rewards Programs

The best hotel rewards programs ease the burden of high-cost travel, which is a good thing since traveling with a family can be prohibitively expensive. After all, airfare and lodging for four people can be a budget-breaker. A 2013 survey from American Express showed that the average travel expense per person in the United States is $1,145, or $4,580 for a family of four. […]

How to Write a Thank-You Note

The stationary doesn’t need to be formal or fancy, but a thank-you note should be handwritten and from the heart. Photo: Kate Hiscock With graduation and wedding season upon us, you may be faced with the arduous task of finding the proper way to thank others for their generosity. […]

How We’re Investing for Financial Independence

Total-market investing means owning a small piece of every public company in the U.S., and putting your faith in the economy as a whole rather than one specific company. Photo: NASA It’s not exactly a secret that my wife and I are investing our money with a goal of financial independence. […]

Betterment vs. Wealthfront

As I explained in previous posts, I’m on a quest to roll over my old 401(k) into the best retirement account I can find. My account currently stands at around $85,000. I socked this money away in my 20’s by living very frugally, but it’s sitting in an account at my old job where I haven’t been for over six years! Between my family and a busy career, I’ve got enough to worry about. […]

Questions About Loan Forgiveness, ETFs, Entrepreneurship, and More!

Photo: Callum Baker 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. Viability of loan forgiveness program 2. Philosophy of personal finance 3. Another reason for emergency fund 4. Questions about ETFs 5. Brown bags cost effective? 6. Maximizing value of Fuel Saver 7. […]