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The Simple Dollar



Financial talk for the rest of us



Last Build Date: Sat, 10 Dec 2016 15:23:32 +0000

 



Reconciling Faith, Career, and Financial Success

Sat, 10 Dec 2016 14:00:45 +0000

Jennifer writes in with a beautiful question: I am a married 24 year old Christian woman. I attended college at a Christian school majoring in marketing, fell in love there, and got married shortly after college. I worked for a year immediately after college, but my husband and I agree that I would be a stay at home mom when we had a child and we started trying immediately after getting married. I’m now a stay-at-home mom with a one ...

The post Reconciling Faith, Career, and Financial Success appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




Opening a Restaurant? Here’s How to Get Financing

Sat, 10 Dec 2016 10:00:00 +0000

Who among us hasn’t at least flirted with the dream of owning a restaurant at some point? If you’re beyond daydreaming and you’ve decided to enter the highly competitive restaurant industry, one of your most important tasks will be securing adequate financing. Opening a restaurant is challenging, especially for people who are new to the business. About 60% of new restaurants fail within a year of opening, according to CNBC, and almost 80% go out of business by their fifth year. ...

The post Opening a Restaurant? Here’s How to Get Financing appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




Using Negative Visioning to Improve Your Personal Finances

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 14:00:06 +0000

Countless articles and books and videos and classes have been created to talk about the power of positive thinking and positive visioning, some of them sensible and some of them pseudo-religious and fanciful. It’s easy to see why: positive visioning can be a very powerful tool for your financial life. However, it’s not infallible and it’s not the only type of visioning you should rely on. Before we dig in too deep, though, let’s step back and take a look ...

The post Using Negative Visioning to Improve Your Personal Finances appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




Rules of the Roth IRA: Income Limits, Contributions, and More

Fri, 09 Dec 2016 10:00:00 +0000

For many financial growth professionals, Roth IRAs are the most exciting play in the retirement savings game. It’s easy to understand why: tax-free growth and tax-free distribution. You put the money in after taxes, it grows tax-deferred, and comes out tax-free as long as you wait until you’re 59-1/2 years old. “If your goal is to save as much for retirement as possible, then it’s a slam dunk for the Roth IRA,” says Jeffrey Layhew, president and wealth advisor at ...

The post Rules of the Roth IRA: Income Limits, Contributions, and More appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




31 Days to Financial Independence (Day 17): Integrating Cost-Cutting Measures Into Your Life

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 14:00:57 +0000

“31 Days to Financial Independence” is an ongoing series that appears every Thursday on The Simple Dollar. You might want to start this series from the beginning! Last time, we finished up our deep look at the average American family budget, going through each category and examining how one could trim the cost of typical expenses in that category. Here’s the “average American family budget” that we’re looking at, along with links back to the earlier entries on those specific ...

The post 31 Days to Financial Independence (Day 17): Integrating Cost-Cutting Measures Into Your Life appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




Almost Half of Job Applicants Don’t Follow Basic Directions, Say HR Pros

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 12:00:00 +0000

Were you one of those kids who always followed directions on classroom activities? If so, you probably had an advantage when you started your career, because standing out from the pack may be as simple as paying attention to the details as you submit your job application. While there’s little hard data on the subject, it appears a startling number of job seekers don’t follow basic directions when applying for a job: The human resource professionals I spoke with estimated that ...

The post Almost Half of Job Applicants Don’t Follow Basic Directions, Say HR Pros appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




DirecTV Now: Cord Cutter’s Dream or a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 10:00:00 +0000

By Chris Brantner With the addition of DirecTV Now, the satellite TV company’s new entry into streaming television, there’s yet another cord-cutting option on the market, making it easier to cut cable TV and save some much needed money. But can DirecTV Now actually save you money in the long run? Or is this just another way for Big Cable to trick you into handing over your hard-earned money? First let’s take a look at the positives: For a limited time, you ...

The post DirecTV Now: Cord Cutter’s Dream or a Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing? appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




Wealth, Purpose, and the Idea of “Enough”

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 14:00:04 +0000

I’ve recently been enjoying The One Thing, a very thoughtful time and goal management book by Gary Keller and Jay Papasan. While I came away from the book with several very good ideas for time and goal management, there was one quote on page 142 that just stood out to me like a beacon of light: “[F]inancially wealthy people are those who have enough money coming in without having to work to finance their purpose in life. Now, please realize ...

The post Wealth, Purpose, and the Idea of “Enough” appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




Five Things Your Life Insurance Agent May Not Tell You

Wed, 07 Dec 2016 10:00:51 +0000

Life insurance agents provide a valuable service by explaining policy benefits and costs, but they may not tell you everything you need to know before you make a coverage choice. Agents are in the business to sell policies, so it’s to their advantage to focus on the positives. Consumers can protect themselves by doing some research so they’ll understand the basics of how life insurance works. It’s also important to ask questions about anything you don’t understand. “Not everyone’s needs ...

The post Five Things Your Life Insurance Agent May Not Tell You appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




How to Take Out Student Loans Without a Cosigner

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 21:52:29 +0000

You want to take out a student loan, but without using a cosigner. While that’s not ideal, it’s certainly understandable. Sure, getting your parents or a guardian to cosign your student loans would make it far easier to access financial aid, and if the cosigner has good credit, you’d likely benefit from a lower interest rate than you could get on your own. But there are plenty of situations when you may need a student loan without a cosigner attached. Maybe ...

