Saving Money

Emergency Funds on the Path to Financial Independence

One of the first things that’s recommended for people as they start on their journey toward financial recovery is to build an emergency fund. The reason is simple. An emergency fund is simply cash held in a savings account that you can tap when a life emergency happens – like an unexpected death in the …

Choosing a Budgeting System That’s Right for You

Over the last several years, I’ve had the opportunity to try out a number of different budgeting systems, both for personal use and because readers have asked me to try them out. All of these options have the same goal: get control over your money. Where they vary is in their execution. Some allow you …

Categories: 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 …

Best Prepaid Debit Cards of 2015

While prepaid cards were once a last resort for those who couldn’t qualify for a traditional bank account, new features have moved some of the best prepaid cards into the mainstream. According to a Nilson report, prepaid cards with the top 50 U.S. Banks and credit unions accounted for $118.09 billion in spending at merchants in …

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: 2/12/2015 …

Categories: Saving Money, Taxes

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 …

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

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Hot Tub Usage

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: Saving Money

Saving Pennies or Dollars? Used Books

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? Whole Chickens

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? Light Bulbs

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

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