The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

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Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 4)

Are Coupon Books Worth the Price? It Depends on How (and If) You Use Them

Coupon books are almost an afterthought at this point: Low-tech, bulky, burdened with an up-front cost. But as consumers have learned after years of flash deals, Groupon, LivingSocial, and other discounting experiments, discounts are only worthwhile if they’re worth something to the consumer. More than a decade ago, TSD founder Trent Hamm quickly reached the conclusion that coupon books like the “ […]

Ten Financial Lessons This Summer Taught Me

The past few months have been extremely topsy turvy in terms of finances for us. We replaced one of our vehicles. We went on a long-planned and fairly expensive family vacation. We did a bunch of smaller home repairs and did all of the planning for some home improvement projects (which are ongoing as I type this). […]

I Spent My Emergency Fund: Now What?

In the span of just a few weeks this last month, my husband and I faced over $6,000 in surprise expenses. First, our car broke down and needed a new battery, brakes, and rotors, for a grand total of $1,100. A visit to the orthodontist led to a $2,700 bill to fix my youngest child’s underbite. […]

Questions About Books, Cell Phones, 401(k)s, Private Schools, 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. Drawbacks of the library 2. Private school worth it? 3. Credit card for fixing credit 4. Abundance of green beans 5. Struggling with student loans 6. Decent dish towels 7. Tax bracket comparison 8. […]

Millions of Millennials Spend More on Coffee (and Other Things) Than Retirement

As a millennial personal finance writer, I sometimes find myself aghast at the ways my fellow millennials are spending money. One only has to look at this Refinery 29 ‘Money Diary’ from a 26-year-old to see what I’m talking about. She’s unemployed, yet she pays for cable TV, Netflix, Spotify, a gym membership, and an expensive smartphone plan. Her retirement savings? […]

How Much Do Subscriptions Cost You? Probably More (and Maybe a LOT More) Than You Think

A new study shows that U.S. residents spend billions of dollars per month on subscription services. Yes, billions. Every month. Individual things like beauty boxes, Netflix, meal services, Amazon Prime, dating apps, and music streaming seem affordable. […]

Defeating FOMO

Two of my closest friends are avid board gamers. They host private game nights at their homes and public game nights at various places in the community all the time. […]

“I’ll Never Catch Up”

It’s a feeling that a lot of us get after we spend our early adulthood not really worrying about our personal finances while some of our peers are actually making great moves. […]

Can You Score Better Travel Deals Using a VPN?

There’s an endless number of affordable vacation options you can piece together if you’re flexible and want to save some cash. You can sign up for travel credit cards to earn airline miles and hotel points, for example. You can book an inherently frugal vacation option such as a budget cruise or a rental condo on a beach. […]

The Frugal Improvement: 15 Money-Saving Tactics I Ended Up Liking Better, Regardless of Dollars and Cents

One of the biggest reasons that I still like trying frugal tactics after many years of living a fairly frugal lifestyle is that finding a true “frugal improvement” still feels like a really big win to me. So, what’s a “frugal improvement”? […]