The post How to Take Out Student Loans Without a Cosigner appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




The Financial Decision of a Lifetime: Should I Have Children?

Tue, 06 Dec 2016 14:00:43 +0000

As I write this, I’m sitting in the overstuffed chair in our living room waiting for my three children to get off the bus, as they will at some point in the next hour or so (their bus driver seems to stop along the route and shout at the kids to be quiet sometimes, so their exact drop-off time varies). When they get home, I have a snack waiting for them (an apple and a small glass of milk), and ...

The post The Financial Decision of a Lifetime: Should I Have Children? appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




Questions About Buying Local, Market Timing, Philosophy, Beards, and More!

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 14:00:17 +0000

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. Next steps in life turnaround 2. Overseas concerns 3. Buying local for the holidays 4. Making basic investment choices 5. Market timing or not? 6. Thinking about 2017 goals 7. Philosophy, psychology, and financial progress 8. Converting photos to digital 9. Roommate without lease? 10. Beard maintenance 11. ...

The post Questions About Buying Local, Market Timing, Philosophy, Beards, and More! appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




The Food Freeze: How We Avoided the Grocery Store for More Than Two Weeks

Mon, 05 Dec 2016 10:00:51 +0000

A few months ago, I peeked in our pantry and freezer to take stock of what we had before hitting the store. What I found shocked me. I don’t know when or why it happened, but both spots were bulging at the seams. In the freezer, I had accumulated frozen vegetables galore, frozen blueberries leftover from summer, and some random prepared foods (mostly breakfast stuff and veggie burgers). In my wall pantry, I had all kinds of random ingredients – ...

The post The Food Freeze: How We Avoided the Grocery Store for More Than Two Weeks appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




Cutting the Cord? How to Find Cheap High-Speed Internet That Can Handle Streaming Video

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 12:00:00 +0000

By Chris Brantner One of the things that nearly everyone can agree on is cable and internet packages are way too expensive. That’s why it’s incredibly important to figure out a way to get a great deal on a reliable high-speed internet service. If you’re a cable cutter who needs a fast connection to handle your live streaming needs, there are a few things you should know in order to get the best deal. Shop Around One of the best ...

The post Cutting the Cord? How to Find Cheap High-Speed Internet That Can Handle Streaming Video appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




Inspiration from Galileo, John McWhorter, Robert Louis Stevenson, and More

Sat, 03 Dec 2016 14:00:18 +0000

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. Galileo on learning “You cannot teach a man anything; you can only help him find it within himself.” – Galileo At first, I thought this quote was silly. How can you expect someone to have knowledge of a topic inherently within themselves? That’s not what Galileo ...

The post Inspiration from Galileo, John McWhorter, Robert Louis Stevenson, and More appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




Planning Ahead for Extended Leave, Financially and Professionally

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 14:00:35 +0000

Quite often, when the topic of extended leave from one’s career comes up, it’s in the context of having children. People often want to spend a few years at home with their children when they’re young, returning to the workforce when the children are entering their school years, or even continuing to stay at home and providing a homeschooling environment. That’s one big reason for such leave, but there’s another reason as well. Some people want to take a period ...

The post Planning Ahead for Extended Leave, Financially and Professionally appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




How to Get a Cheap Rental Car

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 10:00:00 +0000

For most people, the vacation planning hierarchy goes flight, hotel, then vehicle. But don’t treat your car rental as an afterthought — knowing your needs and conducting a little online research could save you a lot of money. “You don’t want to pay for services you don’t want or need because you don’t understand them,” said Neil Abrams, president of Abrams Consulting Group, which focuses on the car rental industry. By following our tips below, you won’t get taken for ...

The post How to Get a Cheap Rental Car appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




31 Days to Financial Independence (Day 16): Trimming Your Spending – Education and Miscellany

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 14:00:16 +0000

“31 Days to Financial Independence” is an ongoing series that appears every Thursday on The Simple Dollar. You might want to start this series from the beginning! Last time, we continued looking at the average American family budget, going through each category and examining how one could trim the cost of typical expenses in that category. Here’s the “average American family budget” that we’re looking at, along with links back to the earlier entries on those specific areas: Housing – ...

The post 31 Days to Financial Independence (Day 16): Trimming Your Spending – Education and Miscellany appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




Three Things NOT to Do at Your Year-End Performance Review

Thu, 01 Dec 2016 10:00:00 +0000

The end of the year is performance-review time at many companies, which means that you’re probably reading this in between frantically reacquainting yourself with your goals for 2016, and wondering how to persuade your boss to give you a raise. If you’re feeling a little nervous, take a deep breath. While annual reviews can be stressful, they’re also an opportunity to make your accomplishments known, advocate for yourself, and get on track for the coming year. Go into the meeting ...

The post Three Things NOT to Do at Your Year-End Performance Review appeared first on The Simple Dollar.




Balancing Your Financial Success and the Luxuries of Your Friends

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 14:00:04 +0000

We’ve all been there at some point or another. We meet up with a friend and discover that he or she has acquired some sort of luxury good or had some sort of expensive experience. Maybe that person has a brand new car that’s shining in the sun. Maybe that person has the latest smartphone. Maybe that person just got back from a trip to Rio. Whatever it is, they’ve just enjoyed some luxury, one that’s well outside the borders ...

The post Balancing Your Financial Success and the Luxuries of Your Friends appeared first on The Simple Dollar.