Welcome to The Simple Nickle!

Clueless about your money? Do you want financial security, but don't know where to start?

The Simple Nickle is a free web-based program to help you easily understand and control your finances in less than 15 minutes a day! We'll guide you step-by-step; it's as easy as checking your email! We'll also give you easy-to-understand financial education starting with the most basic aspects.

Cheap Eats: Recipes for Around $1 Per Serving

This post was featured at A Pot of Gold.

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches

A quickly prepped, easy, and tasty recipe. It's also great for a crowd. If you get any of the ingredients on sale or make them yourself, the recipe is even more inexpensive.

Prep time: 5 min.
Cook time: 6-8 hours
Ready in: 6-8 hours

Servings: 6
Price per serving: $1.16


1 (2 pound) pork roast
1 onion, sliced or chopped
1 18 oz. bottle of barbecue sauce
8 hamburger buns


Place pork roast (frozen or thawed) and onion in crockpot. Pour bottle of barbecue sauce over roast. Cover and cook on low setting for 6-8 hours. Shred roast and mix well. Arrange hamburger buns inside up under broiler and broil until toasted. Spoon pork onto toasted hamburger buns and serve warm.

Check back for more inexpensive recipes for around $1 per serving!

What is APR?

This post was featured at DebtFree-Revolution.

APR...that ubiquitous number you see all over your junk mail and credit card statements. Although it's often in the fine print, it has big meaning for your money.

APR, or Annual Percentage Rate, is the amount of interest, plus fees, that you are charged for borrowing money. The APR is a way to compare what it would cost you to borrow money from different lenders. It is often different than just the interest rate, and represents the true cost of borrowing that money.

This is where the APR gets really important. The APR is a reminder that spending money you don't have doesn't come cheap. For example, if you charge $1000 on your credit card this month, and don't repay that money within the grace period, you will be charged interest and fees. Let's suppose those interest and fees total an APR of 20%.

If you choose to only pay the minimum monthly payment, usually 4% of your bill, you are going to continue getting charged interest and fees on that borrowed money. If you continue to pay only the minimum payment each month, it will take you over 7 years to repay that $1000! In addition to taking so long to be free of that debt, you will have paid over $500 dollars in interest...more than half of what you borrowed in the first place!

Your APR suddenly seems very imporant, doesn't it?

Cheer up...there is one way to be able to ignore your APR altogether: pay your credit card balance in full each month. If you haven't borrowed any money at the end of the grace period, you can't be charged any interest. Brilliant! Your APR could be 237%, but you wouldn't be charged a dime as long as you paid your credit card off every month.

And a few more important points about APR:

  • Many credit cards offer low 'introductory' APRs. Be wary and read the fine print; the low rate will often jump to a high rate after a certain amount of time...sometimes as little as one month.

  • There may be different APRs for late payments, cash advances, or for charging lower or higher amounts on your card (tiered APRs). Check the fine print for information on these as well.

  • A good credit score will allow you to get a better APR, and a low credit score may stick you with sky-high rates.

  • Sometimes your APR can change. If your APR is fixed, you will receive notice before this happens, but a variable rate can change without warning.

If you owe money on your credit card, use this calculator to figure out how much it's costing you and how long you'll owe that debt. Knowledge is power, and knowing about APR will save you time and money.

5 Smart Financial Moves for Teens

This post was featured at anja merret, Confessions of a Novice, and The Skilled Investor.

It hasn't been long since I was a teen. Now that I'm an 'adult,' there are many things I wish I had known and done during my high school years, particularly when it comes to money. Not only would starting then have given me precious time to sock away and grow the money I had, it would have given me invaluable practice for when I had more serious cash and obligations to deal with. Smart teens will take advantage of this time and make these smart money moves:

1. Learn the value of a dollar. This does not mean knowing that a dollar is worth 100 pennies. It means knowing what a dollar will buy, what it takes to earn money, and how to get the most from the money you earn and keep. This is the most essential step in becoming financially successful. Teens with no concept of the power of money are unable to make good decisions about what to do with it. A great way for teens to learn this is by getting a job and/or having to pay for things on their own. This will quickly teach them about the 'real world' of money.

2. Learn to save. This goes hand in hand with learning the value of money. Regularly saving money is a vital part of finances that seems to be going out of style here in America. Teens today must learn to save if they are to ever be financially stable. Whether a teen has a job or gets an allowance, they should be encouraged to save a set amount of all their income. When the time comes to make a purchase larger than a $15 DVD, she will be proud that she was able to buy it on her own.

3. Get a savings and checking account. This is the place to hold those regular savings. The purpose isn't so much to protect or grow assets, as it is to teach teens about how money moves around in the world, and how to keep track of it. It can also be the first lesson in investment as they learn that money can make more money, but not if it's sitting in a can on your dresser.

4. Get a credit card and learn how it works. Credit cards are a way of life these days. No teen should be deprived of the opportunity to use one while still under the watchful eye of an adult. Many naive college freshmen have racked up serious debt because they used their first credit card without a clue.

Teens would be wise to get a card with a low limit, make affordable purchases, and always pay off the balance due each month. This will help them to understand that credit cards are for building credit and protection of transactions, not for purchasing things you don't have enough money to buy. They will also quickly learn the consequences of late payments, as well as high interest rates, should they choose to only pay the minimum payment.

5. Get a Roth IRA and learn the basics of investing. Although teens may give you a glossed-over look when you say 'retirement,' learning to plan for their financial future while they are young is a very smart thing to do. They have the most important financial ally on their side: time. Learning about risk, the power of compounding, the plethora of investment options available and more will start teens down the right financial path early.

Consider opening a Roth IRA for a teen with a job. This will give them the chance to practice what they have learned about investing, and their little nest egg will grow tax-free over the next decade. Parents can give their kids an even greater advantage by funding part of their teen's Roth IRA, as well: match the amount the teen earned, or up to $5000, whichever is less.

Teens can really make some smart financial moves when given the guidance and opportunity to do so. Even if they roll their eyes about 'financial responsibility,' they will surely show some excitement at watching their money grow.