The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 327)

“I Just Want to Have Fun, Live My Life, and Worry About All That Stupid Personal Finance Stuff When I’m Older”

It’s the refrain of countless Americans of all ages – and it was my refrain, too. It’s easy to see why, too. At first glance, personal finance looks like a bunch of boring and un-fun stuff. Paperwork. Sacrifice. Living in an un-fun way. On the other hand, living a big spending lifestyle seems quite fun, as you don’t have to think about the stuff that you want. […]

What’s Coming Next?

Fifteen years ago, I didn’t believe I had the financial resources to go to college. Instead, I spent my time thinking about a future where I took a few classes at a local community college and worked at a local factory. Ten years ago, I was a college student. […]

The Cost of Returning to Work

Pam writes in: I have been a stay at home mom for most of the last 19 years. Our oldest son started college this year. We still have our other son who is 16 and our daughter who is 13 at home. I have returned to work part time as a caregiver and my husband is pushing me to work full time. […]

Pay Off Debt or Invest? Think About Your Rate of Return

Andrew writes in: My girlfriend and I bought a home last year and qualify for the First Time Homebuyer Credit. When you include my share of this, I will be getting back around $4500 in my tax refund. This is a lot of money to me and I’m trying to decide what to do with it. […]

Starting a Carpool

Jenny writes in: I work at an office park about forty five minutes from where I live. I live in a highly populated suburban neighborhood. In order to save some money on gas and wear and tear on my car, I want to start a carpool, but I don’t know anyone who lives near me who works in the office park. […]

Does a Credit Score Matter to Someone Living a Debt-Free Lifestyle?

Mary writes in: My husband and I have been debt free for seven years. Hooray! We cancelled all of our credit cards in 2001 and paid off our home mortgage in 2002. A few weeks ago, our homeowners insurance premium went up substantially. I called our agent to ask why and he told me that our premium was automatically raised because our credit score was low. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Resolution Updates Edition

I thought I’d update you on my progress with my 2010 resolutions. Resolution #1: Lose 40 pounds I lost three pounds in January, so I’m more or less on pace with this one. […]

Debt Reduction and Elimination Ads: The Real Scoop

Iris writes in: I was wondering if you could comment on the debt reduction/elimination ads I keep seeing on tv. Are these companies reputable? Are they doing anything that I can’t do myself? I would hate to pay a huge fee for something I could do myself. I would really like to reduce our debt load so I can free up more funds in our budget every month for, say, groceries. […]

Retirement or Education?

Chris writes in: We are friends with another couple that is around our same age, income level, status, and number and age of children. […]

Shade Trees as a Smart Financial Investment

You read that right. Shade trees. One of our plans for the spring is to plant a shade tree or two on the southwest side of our home. These trees won’t be very large now, but in several years, they will grow to a reasonable size, providing some nice shade on summer days when our children are about ten years old or so. Originally, we decided to do this purely for aesthetic reasons. […]