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The “American Dream” can mean something different to everyone. For international students hoping to attend school in the United States of America, that dream means getting accepted to and paying for college. It also comes with a price tag, as the cost of higher education in the U.S. continues to rise. Applying for scholarships is one of the best ways for students – both domestically and internationally – to offset the costs of higher education. There are thousands of scholarships …

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As a resident of rural central Iowa, I often visit Ames and Des Moines for shopping purposes, with Ames being somewhat more convenient for my family. I have a strong grasp on the different shopping options in Ames and take advantage of various grocers for various things – we go to Aldi and Sam’s Club frequently, and to the local food co-op for some esoteric items. A few days ago, I was driving through town with my three children and …

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A few weeks ago, I was browsing the internet when I stumbled onto a decade-old TED Talk from psychologist Barry Schwartz. The talk, aptly named The Paradox of Choice, aimed to deconstruct how much affluence – and the choice it brings to our lives – affects our society. Schwartz spoke of many frustrating truths almost anyone can relate to – the madness of shopping for salad dressing in a store where there are 175 different flavors and brands, or choosing among 285 varieties …

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One of the main principles of frugality that I live by is what I call the “principle of contentment.” It’s the idea that the best state to be in is one in which I am satisfied and content with my life and that happiness naturally occurs in that state. I am content when I know that my bills are paid, that my financial future is in good shape, that I’m happy with my work, that I have good relationships with …

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It’s no surprise that a bankruptcy can take a toll on your credit reports and scores. Furthermore, when you file for bankruptcy the unfortunate reality is that getting approved for new financing in the near future can prove to be difficult. Yet the idea that you’re doomed to a lifetime of horrible credit after a bankruptcy is, thankfully, false. It’s possible to rebuild your credit after a bankruptcy, provided you know what to do. The first thing you need to …

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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. FDIC and NCUA insurance 2. Good tactic for controlling envy 3. Beer, soda, and hobbies 4. Applying for business credit card 5. Glass or plastic in freezer 6. Saying no when budgeting 7. Question about UTMA/UGMAs 8. Setting up home office 9. Goal journal suggestion 10. Mortgage with …

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My aversion to canned food started early. Those aluminum cylinders just never seemed appealing, sitting there in the dark corners of our cabinet, far away from my treasured Cinnamon Toast Crunch. They were dull, dusty, and full of mysterious soup mixes. It was rare for my mom to pull one out, but when she did, I knew it was going to be the least exciting meal of the month. As I grew older, my aversions felt justified. I learned that …

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If you’ve been dreaming of a new kitchen but can’t stomach the thought of a pricey remodel, you’re right to worry. A 2016 analysis from Remodeling Magazine pegs the average cost of a full kitchen overhaul at about $60,000, after all. And while Angie’s List users have reported spending a more modest $20,000 to $25,000 on average, some sources say a high-end remodel can surge up to $80,000 or more. With estimates like those flying around, it’s easy to just try …

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Over the last several years of writing for The Simple Dollar, I have read literally hundreds of personal finance and investing books, coupled with many books on adjacent topics like personal growth. You would think by now that I would get the message, so why did I just spend the last few hours reading a recent personal finance book? At my previous job, I wrote somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 lines of computer code and maintained all of it. The …

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An estimated 45.7 million American children ages 6-17 take part in one or more sports. For many of their parents, those athletic endeavors can cost thousands of dollars each year. In fact, spiraling costs receive part of the blame for participation numbers declining 9% over five years. But there’s good news. While you can’t put a price on physical fitness, teamwork, and character-building, it is possible to lower the cost. Making Youth Sports Affordable: A Playbook for Parents is here …

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