The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 7)

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. […]

18 Ways to Use ‘Old’ Food

Just yesterday, I posted a discussion about some of the challenges of old foods. I mostly lamented how, when you find foods that are too old to still use, you have to throw them out, which is effectively money down the drain. Yet, quite often, when you do discover old food, it’s still edible and perfectly safe to eat. […]

Seven ‘Cheats’ to Trick Yourself Into Exercising

In a perfect world, we would all eat nine servings of fruits, veggies, and grains every single day. We would grow our own (organic) produce, roll noodles from scratch, drink only purified water from a local mountain spring, and practice our yoga poses while we watch TV. […]

Opportunity Cost, or Why Costco and Sam’s Club Aren’t Always a Bargain

Over the weekend, Sarah and I dug through our overstuffed food pantry in order to take stock of the items we had on hand as well as plan some meals for the upcoming week. What we found, more than anything else, was a lot of partially used bulk buys. We found large bags of rice and beans, partially used. We found some quinoa, again, partially used. […]

Commuting by Car, Uber, Train, Bike, or on Foot: Which Saves the Most Time and Money?

When I moved to San Francisco, I sold my car. I knew I’d be living in a walkable city, and the high cost of ownership was no longer justified. I decided that I could use on-demand car services such as Uber to get around the city when I needed a ride in a pinch. […]