The Simple Dollar

Simple, applicable personal finance advice for the modern world.

Profile of The Simple Dollar

Latest Posts from The Simple Dollar (page 5)

“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”? […]

Does It Ever Make Sense to Get a 401(k) Loan?

No matter how much you loathe borrowing money, there are times when it’s hard to avoid loans and long-term debt. Not everyone can or wants to save up the entire purchase price of a home to live in, for example — and doing so could even be foolish if real estate prices grow as fast as you save. […]

Seven Real Strategies for Back to School Shopping from a Parent of Three School Kids

Back to school season is here, with many schools starting classes in August and September after a nice summer break. I have two children going to middle school this year and another going to upper elementary, which means this is my ninth (tenth? […]

Four Ways You Could Be Hurting Your Credit Without Realizing It

Paying your bills on time is a great idea, stipulated! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, paying your bills on time is not the only thing you need to do to earn great credit scores. Credit scoring is considerably more complex than that. […]

Helping a Child

Connie writes in: I am 37, female, and single, and have no interest in getting married or having kids of my own. My younger sister (33) and her husband are having their first child in November. I want to help that child succeed. What’s the best way to do that? I have read about a 529. Is that the best route? This is a subject that’s near and dear to my heart. […]

Five Money Conversations to Have With Your Kids Before They Go to College

It’s never too early to begin discussing the concept of money and personal finances with your children. In fact, some financial experts suggest these conversations should begin during elementary school. For parents who missed that boat (and you’re not alone if that’s you), all is not lost. […]

Questions About Fast Food, Difficult Workplaces, Smoking, Refurbished Items, 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. Difficult workplace 2. Capital One 360 overseas 3. Handling fast food cravings 4. Car total cost of ownership 5. Bicycle for groceries? 6. Overpaid for consulting work 7. Wife’s smoking habit breaking us 8. […]

529 Plans vs. Brokerage Accounts for College Savings

Saving for college is a daunting task. It’s hard enough to find room in your budget for contributions on top of your other financial responsibilities, and when you combine that with the fact that college tuition has been steadily rising over the past 30 years, it might feel like sending your child to college is an impossible goal. And while you shouldn’t stress too much about saving for college, y […]