The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 5)

11 Cheesy Money Sayings That Are Absolutely True

Most people have at least one family member who seems to know it all. They’ve got a snazzy saying for everything, an endless stream of cheesy advice, and a few catchphrases they roll out when the time is right. Perhaps they learned their old adages from a wise family member in their own lives, or maybe they read their oft-repeated advice in a good book and really took it to heart. […]

Can a Single Index Card Sum Up Your Personal Finances?

Several years ago, I wrote a really popular article entitled Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Finance on the Back of Five Business Cards. […]

How Insourcing Your Haircuts Can Save You Thousands of Dollars

I used to get a haircut once every eight weeks. They varied in cost from $20 to $50, depending on the kind of place I went to. Yes, I know it’s a little crazy to pay $50 for a standard men’s haircut. That’s what living in Los Angeles and working in the entertainment industry can do to you. You’re surrounded by beautiful, perfectly coiffed people at all times. […]

Questions About Switching Careers, Calculating Debts, Separating Credit Histories and More!

What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to summaries of five or fewer words. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Switching careers 2. Sporadic loan interest payment calculator 3. Why credit unions? 4. Separating spouse’s credit history 5. Rebalancing a Roth IRA 6. Best place for student loans? 7. […]

Our First Summer Jobs – and What We Learned From Them

Did you have a summer job as a teenager? If you were in high school between 1974 and 1994, chances are you did, according to a 2015 study by Pew Research. More than half of 16- to 19-year-olds held a summer job in those years. But as iconic as it may be, the summer job is slowly becoming a thing of the past. […]

Four Reasons to Invest (That Have Nothing to Do With Retirement)

Everyone knows you’re supposed to be investing for retirement. But let’s be honest: That’s kind of a drag. Yes, it’s important to save and invest so that you can one day support yourself without working. We’ll all be there eventually, whether by choice or by necessity, and you’ll need money in savings to replace the income that’s no longer there. But that’s a boring reason to invest. […]

Best Personal Finance Software

I’m going to let you in on a secret: I used to hate Mint. Every time I felt like I needed a better financial plan, I’d open up that Mint account I’d created a few years ago — and every time, I’d see that dashboard and all of those ads asking me to sign up for credit cards and I’d say, “No way.” (Then I’d check my online banking app to make sure I had enough money to pay the rent.)   But a lot of […]

How to Escape the Trap of Expensive Banking

One of the most powerful articles I’ve ever read is “When You’re Poor, Money Is Expensive,” in the Atlantic. The article lays out in incredible detail how easy it is for otherwise stable people to fall into financial crisis and then how incredibly difficult it is to get out of that situation. The reality of it is that when you fall into a financial hole where you can’t afford to pay some of your b […]

What Do ‘Pre-Tax’ and ‘Post-Tax’ Mean? And Why Should I Care?

Almost every article you read about retirement savings brings up the terms “pre-tax” and “post-tax” savings, often throwing the ideas out there with no real explanation of what they mean or why they’re important. […]

9 Common Pieces of Financial Advice That I Consider Mostly Useless

I read a lot of personal finance books and personal finance articles. You’ll often find me at the library digging through the personal finance section, pulling out issues of Money or Kiplinger’s, or sitting at a table taking notes. Unsurprisingly, I see a lot of the same advice trotted out again and again in publication after publication. Most of this advice is really good stuff. […]