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, as well as the five best posts from two years ago this week. I call it … the Time Machine.
One Year Ago (August 9-15, 2008)
A Frugal Guide to the Iowa State Fair (or Any Similar County or State Fair) County and state fairs can be a great (and surprisingly inexpensive) way to spend a day out and about with your family. Here’s how I did it in 2008 with my clan.
Personal Finance and the Bucket List What’s on your “bucket list”? And why aren’t you marking off those things, one tick at a time?
Review: Young Bucks This is an excellent book for parents who want to encourage their children to be entrepreneurs (something I want to do very much).
The Big Debate #2: Leasing, Buying New, or Buying Used? My only real conclusion is that leasing is the worst option because you don’t wind up with a car in the end.
How I Deal With My Financial Fears In a nutshell, I spend some time figuring out what the real fear is, then I tackle those fears head on.
Two Years Ago (August 9-15, 2007)
Fixed Rate Mortgages: Are 15 Year Mortgages Really Cheaper Than 30 Year Mortgages? If you put inflation into the equation, it’s closer than you might think.
Entrepreneurship In Your Spare Time: The Rocks And Sand Philosophy What are your rocks? What is your sand? Figuring out the two can make a huge difference in your life.
Is Not Spending Money Bad for the Economy? In a nutshell, no, it’s not. The only thing that’s bad for the economy is burying your money in the back yard (and even that’s potentially debatable).
Visiting Williams-Sonoma: How To Avoid Overspending On Something That Stirs Your Passions I am often tempted to spend a lot at Williams-Sonoma. Here’s how I get around that huge personal temptation without just erasing all visits there from my life.
Six Ways Planning Ahead Saved Money This Weekend A bit of planning can make an enormous difference in your spending. Here are six examples of how we actually did that one weekend.
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!