The Simple Dollar Time Machine: April 24, 2010

Many newer readers of The Simple Dollar haven’t been exposed to the hundreds of great articles in the archives of the site, so this is a weekly series that highlights the five best posts from one year ago this week, two years ago this week, and three years ago this week. I call it … the Time Machine.

One Year Ago (April 18 – April 24, 2009)
Is Your Local Warehouse Store Worth Your While? Here’s How to Find Out I’m a big believer in using warehouse stores to trim your household spending if you’re careful. Here are some suggestions for getting started.

Five Frugal Food Tactics from Trent’s Kitchen Meal preparation offers many, many opportunities for spending less money. These are some of the things I do in my own kitchen.

Personal Finance 101: What Is a 529? Both of my children have 529 plans which are slowly accumulating money for their future education. I think they’re a good choice for any parent who wants to begin saving for future educational purposes.

The Mother’s Day Debate – And Eight Sensible Ways to Solve It Mother’s Day is a day that the greeting card companies love to cash in on. I like to look for other ways out of obvious “cash-in” situations.

A Tour of My Messenger Bag My messenger bag is pretty much my portable office. These are the things you’re likely to find in it. Of course, over the last year, it’s been updated a bit.

Two Years Ago (April 18 – April 24, 2008)
From Budgeting to the Net Worth Mentality I’m a firm believer in the “net worth” mentality. Financial success comes not from budgeting, but from focusing on what choices will increase your net worth (though the two can work hand in hand).

The Things Money Can’t Buy The things money can’t buy are the only things really worth having.

The Snowball Effect: How Little Moves Now Can Create Huge Effects Later It’s easy to overlook the little moves, but those little moves often add up to a lot.

The Art of Wearing Things Out I usually prefer to use things until they’re literally falling apart. Like my socks, for example.

Warren Buffett on Reputation A reputation is invaluable. It can precede you and make so many things in life so much easier – or so much harder.

Three Years Ago (April 18 – April 24, 2007)
The Real Reason So Many Personal Finance Gurus Encourage A Written Budget It’s not because a budget itself is such a tool. It’s because budgets are a reality slap.

Finding Your Dream House – And Trying To Convince Yourself You Can’t Quite Afford It We visited our dream home – and then we realized we couldn’t afford it.

Frugal Ways Of Dealing With A Sore Throat And Cold I’ve had a cold for most of a week now, so this post was a good reminder of some of the better tactics.

A Frugal Project For A Warm Saturday Afternoon: Starting Your Own Tomato Plant Tomato plants are almost perfect for any gardening situation, from a big pot on a balcony to almost any garden. They’re pretty easy to grow and produce quite a bit of good eats, too.

All Things In Moderation, Or Why You Shouldn’t Take All Of The Advice At The Simple Dollar There is no absolute correct source of advice. You should always listen to lots of sources before making up your mind.

If you’d like to browse through more of the archives, visit the chronology, where all posts are listed in chronological order.

Nine Ways to Get More out of The Simple Dollar
This is kind of a FAQ for new readers and is posted each week along with the Time Machine. Here are nine great ways for new readers to dig deeper into The Simple Dollar.

1. Subscribe by email or RSS. Visiting The Simple Dollar’s website is great, but for many people, it’s more convenient to receive the articles in another form. It’s easy to join 60,000 other subscribers and get The Simple Dollar’s content by email or in your RSS feeder (if you’re unfamiliar with RSS, check out Google Reader.

2. Comment. Each article on The Simple Dollar has lively discussion. Just click on the green square in the upper right of each article on the website and join in!

3. Read my story of financial meltdown and recovery. The Simple Dollar isn’t based on what I’ve read in books or learned in school. I’ve made a lifetime of financial mistakes – The Simple Dollar is a record of what works for me during the process of getting my life on a better track.

4. Download my free 49 page e-book. Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance On Just One Page is completely free. It summarizes all of the key lessons I’ve learned along the way about personal finance in one tidy package – in fact, all of the main principles can be found right on the cover.

5. Follow me on Twitter – or other social networks. I post tons of interesting articles, quotes, follow-up material, commentary, and other material on Twitter. Follow me! If you’re unfamiliar with Twitter, it’s essentially an open discussion forum for people to share ideas and thoughts with other like-minded folks – you just choose the people you want to listen to and their ideas and thoughts are all delivered to you on a single page.

I also participate on several other social networks. Feel free to check me out on del.icio.us (it’s where I collect links, from which I select the ones that appear in my weekly roundups), wakoopa (what software I use), GoodReads (what books I’m reading), Facebook, and FriendFeed (which aggregates everything). I also have an irregularly-updated personal site, TrentHamm.com.

6. Dig through “31 Days to Fix Your Finances.” 31 Days to Fix Your Finances is an article series that outlines how you can get a grip on your finances over the course of a month.

7. Send me your questions and suggestions. Send me an email and let me know what you’re thinking, what you’d like to see, and any questions you might have. I try to respond to as many emails as possible and I read them all. I may even use your question in a future article!

8. Become a “Friend of The Simple Dollar.” If you find the stuff on The Simple Dollar valuable and are willing to spend five minutes or so a month to help me out with small things, please consider signing up to be a “Friend of The Simple Dollar”.

9. Email a great article you find to a friend. Find an article that you think your friend would love? At the bottom of each article, you’ll find a link that says “Email this” – just click on that, type in your friend’s address, and send it right along to them!

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