The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 2)

10 Lessons from My Well-Worn Winter Coat

This past weekend, I put my winter coat away until next November or so. It’s a hardy winter coat, a green Carhartt arctic coat, one that gets me through an Iowa winter where you can have entire weeks where the temperature doesn’t peek above 0 F. […]

Seven Ways to Make Sure You Never Pay an ATM Fee Again

Though carrying around cash is increasingly becoming an outdated habit, there are still times in life when a debit card, credit card, or a digital wallet payment simply won’t suffice. On those occasions when it’s still necessary to withdraw cash from a bank account, whether it’s to tip a service provider or give your child allowance, the last thing you want to do is pay an ATM fee simply to access […]

Affirm Personal Loans Review

Affirm was founded in 2012 with the goal of helping consumers afford big purchases at select retail stores. While you can apply for a personal loan with Affirm through their mobile app, you may also see this option advertised by retailers who want to offer on-the-spot financing for services or products they offer. Should you borrow money with Affirm? […]

PenFed Credit Union Personal Loans Review

Established in 1935, Pentagon Federal Credit Union has come a long way since its humble beginnings. PenFed is currently one of the nation’s most accessible financial institutions with 1.7 million members worldwide and in all 50 states. […]

Questions About Late Taxes, Autographs, Messenger Bags, Retirement Scams, 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. Retirement scam 2. Penalty for late filing 3. Wool dryer ball question 4. Unhappy, but with savings 5. Charcoal grills last longer? 6. Old tax paperwork 7. Recommendation for messenger bag 8. […]

Nine Hacks to Double- or Triple-Dip Your Savings

A true frugalist just hates to pay retail. Fortunately, that’s rarely necessary. With just a handful of savings tactics, you can cut costs drastically on necessities and nice-to-haves alike. These are some pretty simple savings hacks, made easier by technology. Try one (or all!) to make every dollar work for you – and work hard. 1. […]

Exploring the Connections Between Your Social Life and Your Financial Life

This is the seventh entry in an eight part series exploring the connections between your finances and other areas of your life. A few weeks ago, I started a series exploring the connections between personal finance and the other “spheres” of my life. […]

Some Hard Questions

What do I really need in life? What do I need to have a life that’s enjoyable? What do I need to get out of bed in the morning, to feel something positive inside of me? What things am I spending money on that are just giving me bursts of pleasure but not bringing me lasting sources of positive feelings in my life? What things am I spending money on that I actually don’t care about much at all? Wha […]

The Value of Competence and Mastery

One of the most interesting personal finance concepts I’ve come across is the “Renaissance ideal,” which I first learned of from the writings of Jacob Lund Fisker. Fisker’s idea is simple: For every skill out there that people find useful, there is a level of ability of that skill where, if you’re below that level, you’ll pay someone else to do it for you, whereas if you’re above that level, someo […]