The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 350)

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #125

Each week, I highlight ten things each week that inspired me to greater financial, personal, and professional success. Hopefully, they will inspire you as well. 1. Samuel Johnson on habits “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.” – Samuel Johnson I wouldn’t quite call them unbreakable, but they can become incredibly strong. 2. […]

Dave’s Homemade Powerade

I often meet up with a good friend of mine that I’ll call Dave. You rarely see Dave without his trusty bottle of Powerade at his side. He seems to thrive on the stuff. […]

How Much Impact Does a Tiny Extra Payment Have on Your Mortgage?

Let’s look at a “typical” mortgage. Right now, the average American mortgage is $235,000, so let’s use that as our baseline. The Seattle Times reports that, right now, the average 30 year fixed mortgage rate is 3.42%. So, let’s use those numbers. […]

Desires: Short Term and Long Term

Most of our desires last for only a moment or two. A person might spy a snack that looks good at the checkout and wants it, but if that person waits a few minutes, it’s forgotten. A person might see a coffee shop drive-thru on the way to work and feels really tempted, but if that person keeps driving, that coffee shop is forgotten a few blocks later. A person might spot a really interesting magazi […]

Protect Yourself From Phishing Scams

Protect Yourself from Phishing Scams Computer viruses and identity theft have been staples of internet use since personal accounts and online payments were possible. Responsible internet users began to take a number of measures, including looking into payment security, purchasing virus protection, and avoiding pop-ups and unfamiliar downloads. […]

Reader Mailbag: Lunch Companions

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. Catch-22 with home loan 2. Haircut value 3. Quality of school matters? 4. Making quadruple batches 5. The value of commute length 6. Uses for vegetable remains 7. Cash for emergency fund 8. Professional dress 9. […]

Playing to Win or Playing Not to Lose

It’s a decision that people make over and over again in their lives. Are we playing this scenario to win? Or are we playing this scenario not to lose? Let’s be clear what I’m talking about here. Playing to win means taking some calculated risk in order to achieve greater rewards. It often means doing things outside of your comfort zone and really challenging yourself. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Sunburn Edition

It’s the first truly nice day of spring here in central Iowa, so what do I do? I spend virtually the entire day outside, from not too long after dawn until sunset. It felt wonderful – except for the sunburn. […]

Five Very Simple Truths About Saving for Retirement

Let’s get the scary truth out there: CNN estimates that half of all Americans are saving nothing for retirement. Half of Americans aren’t saving a dime. Why? There are a lot of reasons, but one big one, according to the study’s findings, is that people don’t know how retirement plans work. Another is the perception is that people can’t afford retirement savings. […]

The Frugal Child’s Birthday

A few days ago, our youngest child celebrated his birthday with a small party. We invited a small number of his friends, had a simple cake and some pizza (which is what he requested), and hosted the entire thing at a local park. For entertainment, we made up a “scavenger hunt,” which involved finding small prizes based on the pictures of park locations that we’d taken beforehand. […]