The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

Profile of The Simple Dollar

Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 8)

Rent-to-Own Homes, Explained

Photo: Amanda Wray “If you’re renting, you’re just throwing your money away.” No doubt you’ve heard this oversimplification many places. Of course, a decision about whether to rent or buy a home is rarely that black and white: Either can make sense depending on your situation. What if there was a way to combine the pros of both? Some say a rent-to-own deal is that happy medium. […]

The Value of a ‘Brain Dump Friday’

Photo: David Mulder One of my favorite things to do on a lazy Friday afternoon (when I should be working, but I have a few posts already done in advance and my mind is wandering a bit) is to do a “brain dump.” What’s a ‘Brain Dump’? A brain dump is an idea that I picked up from David Allen’s wonderful book Getting Things Done, which I have lauded and extensively discussed in the past. […]

The Secret to Getting a College Kid to Start Investing

Einstein was wrong — there is a force more powerful than compound interest (and perhaps even gravity itself): The pull of a teenager toward her laptop during a group chat. Here’s how to explain the importance of investing to a reluctant young person. Photo: Zenely Martin Rios I am 28, and my sister is 19. […]

10 Surprisingly Simple Strategies for Saving Money on Food

If you have them in your area, check out ethnic grocery stores for better bulk bargains on cultural staples such as rice or beans. Photo: Kam Man Marketplace/Yelp The big strategies are useful to think about, but it’s often the little specific tactics that you add to your routines that make a big difference. […]

Keep an Eye Out for This New Credit Card Scam

Photo: Ciaran McGuiggan You may have heard about the shift to EMV credit cards, the new chip-enabled technology that touts increased consumer safety by adding an extra layer of fraud protection on in-person transactions. […]

The Tricks of Financial Scam Artists

Kevin Trudeau, currently serving a 10-year prison sentence, pitched his financial books in infomercials. Photo: YouTube One side effect of being a personal finance writer is that you eventually wind up on the mailing list of all kinds of different financial publishing companies who want to send you copies of their books. […]

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. […]