The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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11 Essential (and Mostly Cheap) Tactics for Weathering Winter’s Worst

Snowstorms, ice storms, freezing rain, or even just 43-degrees-and-drizzling days in Seattle. Iced-up windshields, slick-as-tofu roadways, drafts that stubbornly resist whatever the furnace throws at them. […]

The Two Way Street of Retiring Early

Here’s a simple way to check on your progress toward retirement. Take the total amount you have saved up for retirement. Calculate 3% of that (the easy way is to just multiply your total savings by 0.03). Can you live for a year on that resulting number? So, let’s say you have $600,000 saved up for retirement. You multiply that by 0.03 to get $18,000. Could you live for a year on $18,000? […]

Barclays Personal Loans Review

While British banking giant Barclays is mostly known in the U.S. for their dynamic rewards and travel credit cards, they recently came out with a personal loan product aimed at American consumers. With Barclays personal loans, Americans are now able to borrow money for nearly any reason and secure a fixed interest rate and fixed monthly payment in the process. […]

Looking Up the Ladder: A Different Perspective on Spending

A few years ago, I wrote an article entitled Looking Down the Ladder: A Different Perspective on Spending. The article covered the idea of a spending ladder, and I’m going to quote the explanation of a spending ladder here: One idea that really stuck with me, though, was his idea that one’s preferred level of spending constitutes a rung on a ladder. […]

The Difference Between What You Should Be Doing and What You Are Doing

Several times during the course of writing an article, I feel a bit stuck for what I should write next. How exactly do I say what’s on my mind? […]

Saving for College? These Rewards Credit Cards Can Help

Whether you’re already a parent or thinking of having children, the rising cost of a college education is cause for concern. Even a public, four-year university now costs $10,230 per year on average, and that price tag doesn’t include room and board. […]

Defining Frugality Through Life’s Other Resources

Yesterday, to start off the reader mailbag, I offered up this little riff: When I was younger, the idea of paying for a service to do an ordinary household task for you seemed silly. Why would I ever pay for someone to wash my laundry or do the dishes? […]

Questions About Energy Drinks, Balance Transfers, I-Bonds, 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. Squeezing Generation X 2. Replacing energy drinks 3. Balance transfer catch 4. Help breaking down a goal 5. I-bonds for emergency fund? 6. Sharing financial specifics with kids 7. Warm blanket recommendations 8. […]

Fed Meeting Preview: How to Take Advantage of Rising Interest Rates

The Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) holds its last meeting of the year on December 18-19, and the general expectation is that it will raise interest rates by 0.25%. If that happens, it will continue a steady rise over the past three years that has seen interest rates increase from near 0% to the expected new benchmark rate of 2.25% to 2.5%. So, how would such an increase affect your personal […]