woman installing hardwood floors

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. Where should retirement savings go? 2. Buying furniture on credit 3. Buying a house to flip 4. Bonus issue 5. You Need a Budget recommendation? 6. Scentsy and other marketing schemes 7. Intermittent fasting? 8. Leveraging outside interest for raise 9. Overvaluing the now 10. Earning money in …

Continue Reading

When just about anyone can call themselves a financial planner, it’s understandably hard for consumers to know whom to trust for financial advice. See, unlike doctors and lawyers who have to meet certain standards in order to hold themselves out as certified professionals, there are virtually no requirements you have to meet in order to use the title “financial planner” or “financial advisor.” As a result, there are many different kinds of people who call themselves financial planners, many of …

Continue Reading

Some of the most important lessons I’ve learned about money have come from personal finance books. While reading Your Money or Your Life, for example, I realized the money I earned was representative of my life force – and that each time I wasted money, I was wasting my own efforts. Other books like The Millionaire Next Door reminded me of something I already knew – that people with modest incomes can truly become rich if they avoid consumerism and …

Continue Reading

I faced what I consider to be “career burnout” at three points in my life. In 2004, I was getting burned out on uncertainty. My job for the few years prior to that was based on a series of short-term contracts and I was just getting fed up with not having any sort of stability. Sarah and I had been talking seriously about children and it just didn’t feel like stability was coming. In 2007, I was getting burned out …

Continue Reading

Over the years, I’ve written about literally thousands of tactics for spending less money, earning more money, and putting that extra money to work to eliminate debt, build an emergency fund, save for retirement, or succeed at other goals. At a glance, most of those tactics seem really, well, simple. It’s not really rocket science to realize that making coffee at home is going to cost less than buying it at Starbucks, or that grocery shopping with a grocery list …

Continue Reading

“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 put a capstone on our discussions of how to spend less money and how to earn more money by looking at how they come together to form a “gap” between your income and your spending. That “gap” is a very powerful tool. You can use that gap to pay off …

Continue Reading

Dream jobs don’t just fall into your lap; you have to go out and grab them. Sometimes, that means making bold moves, like quitting your job without knowing exactly where you’re going next, or starting your own business. But bold doesn’t mean foolhardy. To make a big change and see positive results, you need to prepare before you take the leap. As you might’ve guessed, the first step is financial. “The larger the emergency fund you can build up, the …

Continue Reading

Last Friday, I published an article entitled Does Spending Pennies to Make Dollars Really Make Sense? In it, I made the case that spending money for convenience to save time really only makes sense if you use it effectively to make more money in your career or your entrepreneurial plans. One particular paragraph stood out to a couple of readers, though: The same thing is true if you’re trying to launch a strong career. Often, the early stages of a …

Continue Reading

I recently got engaged. I managed to stay frugal throughout the entire process. The ring did not set me back three months’ salary. I got a reasonably priced ring made from a small operation in Chicago that uses reclaimed wood to make beautiful jewelry. It confused my family, who was baffled by its lack of diamonds, but it delighted my fiancee. I proposed to her on a hike, not at a five-star restaurant. All in all, the proposal process fit our …

Continue Reading

Let me tell you three little stories about myself from the last few months. * * * I was invited to a party with about 25 other people in attendance, all of them roughly my age. I knew about four of them prior to this party; the other 20 or so were strangers. After being greeted by the host, I was largely left to my own means, so I did what introverts usually do in that situation: I tried to sink into …

Continue Reading

Our Featured Contributors

Simple Share Buttons
Simple Share Buttons