woman putting money into different jars for retirement, stocks, house, etc.

Your 401(k) is the first place you should look when you start investing. The account is already open, so all you have to do is fill out some paperwork to start contributing (you can ask your human resources representative how to do this). The money gets pulled from your paycheck before taxes, like magic, and you may even be eligible for some free money if your employer offers a match. It’s one of the best and most effective ways to get started, even if you …

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Like every other American family with three children in the home, our family is busy. It seems like there’s something going on practically every night, which means that having a family dinner can sometimes be a struggle. We can usually find a window of opportunity where we’re all at home at the same time most nights, but finding an opportunity for someone to prepare that meal… that ends up being even more challenging. At the same time, our family is …

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Just the other day, a friend of mine argued that building a new home is more cost efficient than buying an existing property. Her new home is almost finished, and will be move-in ready in about three weeks — so she’s understandably excited. Plus, she said, she’ll be saving all kinds of money because she built. While I understood her excitement, I found that part puzzling. Was building a new home really cheaper? Please say it isn’t so. She went on to explain …

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The first thing to know about identity theft protection services is that they don’t actually protect. Just like having AAA doesn’t make it less likely that you’ll get a flat tire, signing up for identity theft protection, even from my top picks  and , doesn’t mean your wallet is less likely to be stolen or a scam email less likely to appear in your inbox. It’s an important thing to understand because that word — “protect” — is one of the …

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Editor’s note: Delta Auto Protect was originally a recommended provider of extended car warranties, but deeper investigation — coupled with lots of unreturned phone calls and emails — proved that it lacks necessary licensing to legally operate. This article has been updated and The Simple Dollar does not recommend purchasing an extended warranty with Delta Auto Protect. I’m guessing you’re here looking for the best extended car warranty for one of two reasons: fear or bartering. If it’s bartering, you’ve been doing …

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That 30 percent tax credit on solar panels that was supposed to expire this year? It’s been extended, all the way to 2019. I feel like we just got an extension on a term paper — but if we don’t start writing now, the deadline is going to be here again before we know it. To get the full Solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC), we’ve got to get our panels purchased and put up in the next three years. After that, …

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Dear friend, Several years ago, I was incredibly dissatisfied with my life. I was in a great deal of debt. I lived in a tiny apartment with my wife and infant son. I had a job that was slowly changing from something I loved into something I didn’t like any more. I was unhappy in many ways. I wanted something more from my life. I felt I deserved something more. So, over the next several years, I worked incredibly hard …

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Over the past 10 years, my wife and I have paid off literally hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt on salaries that, except for one exceptional year, were well below $100,000 annually. We had three children as well, moved into a house that we now fully own, and currently have zero debt. We’re also well along the road to financial independence, where our investments produce enough income to pay all of our bills and expenses. Without a lot of good …

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You may not care much about credit card rewards or think you spend enough to justify using them, but the truth is most people could benefit from a really solid rewards card. Even if you just spend money on groceries and other basics each month – and actually, especially if you buy a lot of groceries, you could rack up a ton of easy cash back in a hurry. The best rewards credit cards for groceries let you earn anywhere …

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The $15 Retirement Plan

April 28 2016

Some days – in fact, many days – I spend $15 in a way that isn’t the smartest. I’ll go out to eat for lunch, perhaps. Maybe I’ll buy a book from the Kindle Store, or buy a beverage when I fill up with gas. Some days I won’t spend that extra $15, but other days I might spend even more on something unnecessary that isn’t that memorable. One day last week, I took all four of my children to …

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