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On The Simple Dollar, we’ve talked a lot about the importance of credit history and building good credit. It tends to look good on your history when you pay on time and more than the monthly minimum. But what do you do when disaster strikes, as in the recent hurricanes Harvey and Irma? How do you keep up with your credit card finances when you’re forced from your home in the wake of a weather catastrophe? Well, there are a …

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The world is beginning to embrace the idea of a cashless economy, and it’s raised some interesting questions about how we impart financial knowledge to our children. A 2015 financial literacy assessment by the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) found that just under 80% of young people aged 15-24 made payments online. And a 2015 Standard & Poor survey found that only 57% of U.S. adults were financially literate, with a solid understanding of key concepts like inflation and …

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A few days ago, I was cleaning out the garage when I found my old set of golf clubs. Now, for those of you who aren’t aware of the full story of my financial turnaround, I used to be an avid golfer about a decade ago. I had a group of friends that I went golfing with a few times a week and I was constantly upgrading my golfing gear. It was an expensive hobby, to say the least. I …

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The world of credit is positively chock-full of terms, acronyms, and industry-related jargon that might not make much sense to the untrained eye. Many terms are closely related, but used to describe different things (e.g., credit report versus credit file versus credit score). However, in other circumstances there may be several different terms that are all used to identify the same information. That is exactly the case when it comes to defining the date from which a negative item must be removed …

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You’ve heard of Buy Now, Pay Later? Some American Express-Delta cardmembers have the option to Fly Now, Earn Later. The Fly Now, Earn Later feature lets you use travel miles you haven’t yet earned, effectively giving you an advance on travel rewards. It’s available to holders of select co-branded American Express-Delta credit cards, such as the and the . How does it work? To see how many Fly Now, Earn Later miles you may have available, follow these steps: Log …

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Believe it or not, the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics are a mere five months away. Opening ceremonies will be held on February 9th, and the games conclude on February 25th. If you’re one of the hundreds of thousands considering a trip to the Olympiad next year, it’s best to start doing your research now, including how to finance your trip. Here are a few key questions to ask while you’re still in the early stages of planning. What events do I …

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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. Pyrex blowing up in oven 2. Glass versus plastic in freezer 3. Simplest cold brew coffee 4. Valuing old comic books 5. Wikipedia trustworthiness 6. Tax gain and loss harvesting 7. Philosophical books about self-improvement 8. Minimalism and frugality 9. Organizing cupboards 10. Cutting hair without a mess …

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I had a brief foray into stock market investing back in 2010. I was fresh out of college and earning my first real paycheck. I started reading about investing in earnest, and I quickly latched onto a “Bogleheads” style strategy. Those folks are followers of John Bogle, the man who created Vanguard and popularized the low-cost index fund. Due to my young age, I settled on a very aggressive, 100% stock portfolio. I had read that the stock market is …

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Just before and right after every disaster, you see news coverage of crowded stores, depleted shelves, and interviews with people who don’t have enough (water, batteries, whatever). Don’t be those people. September is National Preparedness Month, and its theme – “Disasters don’t plan ahead. You can.” – is also the theme of this post. Even if you’re on a tight budget, or living paycheck to paycheck, you should be prepared to live at least three days without basic services. Should things …

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Earlier this week, I had a really difficult spell of writer’s block. I spent far too long writing a paragraph or two, being dissatisfied with it, deleting it, and trying again. Even when I was happy with something, I’d find myself in that same loop again and again. I simply wasn’t very productive at work, and given that my posting schedule basically requires that I finish a post pretty much every day, having a day where I don’t really complete …

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