The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 6)

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. […]

Best Refinance Mortgage Companies of 2016

Refinancing has big benefits — you can lower your monthly payments, score a better interest rate, or even leverage your home for some cash to pay off other expenses — but only if you do it right. Doing it wrong isn’t dire; the worst-case scenario is spending money on the process only to realize you aren’t really saving that much on your mortgage. […]

Instant Gratification Versus Lasting Fulfillment

If you ever want to feel like you’re completely wrecking your own finances, try this little tactic on for size. At the end of the month, pull out your most recent bank statements and credit card statements and go through each of them line by line. […]

How to Get a Ton of Value Out of an Entry-Level Job

During the summer of 1998, I worked a night shift for a research lab in which I shoveled and sifted dirt for eight hours at a time. I hung out in this little room in the basement of a greenhouse that had a chute in which dirt had been dumped. I’d set up a large tub on top of a pushcart, put a screen attachment on top of it, then scoop several shovelfuls of dirt on there. […]

Eight Jobs Where You Determine Your Salary

Working for someone else can be a drag. Not only do you have to please your boss and toe the company line, but you have to deal with the innate limitations of an hourly or salaried profession: You can only earn a set amount of money. Staying motivated can be a difficult feat when you haven’t had a raise in two years – or when you get an annual raise, but it’s the same raise as everyone else. […]

Questions About HSAs, Organizing Ideas, Art Degrees, 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. HSA open enrollment and fees 2. Organizing ideas for blog posts 3. Combining 401(k) accounts worthwhile? 4. Hot water heater problems? 5. Finding job with art degree 6. Renting or buying a minivan 7. […]

Why You Should Worship Your Old Computer

A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of reading Holly Johnson’s insightful post on why you should not just tolerate, but downright love your older, paid-off car. As someone who always bought cars used, for cash, it resonated with me. I got to thinking about where else in my life I could apply that kind of thinking. […]

10 Money Rules Not Everyone Follows (But Should)

America’s love affair with debt and consumption has left far too many of us financially hamstrung and struggling to get ahead. After all, the average U.S. household carried $15,672 in credit card debt and $130,922 in total debt in 2015. […]

Why Long-Term Financial Plans Usually Don’t Work Out – and Why That Doesn’t Matter If You Plan Smartly

Let’s roll back the clock 20 years… Twenty years ago, I was enjoying the summer between high school and college. During that summer, I would go on my first date with my wife, though we would not become an official “couple” for another year or so. I was really apprehensive about going to college in the fall, as I was the first person in my family to do so. […]

Term, Whole, and Universal Life Insurance: What’s the Difference? What Do I Actually Need?

At some point in their lives, many people come to the conclusion that they need to have a life insurance policy. Perhaps you’re like me and that realization occurred when you first had children. Maybe some other life event occurred and caused you to consider it. […]