man trimming beard in bathroom mirror

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. Morality of government Treasurys 2. Several loans with equal interest 3. Leaving New York 4. Camping or glamping? 5. Journal suggestions? 6. Frugal beard care 7. Worried about market highs 8. Cheap or free fitness suggestions 9. Getting paid less than others 10. “Chaining” no-spending days 11. Advice on …

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We’ve always heard a good friend is “worth their weight in gold.” But is that always true? With some friends, absolutely. A good friend can be there for you when times are tough, help you celebrate when times are good, and make your day-to-day life a lot more fun. Unfortunately, not all “good friends” are good with money. And some friendships can be costly – especially if you have trouble setting boundaries. Let’s face it: If you’re not careful, even a great friend can …

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Whether you ran out of time to make dinner, have a hankering for barbecued meat, or simply don’t want to cook, a rotisserie chicken could be the lifeline you’re looking for. With these skewered delights, you get a main course that’s smoking hot and ready to eat without having to do any cooking yourself. Costco’s rotisserie chickens are especially popular, mainly because they’re still just five bucks and bursting with salty-barbecue flavor. But really, most major grocery store chains offer their own …

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I’ve been working from home on at least a regular basis for more than a decade, and on a full-time basis for nearly a decade. Over the years, I’ve come to learn quite a lot about what it takes to effectively telecommute for your work. The number one thing? It absolutely requires the ability to focus. Our homes are gigantic pits of distraction. There are always chores to be done. There are always sources of entertainment to distract you. Even …

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I had a wonderful Facebook message exchange with a reader named Pete, who gave me permission to summarize our conversation but not to quote it. Pete comes from a family where clothing is a huge status symbol. To dress in a nice suit at family events or in the community that he grew up in is a visual sign that you are an adult, that you’ve made it, and that you’ve achieved things that deserve respect. A cheap suit doesn’t …

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“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 took a deep look at tactics that a person might use when handling a personal crisis. Things like a death in the family, a car breakdown, a job loss, or a personal illness can have a real impact on a person’s finances, so we looked at how a person on …

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When is political chatter appropriate in the office? As Trent explains in a recent Reader Mailbag column, never. This is true even if you’re reasonably sure that everyone on your team has similar views. It’s just plain unprofessional. Maybe you’re unconvinced, however. In that case, it’s useful to consider exactly why talking about politics at work is a bad idea: It stresses people out. An APA survey prior to the election found that 28% of younger workers reported being stressed …

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I had a great conversation recently with a gentleman in his early fifties who, upon being introduced to me and learning that I had been a full-time personal finance writer for several years, had been looking for a chance to have a conversation with me privately. Let’s call him Gene. It turns out that Gene had never put a single dime into retirement savings during his entire professional life. He had assumed all the way along that he would save …

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A 2016 study from the U.S. Travel Association showed that more than half (55%) of Americans didn’t take all their paid vacation days in 2016. While Americans took an average of 16.2 days of vacation last year, they left a cumulative 658 million unused vacation days on the table in the process. According to the study, which polled 5,641 Americans who work at least 35 hours per week, plenty of workplace barriers have made taking vacation harder. For example, 37% of workers feared …

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One of my biggest financial frustrations is stopping at a gas station. You dump fuel in your car, spend $40 or more, and then all you do is burn that fuel getting to where you need to be. It just goes up in smoke, literally. Whenever I see something that I’ve spent my hard-earned money on just disappearing like that, I want to conserve it. I want to find every strategy that there is in order to reduce how much …

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