The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 350)

Look for a Fixer-Upper but Avoid Homes with Problems You Can’t Fix (234/365)

A year or so ago, a friend of mine purchased a home in the Des Moines area. When I first visited his home, my first reaction was that it was just run down. The carpets looked worn. The cabinets looked very beat-up. The appliances looked straight out of the 1970s. […]

The Simple Dollar Weekly Roundup: Dickens Edition

After my article last week on free online books, I wound up downloading all of the novels by Charles Dickens to my Kindle with the intent of re-reading all of them in the near future. I read them all so long ago that I only remember bits and pieces of the plots and some of the most memorable characters. What I do remember is just loving the books. […]

Buy on the Low End of What You Think You Need (233/365)

As I discussed a few days ago, when Sarah and I first started shopping for houses, we looked at some very nice homes. We looked at places with five bedroom homes with three bathrooms and a finished basement and a nice big yard. […]

Building Self-Reliance in Your Children

When my children graduate from college, I do not want them relying on me in any way. Sure, they can call me up for advice and visit sometimes, but I want them to have their own independent lives. This is both a selfish and an unselfish goal. […]

Know Exactly What You Can Afford Before You Look (232/365)

When Sarah and I first had a sense that we might be interested in buying a home, we simply opened up the real estate listings and started looking. We didn’t discriminate too much, but we did find ourselves mostly looking at more expensive homes. […]

Reader Mailbag: Writing in the Car

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. Wedding spending concerns 2. Unusual name 3. Planning for the next step 4. Discussing inheritance 5. Budgeting board games 6. Expensive shampoo 7. Thick and thin crust 8. Reading the archives 9. Investment houses 10. […]

Get a Shorter-Term Mortgage with a Lower Interest Rate (231/365)

Whenever a person is ready to apply for a mortgage, they’re faced with an emormous array of options. Different lenders are advertising different rates. There are lots of different mortgage terms out there floating around, from a 5/1 ARM to a twenty year fixed rate. The options can seem almost overwhelming. Fortunately, there are a few basic rules you can stick to. […]

Facing Your Little Worries

All of us have something that we worry about. It might slip into our minds when we’re trying to go to sleep, or it might pop up when we’re going through a lull at work or even during the commute. Maybe it’s our financial state. Maybe it’s our own mortality. […]

Get a HUD-1 Form and Know What You’re Looking At (230/365)

If there is a single piece of advice that I would give to the cost-conscious mortgage shopper, it would be to obtain a copy of your HUD-1 settlement statement and study it thoroughly before signing any papers. So, what is a HUD-1 Settlement Statement? […]

Ten Pieces of Inspiration #87

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. Seth Godin on life and vacations Vacation, to me, isn’t an escape. […]