Advice

Three Money Lessons My Grandfather Taught Me

I was only seven when my grandfather passed away, but during the last year and a half of his life, he made a special effort to take me under his wing and express to me, as only he could, some of the lessons life had taught him. Some of them were hauntingly accurate; others, more …

Child Is Father To The Man: When Financially Stable Children Want To Help Their Parents Prepare For The Future

Several times during the ongoing discussion of financial independence on this site, readers have asked about how they, as young and financially stable professionals, can help their parents who have given them so much. Parents are often very uncomfortable about such situations, as they view it as a reversal of the parent-child relationship that they …

Tax Witholdings and Savings Questions

Recently, a reader of The Simple Dollar contacted me with an interesting question about tax withholdings: With the tax year over, we get to see what we owe the IRS and the State in taxes. Normally we have our employers withhold amounts and send them to those entities, where they sit doing nothing. Alternatively we …

Categories: Advice, Taxes

Reader Question: Calculating The Percent Change In Your Net Worth

Recently, an individual contacted me asking how to calculate his net worth: I am trying to calculate my net worth, and was wondering if you would share the formula for finding the % change between two values. Calculating the change in your net worth over time is quite easy. Say you have an old net …

Words of Wisdom from Readers of The Simple Dollar

Lately, this site has seen a lot of interesting and insightful commentary on various posts. While I am passionate about writing (and I hope it shows), the real value here is in the insights left behind by my readers. Here are five that really caught my eye that I’d love to share with you. For …

Categories: Advice

Five Essential Money Quotes And Related Thoughts

My head is full of quotes from various cultural figures and I often like to use them in conversation when appropriate. I like to collect good ones on various topics, and so here are five great quotes on the topic of finances. Feel free to pilfer these and use them wherever you feel appropriate. For …

Categories: Advice

Should I Pay Off Student Loans or Invest?

Recently, I received an email from Nate, a reader of The Simple Dollar. He was wondering whether it makes more sense to invest or to pay off his student loans: I’m a regular reader of your site. I’m also a senior getting ready to graduate. I’m in an interesting situation and I was wonder what …

Categories: Advice, Debt, Investing

Ted’s Dilemma: Planning For The Future On Minimum Wage

Recently, I had a conversation with a reader named Ted. Ted works a full time minimum wage job and still manages to live in his own apartment, but unsurprisingly, he feels like he’s not getting anywhere financially. He had a pretty valid complaint about The Simple Dollar, that I write very little that applies to …

Categories: Advice, Planning

The Talk: Tips For Difficult Financial Discussions

Eventually, there always comes a time in which a serious financial talk is required. You need to have a heart-to-heart with your parents about their retirement plans, your significant other is spending too much, or your children are wondering loudly about their college plans. Most of the time, we put off these difficult discussions because …

Categories: Advice, Communication

Lauren’s Problem: Overdrafts Mixed With Solid Planning

Yesterday, I received an email from a reader named Lauren. Here’s what she had to say: My husband and I have excellent credit scores (his 820, mine 814) but he does something that I am uncomfortable with. We are both very good savers, (age 56 and 55) he has his own business, I work and …