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Thursday, October 26, 2020
Strategies for Low-Cost Professional Development (7 clicks)
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October 26, 2020 at 10:00 am ET

Monique wrote in with a good question that quickly grew far beyond the boundaries of the reader mailbag (as good questions often do): What do you do as an independent writer/content creator for professional growth? And how do you do it inexpensively? First of all, it’s worth noting that, because of the niche that my writing tends to occupy, a lot of my professional development overlaps with personal development. This is somewhat true in every field, but it is stronger ...

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We Booked a Mediterranean Cruise â?? and Itâ??s a Better Value Than You Might Think (5 clicks)
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October 26, 2020 at 6:00 am ET

Earlier this year, my husband and I took our two kids â?? ages 6 and 8 â?? for an extended trip through Germany, Italy, and Switzerland. Our journey was meticulously planned and lasted nearly three weeks from beginning to end. We saw jaw-dropping sights including the buried the city of Pompeii, the Amalfi Coast, and the towering Swiss Alps while enjoying some of the worldâ??s most decadent food. We climbed actual mountains, laughed and played, and ate so much gelato it ...

The post We Booked a Mediterranean Cruise — and It’s a Better Value Than You Might Think appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

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Wednesday, October 25, 2020
The Power of â??Good Enoughâ?? (7 clicks)
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October 25, 2020 at 10:00 am ET

Over the last few years, one of the biggest principles I’ve found in personal finance - and in any flavor of self-improvement - is that the perfect is always the enemy of the good. If you set yourself up so that the only acceptable result is perfection, you’re setting up a house of cards for yourself. Things are going to inevitably collapse. You will fail if perfection is your only possible outcome. I once thought that the principle of dangerous ...

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What Overeating Can Teach Us About Overspending (7 clicks)
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October 25, 2020 at 6:00 am ET

In “The Hungry Brain,” obesity researcher Dr. Stephan Guyenet provides a fascinating look into the reasons why many first-world countries are battling an obesity epidemic. His thesis boils down to the idea that modern humans face an evolutionary mismatch. Our genes were designed to help us store fat, because food used to be hard to come by in the wild. We couldn’t have survived, pre-agriculture, without intense biological drives to eat as much food as possible when it was available and ...

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Tuesday, October 24, 2020
Do You Need a Personal Finance Coach? (18 clicks)
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October 24, 2020 at 10:00 am ET

Once every few months, I get an offer from someone who thinks that I would be a perfect fit for being a “personal finance coach” or a “financial independence coach.” Usually, this idea comes from someone who has made some money doing that very thing - they’ve worked as a professional coach or a life coach, made some money doing it, and likely helped out some people. First of all, what’s a personal finance coach? What’s a financial independence coach? ...

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This Is the Law That Protects You From Abusive Debt Collectors (16 clicks)
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October 24, 2020 at 6:00 am ET

Have you ever taken on a debt that you were eventually unable or unwilling to pay as initially agreed? If so, then you may be very familiar with the unpleasant reality of dealing with third-party debt collectors. Third-party debt collectors include collection agencies, attorneys, debt buyers, and anyone who regularly collects debts initially owed to others. These are the friendly folks who call you at home and work and lean on your to make payments. No one likes a debt collector, ...

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Monday, October 23, 2020
Questions About COBRA, Disney World, Subscription Boxes, and More! (9 clicks)
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October 23, 2020 at 10:00 am ET

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. Health care COBRA suggestion 2. Homemade food is too expensive! 3. Feeling rich while cutting spending 4. Bodyweight exercise suggestions 5. Retirement investing 101 question 6. Local economy vs. frugality 7. Credit card crisis 8. Saving money at Disney World 9. Best services for cord cutting 10. Eggs ...

The post Questions About COBRA, Disney World, Subscription Boxes, and More! appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

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Five Tips for Applying for Credit Cards in a Post-Equifax Breach World (8 clicks)
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October 23, 2020 at 9:00 am ET

Itâ??s been almost two months since Equifax announced a data breach of personal information. Since then: Millions of us have taken steps to protect our credit. Their website was compromised (again!) redirecting to malware. A no-bid contract from the IRS to have Equifax provide identity verification services for taxpayers was put on hold. Within this swirl of information, more and more questions have been asked, including: Can I apply for a new credit card after the Equifax hack? The answer ...

