Saving Money

Five Reasons Your Budget Isn’t Working

If you don’t use any kind of written budget, you have lots of company. According to a Gallup poll, only about a third of Americans prepared a detailed household budget in 2013. That’s not to say everyone succeeded. The fact is, using (and sticking to) a written budget can be a huge chore, especially at first. And …

Eight Times It Pays to Be a Quitter

As children, we’re taught only the strong survive. Quitters are weak and cheaters never win. Those who take shortcuts in life usually fall flat on their faces. But sometimes, it really does pay to walk away, or quit. That seemingly perfect opportunity can come back to haunt you. I’ve learned this painful lesson far too many …

The Secrets Behind Successful Budgeting

Budgeting is one of the trickier issues of personal finance. It can be very tricky to make a budget work for you. For starters, you don’t need a budget to be financially successful. I like to compare a budget to a power screwdriver. You can definitely get that screw into the wall without that power …

Small Business Money Traps to Avoid

First off, accept that you are going to make mistakes running your business. Calm down, we all do. And while it’s okay to lose a battle or two, just don’t lose the war. Remember, each time we make a mistake there is a valuable lesson to learn from it. Financial mistakes are often the result …

The Gradual Savings Strategy

When the time arrives to sign up for a retirement plan at work or open a Roth IRA, people are pulled in two different directions. On the one hand, it’s very obvious that in the long term, saving for retirement is far superior to not saving for retirement. Retirement planning offers the ability to retire …

How to Find Affordable Health Insurance in 2015

Whether you’re self-employed, unemployed, or covered under an employer’s health-care plan, finding affordable health insurance can be a frustrating, time-consuming process. Throw in controversy around the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and finding accurate, reliable information can be a nightmare. Sure, cheap health insurance exists, but qualifying can be tricky, and you’ll want to be sure …

Saving Money While You Travel, Part 3

In our past two posts, we’ve looked at ways to save money on flights and lodging. Now we’re going to talk about essential apps every traveler should have on his or her smartphone to save time, money, and headaches. I’m going to assume you have more than enough apps on your smartphone already, so the last …

Categories: Saving Money, Travel

How to Save for Your Child’s College Education

When families talk about college, the subject of money is never far behind. Seeing so many graduates overloaded with student loan debt, with 19% of borrowers owing more than $50,000 upon graduation, can be pretty scary for parents and students alike. As parents, you think the best thing you can do for your children is to encourage …

Saving Money While You Travel, Part 2

After sifting through the matrix of flight options, it always feels like a winning a hand in Texas Hold’em when I finally find the flight I’m looking for, click purchase, and shine the smile that says, “YES, I just saved a couple hundred bucks on airfare.” And while getting a bargain on a flight, eating a good meal at home before I leave, …

Categories: Saving Money, Travel

18 Ways to Slash Your Utility Consumption in Half

When you tear open your utility bill each month, are you annoyed with the outstanding balance listed on the statement? If so, you aren’t alone. I was having a chat with my hairstylist the other day and she expressed how disgruntled she was about having to fork over $300 or more per month on her utility …

Is This the Perfect Investment for Your Kid’s College Fund?

How’s this for a sweet investment: Anyone can buy it, with no fees or commissions. Its value has gone up by about 130% since 2000 — an 8.6% annualized gain. It’s tax advantaged, so those gains were tax-free. And in that time, investors had virtually no chance of losing their money at any point, even …

Saving Money While Traveling, Part 1

I’m writing this post from a coffee shop in Jerusalem, less than a week into a month-long trip to the Middle East. This trip is something I’ve been wanting to do for years, ever since my last visit here in back in 2004. There was always a hitch, though — too much work and not enough time, or too much time and not …

Categories: Saving Money, Travel

12 Surprising Ways to Save on Groceries

If you’ve been trying to cut costs to stop living from paycheck to paycheck, the food category was probably one of the first to take a hit. You may have tried slashing your grocery budget to an unrealistic amount and clipping coupons to make ends meet. If this approach is working, kudos to you. But …

Betterment Review

As I explained last week, I’m on a quest to find the best retirement plan to roll over my old 401(k). I’m going to conduct the most thorough research I can — publicly — and then put my money where my mouth is, literally rolling over my old 401(k), worth approximately $85,000, into the best …

Confronting Your Worst Money Fears

A tornado sweeps through your town and leaves nothing but death and destruction in its wake. An electrical fire burns your house and everything in it to the ground. A hacker steals your identity and runs up tens of thousands of dollars in debt before you realize what’s happened. Or, a distracted driver gets into a severe, life-changing accident …

Nine Debt-Forming Habits and How to Break Them

The average American household with a credit card carries more than $15,000 in credit card debt, according to debt.org. Add to that $1.2 trillion (and growing) in student loan debt, sprinkle in car loans, a mortgage, personal loans, and medical debt, and we’ve got ourselves an issue. How did we get here? The reasons we’re …

How and Why to Use a Zero-Sum Budget

Sometime around 2010, my husband and I realized that we weren’t making the most of our income. We knew we were wasting boatloads of money, yet we weren’t sure why it was happening or how to make it stop. In an effort to figure things out once and for all, we began tracking our spending to see where all of …

How to Use Technology to Start Saving More

The numbers on who is saving money in America — or more commonly, who isn’t — may shock you. According to a survey by Bankrate, 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck. The survey unfortunately reports that 50% of Americans have less than a 3-month cushion in their savings account and 27% have no savings account …

15 Ways to Reduce Your Loans While You’re Still in College

Stories of college graduates struggling to deal with their student loans are enough to scare away any bright-eyed college hopeful. If you’re thinking about college or in school right now, there are plenty of steps you can take to help reduce the amount of student loan debt you’ll be saddled with after graduation. Here are 15 ways to reduce your …

Become a subscriber of The Simple Dollar and get a free copy of Trent's e-book today plus exclusive updates.