The Simple Dollar Time Machine: February 13, 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 (January 31 – February 6, 2009)
Accused of Being a Cheapskate I think there’s a huge gap between “cheapskate” and “frugal.” That doesn’t stop some people from crossing their eyes in order to look down their noses at you.

Riding the Line of Overcautiousness One can easily be overcautious with their financial and personal choices. Although some caution is good, too much caution can prevent you from reaching toward your dreams.

Twelve Ways to Use the “Thirty Day Challenge” for Great Personal Finance Benefit I often use “thirty day challenges” to try out new habits and behaviors in my own life.

Making a Monthly Personal Balance Sheet I find using this to keep track of my long-term personal finance progress is incredibly personally inspiring for me.

One Step Isn’t a Journey A long journey is made up of lots of big steps – and lots of little steps, too. Only taken together do these steps take you to where you want to go.

Two Years Ago (January 31 – February 6, 2008)
Six Persistent Money Myths That Seem To Stick Around I hear variations on these six myths almost constantly. They’re all false, but they’re often paraded around as being absolutely true.

Misery is not Miserly: Breaking the Connection Between Spending and Sadness We are trained over and over again to believe that spending money will bring us happiness. It rarely brings anything that lasts.

The Fine Art of Abandoning Goals Sometimes, goals aren’t meant to be completed. Our lives and our priorities change. How can we figure out whether it’s right to step back from a goal?

What You Spend, What You Eat: The Deep Connection Between Food and Personal Finance Food is a major part of our budget and our choices in what we eat often spread to other areas of spending as well (medical care, hygiene, etc.).

Nine Simple Ways to Stand Out in Your Career These work in almost any career you’re undertaking. If you want promotions and raises, these ideas work.

Three Years Ago (January 31 – February 6, 2007)
The Three Rs Meet Your Stomach And Your Wallet: How To Save Significant Cash And Waste Less On Simple Homemade Meals Reduce, reuse, recycle. They work for your meals.

10 Lessons The Simple Dollar (And Its Readers) Has Taught Me This really sums up the lessons I learned during the first several months of The Simple Dollar. I am constantly learning from the readers and from the research I do to answer the readers’ questions.

Buying Things Lets Me Forget Who I Am For A While It’s incredibly painful for me to hear a person whose personal worth is hung on the material things they own. That’s just a ticket for a lifetime of financial problems.

$1 Kitchen Secrets: Ten Herbs And Spices That Will Make Simple Foods Pop I keep these ten things on hand at all times in my kitchen. They make an enormous difference in turning a bland meal into a wonderful one.

8 Ways To Replace Common Consumer Products On The Cheap I love the creativity of some of these solutions. You really can get by with very little in this day and age.

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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