The post Five Tips for Applying for Credit Cards in a Post-Equifax Breach World appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

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Even the Experts Canâ??t Beat the Market. Why Would You? (12 clicks)
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October 23, 2020 at 6:00 am ET

There’s this idea out there, perpetuated by financial professionals and online “experts” alike, that if you take the right approach, do the right research, and put in the right amount of effort, you can pick stocks that beat the market. There are, of course, the people who are pretty obviously scam artists, promising crazy returns if you just follow their “system.” But there are a lot of other people who sound a lot more rational. People who talk about things ...

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Sunday, October 22, 2020
The Miracle Money Cure: Six Common Financial Problems a Budget Can Fix (43 clicks)
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October 22, 2020 at 8:00 am ET

Only a third of Americans bother to create a written or computerized budget each month, according to a 2013 Gallup poll on budgeting, the most recent available. Considering the state of personal finance in the U.S., this actually explains a lot. A recent study showed that fewer than half of Americans have more than $1,000 in savings, and the average indebted household now has more than $16,000 in credit card debt. A recent study from CareerBuilder even revealed that 78% of ...

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Saturday, October 21, 2020
Personal Finance Success and Directionlessness in Life (14 clicks)
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October 21, 2020 at 10:00 am ET

A few days ago, I received a handwritten letter from an old acquaintance, someone I hadn’t seen in a healthy handful of years. The letter was full of reminiscence, but then it moved onto a request for some advice on some issues that he didn’t know how to handle. The advice request started out in the domain of personal finance, but as he wrote more and more details, it became clear that the real problem in the whole picture wasn’t ...

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Earn Cash Back with the Top Holiday Toys of 2017 (13 clicks)
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October 21, 2020 at 9:00 am ET

If youâ??re the type who likes to plan ahead, chances are youâ??re already trying to strategize how to get the best Holiday gifts at the lowest prices. And Walmartâ??s trying to appeal to early shoppers: The retail giant has recently released its list of the most popular toys for the 2017 Holidays. Sales are great, but if youâ??re looking to take your savings even further, a cash back credit card might be the most powerful tool in your wallet. Weâ??ve ...

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Friday, October 20, 2020
Guanxi: Thoughts on Building Relationships for Professional and Personal Success (8 clicks)
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October 20, 2020 at 10:00 am ET

Over the years, I’ve been incredibly fortunate to have some great friends from other cultures. Back in the late 1990s, I was lucky enough to have my time on this earth overlap with a wonderful guy from China, a guy whose laughter could fill a room at certain times, a man who would have your back whenever you needed it, a person who always seemed to have the right question to ask, an individual who seemed to click in any ...

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Thursday, October 19, 2020
The Art of the â??Dump Mealâ??: Nine Super-Simple Ways to Get Maximum Efficiency and Value from a Slow Cooker (4 clicks)
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October 19, 2020 at 10:00 am ET

One of the most efficient ways for a family to save money is to simply eat meals at home as often as possible. Feeding three or four or five people with take-out or at restaurants all the time becomes quickly expensive, even if you choose super-cheap options, and if you consider the health impact of eating restaurant-prepared food, it becomes even more costly. (Research suggests that home cooking is a key part of a healthier diet, simply because you control ...

The post The Art of the ‘Dump Meal’: Nine Super-Simple Ways to Get Maximum Efficiency and Value from a Slow Cooker appeared first on The Simple Dollar.

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Disaster Relief: How to Assist from a Distance (1 click)
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October 19, 2020 at 9:00 am ET

You may be following the news of recent natural disasters from thousands of miles away, wondering what you can possibly do to help. If so, rest assured that the effectiveness of your charitable donations doesnâ??t necessarily decrease with distance. A large number of charities and relief organizations are helping victims of Hurricane Maria in the Caribbean, as well as earthquake victims in Mexico. The list includes some of the most respected, highest rated groups in philanthropy, including: UNICEF DirectRelief Catholic ...

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The Most Efficient, Science-Based Way to Learn and Memorize Practically Anything (3 clicks)
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October 19, 2020 at 6:00 am ET

For the first 28 years of my life, I thought there was only one way to memorize information: brute force repetition. If my schooling taught me anything, it was that the way to do well on tests was to make detailed notes and then read them until your eyes bled. This style of learning is effective, but only to a point. As we all know, information that was crammed is soon lost. Much of this forgetting is normal and healthy. ...

