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 (August 8 – August 14, 2009)
Freezer and Fridge Hacks: Seven Ways to Maximize the Value of Your Refrigerator and Freezer There are lots of little things you can do to make your refrigerator and freezer run more efficiently. The end result? They kick on less often, reducing the wear-and-tear on the unit and reducing your energy bill, too.
How Much Do Taxes Matter To You? I think that if you’re letting taxes drive every financial decision you make, you’re probably making some questionable financial decisions.
Buying Experiences in Your Twenties I believe the best thing that a person can spend money on early in life is experiences, not things.
The Source of Frugal Misery I think it comes down to people cutting back on things that are genuinely important to them. Frugality really works when you find creative ways to eliminate costs on things that aren’t important to you.
The Danger of Selling to Your Friends and Family Selling to your friends and family can damage relationships and cause hard feelings. There’s no amount of pocket money that can make that better.
Two Years Ago (August 8 – August 14, 2008)
A Frugal Guide to the Iowa State Fair (or Any Similar County or State Fair) The Iowa State Fair has already started and, as in previous years, my wife and children and I will be attending it at some point. I’d guess it’d be some weekday in the coming week, and we’ll probably be at the Iowa Public Television booth at some point (a place we always hit).
Learning About Money “The Hard Way” I learned about it the “hard way.” I think it was necessary because I had little grasp on how to properly spend money when I was young.
The Big Debate #4: Pay Off Debt or Save for Retirement? There is no ready-made answer for this. I tend to encourage people to save for retirement, because debt is often merely a sign of personal finance out of control.
The Big Debate #2: Leasing, Buying New, or Buying Used? I generally find that leasing cars ends up being a net loss unless you absolutely must be driving a new car at all times.
The Big Debate #1: 401(k) or Roth IRA? It really comes down to how much income you’re bringing in. To put it simply, get a Roth if you’re eligible and you’re not getting any employee matching.
Three Years Ago (August 8 – August 14, 2007)
A Few Notes About Private Mortgage Insurance And Other Debts If you’re paying PMI, treat it as more interest on your mortgage and recognize that when you get it paid off, your interest rate will effectively drop.
Six Habits I’ve Given Up In Order To Save Money – And How Much It’s Saved Me This Year For me, my routines are constantly worth reflection and re-evaluation for the purposes of improving them and optimizing them.
Six Ways Planning Ahead Saved Money This Weekend Unexpected spending can be fun, but a little bit of planning can make a huge difference when it comes to your wallet dent.
Entrepreneurship In Your Spare Time: The Rocks And Sand Philosophy I look at much of my life now with the “rocks and sand” philosophy. The more “sand” I have and the fewer “rocks” I have, the happier I am (even if I have a lot of sand).
How To Balance Your Checkbook In The Era Of The Debit Card I mostly use my bank’s online banking services to manage this.
If you’d like to browse through more of the archives, visit the chronology, where all posts are listed in chronological order.
Ten Ways to Get More out of The Simple DollarUpdated!
This is kind of a FAQ for new readers and is posted each week along with the Time Machine. Here are ten 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. Become a fan of The Simple Dollar on Facebook. I put up questions and other materials about once every week or two on Facebook (so you won’t be flooded with Simple Dollar updates). Join in the conversation with other Simple Dollar fans and occasionally get some interesting freebies, too.
4. Follow me on Twitter. I post 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.
5. 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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!
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!