What’s inside? Here are the questions answered in today’s reader mailbag, boiled down to five word summaries. Click on the number to jump straight down to the question. 1. Planning for future relocation 2. Growing a blog 3. First time homebuyer advice 4. How to grill foiled potatoes 5. Refinancing a vehicle 6. Predicting Social Security’s future 7. Teaching the value of money 8. HELOC or not? 9. Just starting out with credit 10. Pre-tax or after-tax 401(k)? As many …

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Only very rarely do I pass along a guest post, but a reader sent me such a spectacular energy saving do-it-yourself idea (and wonderful writeup about it) that I just had to pass it along. The only change I’ve made to this article is highlighting a few key pieces. This article comes from Allie, a long time reader of The Simple Dollar who likes frugal hacks at least as much as I do. I don’t post much but I really …

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I’ve officially decided to start clippering my hair very short – and doing it at home. I used to do this in college, but since then I’ve had my hair somewhat longer. Does anyone out there have a recommendation as to hair clippers for home use that are economical and foolproof? 11 Creative Ways to Avoid Becoming a Workaholic For me, the best two things you can do is to have a clear wall between work and personal life and …

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This is the ninth entry in a fourteen part series discussing the time management classic Getting Things Done by David Allen. New entries in this series will appear on Tuesday afternoons and Friday mornings through July 16. Over the last four articles, we’ve reviewed four of the five major components of getting things done: 1. Collecting all of the stuff you need to do 2. Processing that stuff down 3. Organizing that stuff into appropriate places 4. Reviewing to make …

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In the past on The Simple Dollar, I’ve talked about how to lodge a complaint against a company if you’re truly dissatisfied with a product. I’ve always wanted to do a case study of such a complaint, but I’ve never had an experience severe enough to cause me to get involved. Until now. Pictured above on the right is a bottle of Spring Grove Lemon Sour soda, made by the Spring Grove Soda Pop Inc. of Spring Grove, MN. It …

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Connie writes in: You write a lot about how there’s a deep connection between less clutter and financial success.  I don’t get it at all.  I think the opposite is true because when you clear out a bunch of stuff you would just have the space for a lot more. This is an issue I’ve discussed to a certain extent in both of my books.  I think there’s a deep connection between personal finance success and clutter, and there’s no …

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What’s inside? Here are five word summaries of the questions answered inside this mailbag. Click on the number to skip straight to that question. 1. Co-signing with bad credit father 2. How many people read TSD? 3. Removing stains from cloth diapers 4. Percentage for emergency fund 5. Personal loan for adoption 6. Gloom, doom, and e-funds 7. Difficult job search 8. Frugality, clutter, and hoarding 9. Regular IRA versus Roth IRA 10. Which debt to pay first? This weekend, …

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Every Sunday, The Simple Dollar reviews a personal finance book or other book of interest. For many of us (myself included), one of the biggest motivations for getting our personal finances in shape is to give us more control over our lives. A big part of financial recovery is simply being mindful of your choices: your spending choices, your choice of possessions, your choice of how you spend your time. For me (and for a lot of you, too, based …

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As I mentioned a bit last week, we’re currently debt free except for our mortgage and a student loan with such low interest that it would be financially reckless to pay it back early. The CD in which we were keeping the money to pay for our Prius matured (it was earning a higher percentage return in a CD than we could get on a car loan, so cracking the CD early and paying a penalty just to pay cash …

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A while back, I came across a fascinating article at The Guardian discussing askers and guessers: This is the “disease to please” – a phrase that doesn’t make grammatical sense, but rhymes, giving it instant pop-psychology cachet. There are certainly profound issues here, of self-esteem, guilt etcetera. But it’s also worth considering whether part of the problem doesn’t originate in a simple misunderstanding between two types of people: Askers and Guessers. This terminology comes from a brilliant web posting by …

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