The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 9)

Five Ways You’re Asking to Get Audited This Tax Season

What’s the scariest word in the English language? At this time of year, many would argue that it’s “audit.” Before you get too frightened, take heart: The short-staffed IRS is poised to continue the trend of auditing even fewer individuals in 2016. In 2015, the audit rate was just 0.84%, the lowest rate since 2004. Still, statistics are cold comfort if you become one. […]

Working Through the ‘Two-Body Problem’

During my previous career, I had the opportunity to get to know a large variety of working professionals, some in academia and some in private industry. […]

Why Dump When You Can Donate? Salvage These Items During Remodeling

As I write this, my husband and I are in the midst of a daunting home remodeling project – as in, we are up to our ears in drywall dust and walking around on subfloors. […]

Questions About USDA Loans, Roof Repairs, Disneyland, Wedding Gifts 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. USDA loan for second house 2. Disneyland advice 3. Life insurance policy loans 4. Emergency roof repair 5. Specific non-bank mortgage 6. Student loans and bad credit 7. Health insurance challenges 8. […]

College Decision Time: How to Compare Financial Aid Offers and Pick the Right School

Navigating the complex world of college admissions is hard enough, but figuring out how you’ll pay for it all can be an absolute nightmare. Not only must you sort through an array of financial aid details, but you have to figure out what that aid is actually worth, how much of it you’ll eventually need to pay back, and how all of those details tie back to the final price tag of your college degree […]

Inspiration from Dylan Moran, John Adams, Eric Hoffer, 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. […]

Frugal Out of Necessity, Frugal Out of Choice

When I was in college, I was frugal out of necessity. I had very little income coming in – just the money from a part-time job – so every dime that I spent was vital. I ate a ton of ramen noodles. I went to community and campus meetings largely for the free food. […]

Why I Won’t Pay $15 an Hour for a Babysitter

When my husband and I moved to a slightly more upscale area a few years ago, we didn’t know a soul. He had a few friends at work, yeah, but we didn’t know any of our neighbors yet, nor had we made any local friends. When we finally settled in our new home and winter was over, however, we were more than ready to get outside and have some fun without the kids. […]

Five Credit Cards You Can (and Should) Keep Forever

If you’re trying to build a strong credit history that will last a lifetime, a credit card can be a valuable tool. Used regularly and wisely, credit cards can help you establish your credit profile, raise your credit score over time, and earn rewards in the process. However, it’s important to note how your FICO credit score may change over time. […]

A Complete Beginner’s Guide to 401(k) Plans

Since day one, I’ve been an advocate for people taking advantage of the 401(k) plans offered in their workplace. It is an incredibly useful tool for saving money for retirement. […]