The Simple Dollar Time Machine – August 29, 2009

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 23-29, 2008)
Everything’s So Easy for Pauline: Thoughts on Luck, Fate, Money, and Life This may be my favorite post I’ve ever written for this site. Luck plays such an enormous role in financial success, and looking down on people who haven’t achieved success because of things out of their control is just poor form.

How to Avoid the Trap of Splurging as a Reward for “Being Good” I fell into this trap more than a time or two. In the end, it undermines the value of “being good” – there’s no point to good behavior if you’re just going to shoot it in the foot.

The Retirement Perspective: Today’s Dollars Are Far More Valuable Than Tomorrow’s Inflation ensures that a dollar will be worth less tomorrow than it is today. This is a huge consideration when it comes to long-term planning, like saving for retirement.

Is a Positive Attitude Enough? This is my response to the plethora of “positive thinking” and “positive attitude” books out there. In a nutshell, no, positive thinking isn’t enough.

Personal Finance 101: Money Market Accounts Versus Normal Savings Accounts What’s the difference between a money market account and a savings account? It turns out that there’s a big difference, and knowing that difference can be quite important.

Two Years Ago (August 23-29, 2007)
Seven Nifty Tactics Credit Card Companies Use To Get Into Your Pocket – And How To See Right Through Them Credit card companies try all kinds of ways to extract a few dollars from your pocket, some obvious and some not so obvious. Here are seven of the most common tactics – and how you can protect yourself from them.

Should A Frugal Person Bother With The Coupon Section In The Sunday Paper? Many people immediately associate being frugal with clipping coupons from the paper. I don’t necessarily believe frugality leads one to coupons, though.

An Interesting Voluntary Simplicity Exercise That Can Really Improve Your Financial Situation This is so simple, yet so effective. Just walk into a room in your house and take an inventory using this lens. You might be surprised as to what you find out.

Ten Things Any College Student Can Do To Prepare For Success In Life College sets the foundation for later life in so many ways – I wish I had seen it then. Here are ten things that college students should consider doing because they put some of the foundations for a successful life in place while you’re cracking the books.

What To Do When Debt Seems Insurmountable Many people find themselves in such terrible debt situations that it seems like there’s no way they’ll ever find their way out. What do you do in this situation? Here are some thoughts on how to handle it.

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. 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.

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!

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4 thoughts on “The Simple Dollar Time Machine – August 29, 2009

  1. ET says:

    I see you write “Inflation ensures that a dollar will be worth less tomorrow than it is today. This is a huge consideration when it comes to long-term planning, like saving for retirement.”

    But what about the possibility of deflation?

  2. Gabriel says:

    Great round up! I love the article about Pauline and her “good luck” – plain, old fashioned work is more like it!

  3. ljam says:

    thanks for all the advice trent. my advice for everyone is to get out of the stock and bond market and put all your money in t-bills and treasuries. we are going to have a deflationary depression soon.

  4. spaces says:

    Looking down on people who haven’t achieved success because of things beyond their control is the worst kind of ignorance.

    I <3 Neko Case. That CD is one of the ones I sold a few months ago. I kept a digital copy, but still, I miss it!

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