Saving Money

Nine Strategies for Fixing Common Budget Problems

Budgets are an amazing tool for getting a clear picture of your financial situation and for planning for the future. They make it possible to see, in one overall place, the exact state of your monthly spending. You know where every dime is going. You know why every dime is going there. You can also …

Categories: Saving Money

The Dangers of Heroic Budgeting

There have been at least two periods in my life where I lived in an extremely cheap fashion. The first was during a period in college in which I lived in off-campus apartments with roommates. I lived off of ramen noodles and whatever was on sale at the grocery store (I lived on lots of …

Categories: Saving Money

A Deeper Look at Proportional Budgeting

To people who don’t actively budget, budgeting can seem like a complicated mess involving spreadsheet programs, notebooks, and other materials. To others, it can seem like a restrictive nightmare, keeping your different types of spending in a tight box and holding back your freedom of choice to an unpleasant degree. (I actually don’t find either …

Personal Finance 101: Comparing Saving and Investing

Just the other day, I was sitting at my favorite local library (if you happen to go there at the right time, you’ll probably find me sitting at a table with a notebook open in front of me with several personal finance, career, time management, and self-improvement books piled around me). I was browsing through …

How to Find the Best Free Checking Account in 2015

The Internet has equipped banks with the ability to offer a free checking account online to almost anyone who qualifies. Fortunately, the government mandates that a checking account can’t be marketed as “free” if the consumer could potentially be charged a maintenance or activity fee. So what does “free” actually entail? The term “free” is …

Categories: Banking, Saving Money

How to Find the Best Savings Account in 2015

Looking for places to grow your money without much risk is difficult these days, but finding the best savings account might be a good place to start. Although your money will be safe there, the average American is hardly capitalizing getting rich on rates today. According to CNN Money, the average savings account last year had …

Categories: Banking, Saving Money

Best Prepaid Debit Cards of 2015

Finding the best prepaid debit card was once a task traditionally reserved for people who had trouble opening a bank account. Today, prepaid debit cards are becoming much more versatile. Many families and college students are regularly using them to manage their finances. If you have poor credit and can’t get a credit card, for …

Best Online Stock Trading Brokers for 2015

I’ve had an online stock trading account since I was 13 years old and I’ve used at least a dozen of the best online stock trading platforms. I’ve gained a few “learning experiences” from managing my own account and working as a proprietary day trader in Chicago for several years. There are over 50 online …

Best Credit Cards for Students in 2015

Used responsibly, the best credit cards for college students are tools to accomplish two crucial financial tasks: They help teach money management, and they help students establish the credit they’ll soon need to rent an apartment, buy a car, or even get a normal rewards credit card. Credit cards in the hands of college students …

The 5 Best Free Tax Software for 2015

The first thing to know about free tax preparation software is that every legitimate online tax software offers a free version. However, not every free version is legitimate. Brand, ease of use and reputation still matter for getting the job done right, especially when dealing with the IRS. LIMITED TIME OFFER from TurboTax Update: 1/9/2015 …

Categories: Saving Money, Taxes

Barclaycard Review: Arrival™ World MasterCard® Annual Fee vs. No Annual Fee

The Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® is hands-down one of the best credit cards around, but there’s a lot of curiosity and confusion around which is the more valuable of the two: the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® (with an $89 Annual Fee) vs. the Barclaycard Arrival™ World MasterCard® (with No Annual Fee). With the …

File Taxes Online and Fire Your Accountant

Updated: January 21, 2014 I Saved an Extra $1,000 Using Online Tax Software I’ve been doing my taxes online for the past seven years. During those years, I’ve lived in Wisconsin, Illinois, Florida, and Washington. I was employed by three different companies. I started and closed three different businesses. I was an independent contractor for …

Categories: Saving Money, Taxes

The Best Hotel Credit Cards for 2015

In Part 4 of this series, I write about the best hotel credit cards. If you missed the other parts, I already covered the best all-around rewards credit cards, best airline credit cards, and the best cash back credit cards. In 2015, the best hotel credit cards still offer impressive perks and rewards for frequent …

Best Tax Software for 2015: TaxACT vs TurboTax vs H&R Block

2015 is here and its time to get a head start preparing your taxes. Why? Because, according to IRS disclosures, it takes a person in the US an average of 13 hours to plan, prepare and file their federal taxes. For most of us, it can seem to take much longer. Luckily, even if you …

The Ultimate Guide to Buying in Bulk

Over the last several years, Sarah and I have become reasonably skillful practitioners in the art of buying items in bulk, through trial and error. Our goal, of course, is to save money. A well-executed bulk purchase of an item can save you a lot of money. A poorly-executed one, though, can cost you money, …

Categories: Saving Money

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Reliable Items

Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers …

Categories: Frugality, Saving Money

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Canning Beans

Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers …

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Space Heaters

Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers …

Categories: Frugality, Saving Money

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Home Photo Printing

Saving Pennies or Dollars is a new semi-regular series on The Simple Dollar, inspired by a great discussion on The Simple Dollar’s Facebook page concerning frugal tactics that might not really save that much money. I’m going to take some of the scenarios described by the readers there and try to break down the numbers …

Categories: Frugality, Saving Money