First of all, I hope you’re enjoying reading The Simple Dollar. I put a lot of work into this site on a daily basis because I have a passion for personal finance issues and I want to share the interesting things I learn with the world – apparently, you like to read it, too. This post is merely to inform you of a couple of alternative ways to keep up with The Simple Dollar. The Simple Dollar by email If …

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One of my resolutions for the new year was to give up fast food. There were two big reasons for this: health (I’m trying to lose a little weight by eating less fattening stuff and more healthy stuff) and money (dining out, even on fast food, is pretty expensive). The end result is that I’m eating at home a lot more. I’m sinking deeper into my love for cooking (I swear it, I will start a blog like The Simple …

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Quite often, I read about using treasury securities as the “baseline” for what your money can return with no risk. Yet to the beginning investor, these items are a bit unclear: what are they? How are the returns? How can an individual investor get them? The Simple Dollar did a bit of research and found some answers. The United States Treasury Department regularly issues securities that exist for the sole purpose of financing the debt of the United States government. …

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The Simple Dollar offers a month-long plan for fixing your finances. All you need is an open mind and an hour each day. Yesterday, we developed some very specific plans to achieve aspirations that fit within the context of our personal values. These plans provide the basis for what we should be doing with our money; not only do they guide us towards a goal, but they also serve as a reminder that we’re off track if we do things …

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It is said that the three things you never talk about in polite conversation are money, religion, and politics. I figure I’ll get two of these out of the way right now, and maybe even touch on a third. I’ve draw a couple of conclusions that even make me uncomfortable. I hope you’ll join in the discussion, both here or on your own blog. What is faith? Faith is a belief not based on logic, reason, or empirical data, but …

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This week, The Simple Dollar takes a look at David Bach’s Smart Couples Finish Rich, a personal finance book that proposes to address the difficulties of a couple getting on the same personal finance page and aiming their financial ship in the right direction. Does it work? Let’s take a look. Step Seven: Build Your Dream Basket The “dream basket” is the third place you should put your money, after the retirement basket and the security basket. Bach recommends that …

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Due to the enormous impact that credit reports have on the ability of an individual to get a loan, the United States government has made it possible for every citizen to obtain a free copy of their credit report every twelve months. This free credit report was given a great deal of attention over the past few years, and thus many people are at least peripherally aware of the ability to get a free credit report. FreeCreditReport.com is advertising heavily …

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Recently, I had an email exchange with a reader about whether or not they should overpay on their home mortgage or take that overpayment and invest it. I spent some time with Excel and Bankrate.com’s mortgage calculator and I made a few interesting discoveries. I don’t want to bury you in numbers, so I’m going to minimize them in this discussion; you can verify the information here pretty easily with Google Spreadsheet and Bankrate.com. I work best with examples, so …

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The Simple Dollar offers a month-long plan for fixing your finances. All you need is an open mind and an hour each day. Yesterday, we made up a list of ten goals that derive directly from our values. Now (and for some of you, finally), we start talking a little bit about numbers. Let’s get right down to business. Take ten sheets of paper and at the top of each sheet, write each goal you defined yesterday. On each of …

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Over and over again, I’ve referred to the value of an emergency fund without really explaining what it is and how you can get one. To put it simply, an emergency fund is the most valuable thing you can have because it protects you from the unforeseen things that can demolish all of your financial planning and throw you into debt. What exactly is an emergency fund? An emergency fund is a cash reserve that you keep in a safe …

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