The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 7)

Putting the Checklist Manifesto to Work for Better Financial and Personal Habits

Several years ago, I read a wonderful book called The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande. I thought highly enough of the book after reading it that I wrote an article about it for The Simple Dollar, but what I didn’t realize at the time was that this book would subtly stick in my head like few others that I’ve ever read in my life. […]

Three Things Nobody Tells You About Your Credit

If you’re like most Americans, you probably learned absolutely nothing about credit as a part of your high school or college education. As a result, many young adults enter the “real” world grossly unprepared when it comes to their credit management skills. […]

Questions About Retirement, Cookbooks, REI, 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. Upside-down on older vehicle 2. Buy house now or later? 3. REI annual dividend question 4. Common knowledge versus perspective 5. Parents without any retirement planning 6. A very hard choice 7. […]

401(k) Vesting: What It Is and Why It Matters

You’ve almost certainly heard that if you’re saving for retirement, taking full advantage of your 401(k) employer match should be your first step. That match represents an immediate 50% to 100% return on investment, which is better than anything you’ll find anywhere else. It’s the standard advice because it’s good advice. […]

Eight Money Mistakes the Middle Class Keeps Making

About half of Americans lived in middle-income households in 2014, according to Pew Research. This demographic includes families with incomes two-thirds to double the U.S. […]

A Deeper Look at Check-Cashing Services: Do They Really Provide an ‘Alternative Banking’ Opportunity?

A couple of weeks ago, Business Insider published an amazing article by Alex Morrell on check cashing that I think is well worth everyone’s time to read: An Ivy League professor who spent four months working in a South Bronx check-cashing store says we’re getting it all wrong. The article focuses on the research of University of Pennsylvania professor Lisa Servon, who spent several months working […]

So You Want to Make More Money? Seven Core Pieces of Career Advice I Wish I Knew Starting Out

Several years ago, I had the chance to work closely with an intern I’ll call Chris. Chris was quite good at the tasks we gave him and you could see strong glimmers of the type of professional he might someday become. Chris interned with us for two different periods, and at the end of the second period, we held a small “going away” lunch for him. We all gave him small gifts. […]

31 Days to Financial Independence (31/31) – Bringing It All Together

“31 Days to Financial Independence” is an ongoing series that appeared every Thursday on The Simple Dollar for the better part of a year. This is the final entry in the series. Before we get started with this final edition of the “31 Days to Financial Independence,” let’s make a giant list of all of the entries in one place. […]

Three Reasons to Cut or Change Your Commute

The average American commute is now 26 minutes each way, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That means the typical U.S. worker now spends almost an hour each day commuting. Assuming a five-day workweek, two weeks of vacation per year, and 4o years of working full-time, that adds up to roughly a year of your life just traveling to and from work. […]

How to Watch March Madness Without Paying for Cable

By Chris Brantner Whether you’re a casual or die-hard fan, the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament is one of the biggest events in all of sports — in fact, it takes in more advertising revenue than even the Super Bowl. They call it March Madness for a reason, since it brings some of the most exciting and dramatic games you’ll likely see all year long. Like other huge, spread-out sporting even […]