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This is part of a short summer series covering smart strategies for using leftover staple foods – things like rice, beans, pasta, and so on. Here’s what you do when you cook a bit too much and don’t know what to do with the rest! I’m a huge fan of homemade bread. I’ve made it at home many, many times, to the point that I could basically do it blindfolded, and it’s always amazing when you pull it out of …

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When it comes to paying off credit cards, minimum monthly payments sound nice on paper. Who doesn’t like charging $1,000 on a purchase but only having to pay $15 a month? The problem, however, is when interest rates come into play. Suddenly, you’re having to deal with interest rates anywhere from 15% to 30%. Just to give you an idea of what that looks like, your minimum monthly payment for your balance of $1,000 starts to look more like $165 …

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More than a year ago, I started dreaming up a plan to take my family on one of our longest trips yet – a nearly three-week vacation to Europe. The driving force behind this trip was somewhat selfish — mostly because my husband and I love Italy so much and were desperate to go back. In the meantime, we wanted to take our kids on a fun and educational trip somewhere new and interesting. Obviously, I wanted to travel affordably, too. But …

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One of the biggest struggles I’ve had with my life throughout my twenties and thirties was with this idea that I had to be happy. If I didn’t feel happy, then I was really missing out on life, and that sentiment would often make me feel sad. It would drive me to try to seek some nebulous sense of happiness. Over time, though, I’ve come to realize that genuine happiness is a nebulous and rare thing. It’s something that you …

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It’s well known that earning and maintaining good credit is to your benefit. Perhaps because our credit scores have such a big impact on our lives, credit scoring models, such as those created by FICO and VantageScore, receive a lot of unwarranted criticism from consumers, consumer advocates, the media, and many others. When it comes to credit reporting and scoring, almost everyone’s a critic, unless they’ve got an 850 credit score in their pocket. Although misguided, it’s somewhat understandable why some might harbor resentment toward …

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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. Some frugality not worth it? 2. Feeling unmotivated after financial setback 3. Salty, savory, and inexpensive? 4. Destroying documents without paper shredder 5. Edward Jones question 6. Saving old paper bags 7. Pay off small debts first? 8. Really disorganized with mail 9. Unopened stuff from abandoned hobby …

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Whether your goal is paying off debt, building an emergency fund, or saving for a rainy day, a side hustle could be the answer you’re looking for. With more cash at your disposal, every financial move you make becomes more powerful – more severe. And obviously, the more “extra money” you can earn, the faster you can reach your goals. But, what if you hate people? A lot of part-time jobs involve working with the general public – answering questions, processing …

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If you’re on the fast track to retirement, you’re probably busy planning your new, post-work world. Perhaps you’re considering a stint as a volunteer, or ready to sit back and do nothing for a while. Maybe you’re seriously considering a round-the-world trip – you know, the type you could never take when you were working full-time. Still, retiring from work and enjoying a comfortable, stress-free retirement are two entirely different animals. According to some of the financial advisors we spoke to, far too …

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Anyone who spends much time paying attention to their finances eventually begins to appreciate the raw power of compound interest. It’s simple, really. Let’s say you put $20 in a bank account that earns 5% interest a year. At the end of that year, you have $21, right? Well, if you leave that money alone, that dollar you earned in interest begins to earn interest itself. So, after the second year, you actually have $22.05 in the account. After the …

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Impostor syndrome (also known as impostor phenomenon or fraud syndrome or the impostor experience) is a concept describing high-achieving individuals who are marked by an inability to internalize their accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud.” That’s the first sentence of a Wikipedia entry on the subject of impostor syndrome, which is a term that describes the sense that you’re really not accomplished or skilled enough for the career or job that you have and you …

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