The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 4)

What I’ve Learned as a Volunteer Trash Collector

Photo: Harmon When I worked in the television industry, I read a great comedy script by veteran writer Greg Garcia, the creator of My Name Is Earl and several other successful TV shows. It was called Super Clyde. It was about a young man who inherits a lot of money and decides to use it to perform anonymous acts of kindness for people in his community. […]

Seven Key Approaches for Solving a Gambling Addiction and Getting Your Life and Finances Back on Track

If your gambling has ever created problems in your personal relationships or finances, it’s a problem. Photo: Jamie McCaffrey In 2005, I went through a period where I played a great deal of online poker. During that timeframe, online poker was in a boom period. […]

Kids’ Activities: The End of Frugality?

It’s easy to say no when your child asks for a toy they don’t need. But what about piano lessons? Photo: Ed Garcia If you ask my kids what they want above all else, you’ll hear all about their newest obsession: Shopkins. […]

Questions About Thomas Piketty, Stockpiling, Dryer Sheets, Coaching and More!

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. Blaming the lazy people? 2. Homemade cider kits 3. Building blog traffic 4. Capital in the Twenty-First Century 5. $300 a week on food 6. What happens when market drops? 7. Money rich and time poor 8. […]

The Best Retirement Account You’ve Never Heard Of

If you’ve done any research into saving for retirement, you’ve almost certainly heard of the most commonly recommended retirement accounts: The 401(k). The traditional IRA. The Roth IRA. Or if you’re self-employed, maybe you’ve looked into the SEP IRA or solo 401(k). That’s the standard lineup. And they’re all great retirement accounts. […]

Does Carrying a Balance Help Your Credit?

You needn’t bear the burden of a credit-card balance to build credit. Photo: Josh James If you’ve ever tried to buy a home, take out a car loan, or borrow money to start a business, you already know how important your credit score is. […]

Inspiration from Seneca, Emilie Wapnick, MIT, Steve Martin and More

Once a month (or so), I share a dozen things that have inspired me to greater personal, professional, and financial success in my life. I hope they bring similar success to your life. 1. Sigmund Freud on struggle “One day, in retrospect, the years of struggle will strike you as the most beautiful.” – Sigmund Freud This statement didn’t make a whole lot of sense to me until recently. […]

What Is an FHA Loan?

You don’t have to be a first-time or low-income home buyer to take advantage of the forgiving terms of a government-backed FHA loan. Photo: House & Hammer The term “FHA loan” is actually somewhat of a misnomer. That’s because the FHA, or Federal Housing Administration, doesn’t actually lend money to would-be homeowners. Rather, it insures the loans made by private lenders. […]

Where to Find Free Wi-Fi in Any Neighborhood

You don’t need to buy a $5 Macchiato to use the free Wi-Fi at Starbucks. Image: Mike Licht Here are 12 businesses I look for in any neighborhood when I need free Wi-Fi to surf the Web or access something online. […]