The Latest

black eyed susans

Financial Independence and Permaculture

As Sarah and I have continued to work toward financial independence, one of the principles we’ve really come to value is that long-lasting reliable stuff is preferable to less reliable stuff. Reliability is a pretty big virtue for us. If we’re going to buy something, we’d rather buy it for life. It’s not hard to …

Why You Shouldn’t Lease a Car (and Other Similar Money Moves)

More than once on this site, I’ve argued on behalf of renting instead of buying a home. Renting comes with a number of financial advantages, not the least of which is that it’s far cheaper per month than owning your own home. You’re not responsible for homeowners insurance, property taxes, property maintenance, or any of …

When to Use an SEP IRA

Just a few decades ago, opening a simplified employee pension — otherwise known as an SEP IRA, a retirement plan for self-employed workers — wasn’t a big concern for most people in the workforce. Times were different then. Whether or not you graduated from college, the story was often the same: Most workers were employed …

What Is FDIC Insurance?

FDIC insurance protects customer bank deposits in the event of a bank failure. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the independent government agency that runs the program, was set up in 1933 to restore faith in the financial system during the Great Depression. After all, when you entrust your life’s savings to a bank, you expect …

Categories: Banking, Insurance

Throwing Away the ‘Retail Therapy’ Crutch

Mary wrote in with a brilliant question that I feel deserves a much longer answer than what fits into the weekly mailbag. Here’s Mary’s problem: First, the facts: I am 26 years old. I graduated two years ago with a masters in accounting (so I’m not writing to you about crunching the numbers as I …

Protecting Against Credit Card Fraud

With credit cards quickly becoming the most popular form of payment around the globe, it’s no wonder that credit card fraud is on the rise. According to the Department of Justice, as much as 10% of the adult population in the U.S. has been a victim of credit card fraud as of 2013. Still, credit …

Categories: Credit Cards

Best Student Loans in 2015

Are you trying to choose the best student loans for your situation, or wondering how to nab the best student loan rates, but feeling confused and overwhelmed by it all? You’re not alone. Figuring out how to pay for college can be a stressful, complicated process. I remember being overwhelmed when I started at a pricey …

Be Careful When Reading Financial Advice! Three Strategies to Keep You Safe

A few days ago, I came across this article from Betterment entitled Safety Net Funds: Why Traditional Advice Is Wrong. The article argues that the idea of having a cash emergency fund is a bad idea because a cash emergency fund earns a relatively poor annual rate of return. Here’s the crux of that argument …

Categories: Getting Started

Best Hotel Rewards Programs

The best hotel rewards programs ease the burden of high-cost travel, which is a good thing since traveling with a family can be prohibitively expensive. After all, airfare and lodging for four people can be a budget-breaker. A 2013 survey from American Express showed that the average travel expense per person in the United States is …

Categories: Credit Cards, Travel

How to Write a Thank-You Note

With graduation and wedding season upon us, you may be faced with the arduous task of finding the proper way to thank others for their generosity. In some ways, it can be difficult to be on the receiving end: Not only do you have to accept your gift graciously, you also have to make sure your loved …

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