The Simple Dollar Time Machine: December 18, 2010

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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 (December 12 – December 18, 2009)
The Perfect Is the Enemy of the Good If you’re trying to be “perfect” when adopting a new habit, you’ll soon find that you can never really be “perfect.” Instead, shoot for being “good.”

Investing without Goals Is Like Golfing without a Putter… Goals help you figure out what the right kind of investment is. Without goals, it’s like shooting in the dark.

How I Wrap Gifts, Christmas and Otherwise I didn’t do this this year because we picked up a lot of wrapping paper at a steep discount late last December.

Two Years Ago (December 12 – December 18, 2008)
Planning Ahead for Next Year’s Garden Our garden is a major part of our food planning for the year. Garden planning plays a big role in that.

Are You Insuring the Irreplaceable? Look around your house and ask yourself what items would actually be replaced if your home burnt down. Now, are you insuring those things (at an extra cost to you)?

The Two-Career Assumption Do you and your spouse both have to have a career? For different families, different arrangements work better.

Three Years Ago (December 12 – December 18, 2007)
A Talk With My Niece My niece is now a wonderful eighteen year old woman, a college student who seems to have a better grasp of her life than almost any younger person I know.

The Real Value of Stay At Home Parenting Not everything in life is measured purely with dollars and cents.

Maximizing That Hourly Rate: Figuring Out How to Best Utilize My Working Time The more efficiently you work, the more you earn per hour over the long run.

Four Years Ago (December 12 – December 18, 2006)
Shakespeare Has Insights On Everything – Why Not Money? Shakespeare’s plays and sonnets have something of value for every element of life.

The Talk: Tips For Difficult Financial Discussions I find that when I’m about to have a difficult financial discussion, the time I spend thinking about it and planning ahead is very well served.

What Exactly Is A Certified Financial Planner, And Why Should I Care? It’s worth knowing about because it helps you to determine on at least a basic level how competent the person across the table from you really is.

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 130,000 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. 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”.

10. 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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