The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 7)

The Frugal Magic of Substitution – and 25 Ways to Make the Magic Happen

What’s the real difference between working at a coffee shop vs. the library? One is free. Photos: Kate Hiscock / Courtney Boyd Myers As I write this article, I’m sitting at a desk in the Ames Public Library. APL is a really nice library with a ton of books, magazines, DVDs, audiobooks, Blurays. […]

Four Emergency-Fund Substitutes – and How They Stack Up to Cash

Photo: AAA via Facebook Many services act as emergency funds, in a way — insurance, basically — for very specific situations. In exchange for a monthly or annual premium, these companies promise to ease the financial burden of an emergency or provide cash when you need it most. But are these services worth it? […]

Questions About Ben Franklin, Freezer Containers, Hot Pockets, Taxes, Country Clubs and More!

Photo: National Parks Service 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. Medical expenses and taxes 2. Reusable freezer containers 3. Ben Franklin and frugality 4. Cheap balanced diet 5. Starting a community club 6. Fear of failure 7. […]

Not Investing Yet? Here’s How to Get Started

Everyone knows that saving for retirement is important. Unfortunately, far too many of us aren’t saving nearly as much as we should. But why? […]

The Click: Fostering the Moment When You’re Truly Ready for Financial Change

Photo: Ken Teegardin It was a beautiful spring day in April 2006 when I finally realized that I was ready to make some financial changes in my life. […]

‘Money Cannot Buy What Time Delivers’

As we get older, we often try to use money as a substitute for what we lack in time — but dollars are no match for days. Photo: Nick Page Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to read a wonderful article from Kevin Kelly entitled More Time, More Money. Here’s the idea behind the post: I’ve traveled extensively for 40 years. In almost every style there is. […]

11 Fun Things to Do That Actually Earn Money

Do you enjoy photography? Why not try selling your photos? Photo: Hernan Pinera A couple of weeks ago, I posted an article entitled “40 Free (or Extremely Low-Cost) Things I Genuinely Enjoy Doing – and You Might, Too!” I received several pieces of feedback on the article, mostly positive, but one in particular stuck out at me. […]

A Retirement Tax Trick You May Not Know About

Whether it’s a gift to your local church or a nonprofit environmental group, setting up a charitable remainder trust can help lower your tax bill in retirement. Photo: Steven Depolo In my recent post I highlighted the looming problem that taxes will create for many investors when they retire due to the bulk of retirement assets being held in tax-deferred accounts. […]