woman and holiday lights

You probably know that taking on extra debt during the holidays isn’t the best idea. Newly incurred debt can be bad for both your wallet and your credit score. If you can manage to pay for your holiday purchases without spending more than you’ve already saved up for the purpose, then, by all means, you should do so. However, if you’re definitely going to finance some of your holiday shopping, you should at least try to do so as wisely …

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You want to start a business. And you have more than a wisp of an idea. You know what you’re selling, and how you’re selling it, and who you’re selling to. You’re ready to go. Well, almost ready. You need cash, and as the saying goes, it takes money to make money. And you don’t have it. So where can you get a business loan? You have several options, from the conventional and fairly obvious to something resembling a Hail …

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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. Locking in gains? 2. Trustworthy sources of information 3. Giving up on old car 4. Making money from a hobby 5. Eating out is normal? 6. Preparing for automated workforce 7. Having control over your life 8. Frugal Keurig for the holidays? 9. Musical instruments for children 10. …

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A lot of people hate the idea of keeping money in a savings account. They feel like it’s just sitting there, earning next to nothing, and that they’re missing out on getting better returns elsewhere. Have you ever felt like that? It’s a feeling that makes a lot of sense. After all, there really IS no reason to settle for worse returns when you could be doing better elsewhere. A better return means you reach your goals faster, and isn’t …

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The most surprising part about paying off my student loan has been the mental anguish it causes. I get sad thinking about how much money I owe — like, actually sad. If I ever find myself staring at a wall with a blank look on my face and my mouth slightly agape, zoning out, it’s usually because I’m thinking about the burden of my loan. What if I lose my job? What if the stock market rockets up 10% or more, …

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It’s not too hard to find stories in the media about seemingly ordinary people finding great financial success. You hear about what seems like an ordinary guy or gal who worked in what seemed like an ordinary career path and somehow they’ve got a million dollars in the bank. How did they do it? Unfortunately, many of those stories have additional details that you don’t read about in the headlines. Often, you’ll find that those people practiced a level of …

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Here’s an approach to establishing, building, or repairing credit that few people are likely aware of: a CD loan. More specifically, the process usually involves opening a secured credit card with a bank or credit union, which is backed by your certificate of deposit (CD). But that’s just one of the potential uses for what’s often referred to as a CD loan. Such loans are also an option to consider when you need to tap some quick cash, and other sources …

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Around this time of the year, I get messages and emails from folks who are struggling to figure out gifts for the frugal person in their life. What do they get for the person who is very careful with their money and doesn’t seem to want anything? It can be a real challenge. I know that people in my life sometimes struggle for gift ideas for me (they’ve told me so), mostly because the handful of obvious interests I do …

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Just last week, I had a conversation about leggings that blew my mind. After receiving an invite to an online LuLaRoe party, I asked the host how the whole thing worked. She said I just needed to join the Facebook group and then bid on the leggings I wanted. Simple enough, right? Funny thing is, the party also included a second component I couldn’t quite figure out – a competitive bidding process over special leggings known as “unicorns.” Now, I’m not …

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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 continued looking at the average American family budget, going through each category and examining how one could trim the cost of typical expenses in that category. Here’s the “average American family budget” that we’re looking at, along with links back to the earlier entries on those specific areas: Housing – …

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