The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 8)

Five Better Ways to Spend Your Halloween Dollars

Instead of wasting $70 on a ‘sexy Donald Trump’ costume (which unbelievably, doesn’t even include the wig or hat!), save that money so you can be more generous around the holidays.  Photo: Americans love Halloween. We’re probably going to spend about $7 billion on candy, costumes, and parties this year. […]

So the U.S. Has a Lot of Debt. What Does That Mean for Me?

Another year, another showdown in Congress as the nation’s debt ceiling looms overhead. Photo: James Pallinsad If you’ve been watching the national news lately, one of the topics creeping back into the discussion is the federal debt ceiling. […]

How to Maintain Self-Motivation After Recovering from Financial Disaster

I remember those first months of our financial turnaround so clearly. It was honestly a pretty exciting time. We had this ongoing sense that our finances were in serious trouble – the kind of serious that would leave us without the kind of future we wanted and could even do serious damage to our present through repossession or something similar. […]

When Enough Is Enough: How Much Is Too Much Debt?

Debt can creep up on you, and we often miss the warning signs – until it’s truly overwhelming. Photo: Laurence Simon Most Americans carry some amount of debt — often a lot of it — and many of us might juggle a mortgage, car payment, and student loans without feeling overwhelmed. […]

Questions About Pocket Notebooks, Beans, Audiobooks, Birthday Parties and More!

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. Audiobooks for success 2. Sarah’s clothes routines 3. Do slow cookers save money? 4. Changing wants 5. Super cheap hobby 6. Spoiling entertainment for cheaper bills 7. Dividends pride 8. Paying off mortgage or investing 9. […]

Is This Your Last Chance to Refinance?

Federal Reserve chairwoman Janet Yellen has signaled that interest rates will likely rise in the next year. Photo: Day Donaldson If you follow any sort of financial news, it’s hard to escape buzz about interest rates. After intense scrutiny from every corner of the media, the Federal Reserve opted to leave rates at record lows during its last meeting in September. […]

Should You Continue Investing in a Bear Market?

Photo: Tambako the Jaguar She’s up. She’s down. And according to many industry experts, she’s spiraling into a bear market, or what many would call an ongoing decline in stock prices of 20% or more. We’re talking about the stock market, of course. And if you’ve been paying attention to your retirement or brokerage accounts at all, you’re probably already painfully aware of emerging trends. […]

The First Time You Spend Less Than You Earn… and How to Handle It

You scrimped, saved, and sacrificed, and for the first time ever you finished the month with money left over. Now what? In my eyes, the fundamental rule of personal finance is spend less than you earn. Do that each month and each year and you’re going to be in good financial shape. […]

Four Reasons to Add Your Teen as an Authorized Credit Card User

While naming your teen as an authorized user on your credit card may sound scary, there are some distinct advantages to this arrangement. But first things first — what exactly are you authorizing, anyway? What Is an Authorized User? In the context of your credit card, an authorized user is someone to whom you’ve granted financial access. […]

Replacing Three Common Service Plans to Save Hundreds a Month

That little box is probably costing you close to $100 a month. Do you really need it? Photo: Mr. TinDC Over the last 20 or 30 years, most Americans have come to accept three new service bills into their life. Each one is expensive, with two of them often climbing over $100 a month. […]