The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 309)

Avoid the “Feature Creep” (137/365)

A few years ago, I started shopping around for a new digital camera. I started off doing the most sensible thing a person can do when they’re considering buying a reasonably expensive item like a digital camera. I made a list of what I actually wanted to do with it. I wanted reasonably high resolution pictures. […]

Reader Mailbag: Education Begins at Home

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. Buy or rent and commute? 2. Advice to younger self 3. Handling angry coworker 4. Credit cards for other debts? 5. Handling too many vegetables 6. Promotional emails 7. Evicting a child 8. […]

Know the Features You Need Before You Shop (136/365)

If there’s one thing I suggest that people do before they go shopping for any reasonably expensive item, it’s that they make a list of the features they actually need before they go and stick to that list. There are several parts to that simple suggestion, though. First of all, how do you know what features you need? […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Overfocus Edition

The biggest difficulty Sarah and I have with our relationship is our respective abilities to overfocus on the task at hand. If one of us knows that we really need to get something done, we can both slip into this zone-like state where almost nothing will interrupt us. […]

Pick the Model Now, Then Wait Six Months (135/365)

For many consumer goods, the price that you’ll pay right now for that item is higher than the price you’ll pay six months down the road. There are a lot of reasons for that. The big one is that many companies issue products in cycles. […]

The Great Things You Already Have

The hardest part about being a parent is realizing that the six year old boy who runs up the stairs to give you a hug the moment he gets home from school is going to disappear soon and never return. He’s going to keep growing up. Before long, giving Dad a hug isn’t going to be that big of a deal. He’ll have new interests. […]

Sharing Futures, Sharing Scores

You’ve found your soul mate and you’re goin’ to the chapel and you’re goin’ get married. Congratulations. But are your credit scores compatible? It isn’t a particularly romantic conversation, but talking about your credit history and how to manage your new financial life together is something couples can do to avoid disappointment or embarrassment once the honeymoon is over. […]

Consider Whether You’ll Actually Use the Item in a New Way (134/365)

A few years ago, I received an iPod touch as a Christmas gift. It was a very fun toy to play with and I did find a few nice uses for it, such as a quick tool for jotting down notes, but I mostly used the thing as an mp3 player. […]

Reader Mailbag: Homebrew Plant Care

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. Sentimental clutter 2. Piano lessons 3. Investment worries 4. Lentils? 5. Unsure of total debt 6. How many children? 7. Credit cards and spousal death 8. Cheap grilling 9. The value of life insurance 10. […]

Never Be an Early Adopter (133/365)

In April 2010, Apple’s iPad debuted. Depending on the exact model you purchased, it set you back around $500. In March 2011, the iPad 2 was announced. Within hours, I saw people posting their nearly-new iPads on Craigslist and eBay. With all the competition out there, the prices dipped as low as $100 a pop. I know one of the people who sold his first generation iPad during that rush. […]