The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 332)

Avoid Long-Term Contracts (327/365)

Cell phone companies want you to sign a contract. It’s just a fact of life when picking out a cellular deal. It makes a lot of sense for the cell phone company. It locks in a revenue stream for them that persists for two years (and has a solid chance of being extended beyond that). The only way that stream can be interrupted is if someone pays an early termination fee, which can be sizeable. […]

If You Rack Up “Out of Calling Area” Charges, Upgrade Your Plan (326/365)

Sarah and I each go on a significant trip about twice a year. Usually, one trip is together, another trip involves Sarah visiting her sister on the East Coast, and the other trip usually centers around one of my hobbies. Those trips are the few times each year where we leave the upper Midwest. […]

Things I’m Thankful For This Year

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I’m thankful for my oldest son, who shows astounding maturity and thoughtfulness for his age. […]

If You Go Over Your Cell Phone Minutes, Upgrade Your Plan (325/365)

When Sarah and I signed our first cell phone contract, we signed up for a plan that gave us roughly 400 minutes per month, which seemed like a reasonable amount based on our estimates. After the two year contract, we found that we had only gone over that limit twice, so we signed up again for the same limit. Before our next contract signing, we sat down to evaluate our situation. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Black Friday Edition

I know several people who often use Black Friday sales as a method for reducing the cost of their Christmas shopping. They do it the sensible way, though. They already have a list of a few items that they would consider buying for the people they need to purchase gifts for, and they simply cross-check all of the flyers and internet ads with their potential shopping list. […]

Clean Up Your Remaining Bills (324/365)

Once you’ve followed all of the suggestions of the last several days, you should have pared down your bills at least a little. Still, you’ll be left with a few bills that you consider untouchable. Your electricity bill. Your water bill. Your phone bill. You’re not going to eliminate those. […]

Christmas Worries

In a recent reader mailbag, Dave wrote: Up until January, I had a wonderful job where I handled all of the IT needs for a small company in our area. At the end of last year, the company was sold and the jobs were folded together with another company with the “redundant” jobs being eliminated, and mine was redundant. […]

Take a Hard Look at Entertainment-Oriented Monthly Bills (323/365)

I’ve talked over the last few days about the value of reviewing monthly bills and subscription services. Today, I’m going to look at two bills that people often think of as “untouchable,” but which essentially just boil down to expensive entertainment. I’m looking at you, cable/satellite bill. […]

Reader Mailbag: Pets and Allergies

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. Pension distributions options 2. Distributing leftovers 3. Degrees over the internet 4. Dangers of hiding cash 5. Political fliers as kindling 6. Shipping clothes? 7. Bookshelf limitations 8. Buying it for life? 9. […]