The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 9)

Questions About Roth 401(k), Vintage Signs, Refrigerators, 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. Investing for financial independence 2. Refrigerators and stoves for life 3. Frugal negativity and economy 4. Maximizing benefits at low-income job 5. Investing as charity? 6. Double savings tactic 7. Roth 401(k)? 8. […]

12 Items That Pay for Themselves Tenfold or More

Ditching paper towels for cloth napkins and dish towels can save hundreds of dollars over a few years. Photo: Liz West When you’re trying to live a frugal lifestyle and save money, it can seem counterintuitive to buy anything new. Yet, that’s exactly what many money-conscious people do. The difference is, those who have mastered the art of frugality don’t just buy things; they invest in them. […]

Inspiration from Ukranian Music, a Report Card, Walt Whitman, and More

Once a month (or so), I share a dozen things that have inspired me to greater personal, professional, and financial success in my life. I hope they bring similar success to your life. 1. […]

What Is Private Browsing, and Can it Protect You Online?

Using a private browsing session online — or going ‘Incognito’ on Google Chrome — can help conceal sensitive data and stored passwords. It’s next to impossible to use the Internet without leaving a digital footprint of some kind, but private browsing can offer you some protection from prying eyes. Private-browsing capabilities are built into the Internet browsers you use everyday, though sometimes […]

Handling Future Uncertainty

Alex writes in: I am 26 years old. I have paid off all of my student loans and am looking forward to the future. I have some big plans and dreams for my future. I want to eventually start up my own consultancy and have a plan for doing it. Here’s the problem. I know exactly how to financially and professionally prepare for that goal, but it’s way off in the future. […]

Will I Still Earn Rewards Points If I Pay Off My Card Early?

No need to wait: You can pay off your credit card as soon as you buy something, and you’ll still earn rewards for the purchase. Photo: Morgan Chances are, you’ve heard and believed at least one “credit card myth” before. For example, people love to talk about the fact that pursuing credit card rewards will ruin your credit – a “fact” that is not only unproven, but patently false. […]

The ‘What Should I Major In?’ Question

How should you choose a college major? Start thinking about it early in high school, make a list of subjects that you don’t hate and you’re not terrible at, and then research what kind of career paths are available in each one. Photo: U.S. […]

10 Strategies for Handling the Stress of a Financial Crisis

Living with financial stress can feel like you’re climbing up a down escalator, but there’s no time to waste: Devise a plan, and start taking steps to turn that plan into reality. Photo: Dennis Skley When that moment comes when you realize that you need to make major changes in your life, it’s incredibly stressful. […]

The State of American Credit Card Debt in 2015

The average American household owes $7,281 in credit card debt — and that average includes families with no debt at all. Photo: Frankie Leon Americans continue to dig a deeper hole when it comes to credit card debt. […]

20 Ways to Make a Great Birthday for Your Child When Money Is Tight

 Home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s often free kid’s workshops, where your child can build and take home a toy or other project. Photo: Home Depot via Twitter One of the most difficult experiences when you’re a parent is not having enough money to make your children’s special days feel very special at all. […]