The Simple Dollar Time Machine: December 26, 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, two years ago this week, and three years ago this week. I call it … the Time Machine.

One Year Ago (December 20-26, 2008)
Nine Creative Ways to Utilize Leftovers from Common Meals Turning leftovers into a great new meal is a great way to save quite a bit of money on your food bill. Here are nine ways to do just that.

On Giving Up the Dream This article goes out to all of you who are thinking about giving up on their dreams. Don’t do it – always find ways to let the sunshine in.

Some Thoughts on Anniversaries and Their Requisite Gifts The best thing you can always do in such situations is simply to know your spouse. What do they want? What do they value?

The Limits of Frugality: What’s Next When You Can’t Cut Any More? At some point, you have to look at adding income. Here are some ways to move in that direction.

New Year’s Resolution Workshop #1: Get Started with Retirement I really enjoyed the “New Year’s Resolution Workshop” series last year – in fact, I would have done five more if I had five strong ideas. Here’s the first entry in it from last year.

Two Years Ago (December 20-26, 2007)
Heroes, Role Models, and Mentors: Finding People to Believe In Every single one of us is helped by having someone to talk to and to guide us through difficult patches in life. Here are some ways to find those people.

The Day After: Six Ways to Deal With the Post-Christmas Money Blues – And Plan Ahead for Next Year A friend of mine once said that December 26 is the saddest day of the year because the fun is over and the bills start arriving. Here are some ways to avoid that sadness.

Eight Frugal Ways to Prepare for Winter Driving If you have to drive in an icy or snowy climate, doing these things will save you money and energy – and might even save your life.

Review: The Wisdom of Crowds This was a very fascinating book in a lot of ways. As humans, we often tend to do what others do and, over the long scope, there’s often good reasons for that.

Is An All-Cash Lifestyle Useful For Kicking The Debt Habit? It can be, but it has to be approached with the right mindset. If you’re not committed to changing your ways, nothing will really work.

Three Years Ago (December 20-26, 2006)
When Is Frugal Living Taken Too Far? When “frugality” disrupts your ability to actually live a healthy, normal life, there’s a problem. That kind of “frugality” crosses out of frugality, across cheapness, and into serious social problems.

Extra Mortgage Payments Versus Investments: Which Is The Right Move? The advantage of extra mortgage payments (my preferred choice) is that they’re stable. You’re going to get a nice steady return on your invested money.

Yahoo! Finance Disappoints: Powerball Jackpot Climbs To $75 Million? Yahoo! Finance featured an article about a lottery jackpot. I call them to task for this, as lotteries are a sure way to lose money.

I Think I Figured Out Why People Love Dave Ramsey He takes the speaking techniques of a televangelist (“You’ve been saved!”) and applies them to the secular realm of personal finance. And it works.

Christmas Morning Reflections Some thoughts I had on the first Christmas morning in which my son was aware that he was receiving gifts.

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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