The Simple Dollar Morning Roundup: The Sportswriter Edition

A reader asked me recently what I’m reading, so I thought I’d mention it here. Since I now have the final piece in the trilogy, I’ve started rereading Richard Ford’s Frank Bascombe novels, starting with The Sportswriter. It’s one of those novels that at the same time frustrated me and engrossed me – which, to me, is the sign of something really worth rereading. The next one in the series, Independence Day, is even better. So that’s what I’m reading, anyway – an excellent, detailed portrait of a middle aged man.

The Crushing Cost of Credit Card Late Fees Once upon a time, I was caught in a vicious cycle of credit card late fees. I am thrilled that I escaped that money pit. (@ queercents)

Who Is Responsible For Lead In Toys? One of my favorite personal finance bloggers (perhaps my favorite, actually) writes a wonderful piece about the real causes of lead in toys – a well thought-out piece about buying things too cheap. (@ money, matter, and more musings)

An Open Letter To Bank of America People are getting tired of being nickel and dimed by their bank. (@ an english major’s money)

The Simple Dollar Retro: Don’t Fear The Higher Tax Bracket (Or Why A Reader Needs More Cowbell) Never really understood how tax brackets work? This is a good explanation of them – and it also shows why you shouldn’t necessarily avoid income to avoid a higher bracket.

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  1. adnan sheikh says:

    I read those books over the course of seven months this year (I don’t think I could have read all three in a row). They really are pretty amazing. Frank is quite a bit older than me but there still seems to be some kind of devastating or enlightening truth on every page.

  2. Kate says:

    BTW, regarding the good, responsible folk who pay off their full credit card balance diligently each month, and then get nailed the one and only time they’re late with their payment….Ask the credit card company to WAIVE THE FEE. I’ve done this successfully a number of times. If you have a proven track record with that card, do what it takes to get a human being on the phone. Explain politely that the date just somehow slipped by you, give a legitimate excuse if there is one, and ask if there’s any way for the late fee to be removed from the account. It worked every time for me. I’m really, really happy with my current card, but in the past if I’d gotten dinged like this and couldn’t have gotten the fee waived, I would have canceled the card during that same phone conversation. There are thousands of cards out there. Even if the credit card you use isn’t making any money in interest off of you, they’re still getting kickbacks from the businesses you patronize. If you walk, they lose that.

    It’s totally worth asking for to save $15 or more. The worst they can do is say no.

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