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Wednesday, October 18, 2020
The Double-Edged Sword of Financial Friction (28 clicks)
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October 18, 2020 at 10:00 am ET

The other day, I was at a home brew supply store. I had stopped in to simply buy some bottle caps with which to cap individual bottles of my most recent batch of home brew. Such a purchase would just cost a couple of dollars. While I was in there, I found myself admiring their refreshed sale table - items that were on discount. The local store loves to do this - they’ll put items on the sale table all ...

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Nine Easy Bean Recipes to Save Time and Money (36 clicks)
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October 18, 2020 at 6:00 am ET

When it comes to cheap meal staples that work for nearly any budget and dining style, itâ??s hard to beat beans. Whether you crave comfort food, ethnic dishes, or one-pot meals, youâ??ll find a ton of recipes that feature different beans as the star. Beans are also a good source of protein and fiber, as well as a great way to get enough iron, calcium, and other nutrients in your diet. Better yet, beans are downright cheap to buy in a ...

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Tuesday, October 17, 2020
Getting Through the â??Sandwich Yearsâ?? (10 clicks)
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October 17, 2020 at 10:00 am ET

A few days ago, I was listening to the always enjoyable Talk of Iowa program on our local public radio station. They were having a discussion about growing old in Iowa, covering the fact that Iowa is considered the second best state to grow old in. What really stuck with me, though, was the ensuing conversation about the challenges of caring for elderly parents. One caller in particular stuck in my head - she called in wondering about what help ...

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Hereâ??s How Credit Scoring Actually Works (6 clicks)
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October 17, 2020 at 6:00 am ET

Love them or hate them, good or bad, your credit scores are going to wield considerable influence over you for the rest of your life. You cannot change the fact that others are going to use your credit scores to judge you. However, you can use that knowledge to your advantage. It’s certainly in your best interest to learn how credit scoring works and, more importantly, to learn how you can earn and maintain the best credit scores possible. The ...

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Monday, October 16, 2020
Is a Disney Credit Card Right for You? (13 clicks)
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October 16, 2020 at 10:59 am ET

An in-depth look at the Disney credit cards and their rewards programs. Disney has two credit cards offering big savings to Disney park goers and store patrons alike. Both the and the feature a variety of perks with the main difference between them being rewards rates and fees. However, the questions that have been on many people’s minds are: Do I need a Disney credit card? Are they worth it? To answer that, we will need to explore these cards ...

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Questions About Whole Foods, Dumpster Diving, Spices, Health Insurance, and More! (10 clicks)
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October 16, 2020 at 10:00 am ET

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. What’s next for investing money? 2. Dumpster diving for cash? 3. Health insurance steps after divorce 4. Buying winter socks 5. How to handle earnings increase 6. Food items made from scratch 7. What’s a “goal-oriented planner”? 8. Whole Foods question 9. Hidden sales at grocery stores 10. ...

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Five Reasons I Love Living in Flyover Country (6 clicks)
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October 16, 2020 at 6:00 am ET

In February of 2015, my husband left his demanding job in a mortuary to work with me on our home-based business. All of a sudden, we went from having almost no freedom to having all the freedom in the world. This also meant that, for the first time in our lives, we could live anywhere we want. We got a lot of questions from people at first. Now that we didnâ??t have to live in Central Indiana, would we move ...

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Sunday, October 15, 2020
3 Ways to Beat the Single-Person Penalty (42 clicks)
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October 15, 2020 at 8:00 am ET

Being single means never having money squabbles with a significant other. But it also tends to mean no one with whom to share financial goals. According to a new survey from TD Ameritrade, singles aged 37 and older are feeling insecure about saving, homeownership, and retirement. And no wonder: They canâ??t file jointly at tax time, earn less than their married counterparts, and are more likely than those couples to live paycheck to paycheck, to invest less, and to be ...

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Saturday, October 14, 2020
The Battle Between Freedom and Affluence (13 clicks)
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October 14, 2020 at 10:00 am ET

During two of the years I was in college, I had enough scholarships to provide me with a small living stipend if I lived off-campus in an apartment, so that was a personal challenge that I took on. I lived dirt cheap during those years, pulling out every trick in the book of frugality. I went to pretty much any meeting or club on campus that provided free food. I walked to campus and back, even in blizzards, because it ...

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