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Some days, I wake up and I absolutely don’t feel like working or doing much of anything. I feel like curling up in a ball and staying in bed for a while longer, or maybe even all day. It doesn’t happen real often, but when it does, it can hit me like a sledgehammer. I wake up feeling terrible. There are a lot of reasons for that feeling, of course. Maybe I have a minor cold or a gastrointestinal issue. …

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My four-year-old daughter has been playing nonstop with a Little People barn for the past week. Now, if you have a young child, you know the fleeting miracle that is a completely-engaging toy. It adds hours of delight to both of your lives, but usually only lasts a few days in the wake of a birthday or other special occasion. But this toy is old. We’ve had it since she was a baby, and she stopped playing with it well over a year …

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Most of us are familiar with overdrafts, whether it’s something we’ve actually done ourselves or not. We write a check for an amount greater than the remaining balance in our checking account and something bad happens. If you don’t have overdraft protection on your checking account, the bank will refuse to cover your check. This uncashed check is returned to the person or business to which you wrote that check and they’ll usually then come after you for non-payment along …

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With Father’s Day coming up on June 19, it’s time to start thinking of ways to recognize the special man in your life. From home beer brewing kits to “World’s Best Dad” t-shirts and personalized photo mugs, you’ll find an endless supply of “stuff” to buy your dad if you feel compelled to buy a gift. But, what about the dad who has it all? Or what if you’re on an extremely tight budget? No matter who you are or what your income is, there …

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When I first started The Simple Dollar, Sarah and I were proud parents of a toddler. Today, as I write this, that toddler is about to embark on his teenage years and he’s been joined in our home by two younger siblings, a younger sister and a younger brother. All of them are in school and progressing along nicely on their path to adulthood. Here’s the reality: As much as I dearly love my children, there’s no way to deny …

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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. Military student loan forgiveness 2. Retirement options without Roth IRA 3. International banking troubles 4. Making business ideas a reality 5. Building my MLM network 6. Cost of skilled nursing 7. Using HRA in retirement calculations 8. Stolen cash 9. Large purchases on rewards cards 10. Starting out …

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Just like there are many ways to get into debt, there’s more than one way to dig yourself out. Where some people focus on the debt snowball or debt avalanche methods, others might transfer high-interest balances to a 0% credit card, sell possessions to raise cash they can use to pay down debt, take on a part-time job to speed up the process — or some combination of all these methods. Any of these strategies can work wonders for your finances …

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Did you have a summer job as a teenager? If you were in high school between 1974 and 1994, chances are you did, according to a 2015 study by Pew Research. More than half of 16- to 19-year-olds held a summer job in those years. But as iconic as it may be, the summer job is slowly becoming a thing of the past. Pew notes a sharp drop in teen employment that began with the 1991 and 2001 recessions and was followed by an even …

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Once a month (or so), I share a dozen things that have inspired me to greater personal, professional, and financial success in my life. I hope they bring similar success to your life. 1. Jim Rohn on finding a way “If you really want to do something, you’ll find a way. If you don’t, you’ll find an excuse.” ― Jim Rohn The important thing to remember with a quote like this is that Rohn is referring to things that are …

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One of the most common questions I’m asked by readers concerns the order in which they should start paying off their debts. Usually, they’ll list several debts and then ask me to tell them the order in which they should strive to pay them off. I usually tell them that it’s not quite that easy. First of all, they usually haven’t taken basic steps to reduce their debts. Have they consolidated their student loans? Have they done any zero-interest rate …

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