The Simple Dollar Time Machine: July 10, 2010

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 (July 4 – July 10, 2009)
How Low Can You Go? Dal, Chilean Style This is one of my favorite recipe posts I’ve ever done on The Simple Dollar. This is just simply a recipe I enjoyed very, very much.

Can You Actually Earn Reasonable Money from Mechanical Turk? You can if you already have a certain skill set, like the ability to churn out content very quickly. Of course, that skill set can often be used to make better money in other contexts.

Billy Mays, Michael Jackson, Your Heart, and Your Bottom Dollar Take care of yourself. Your life is your most valuable asset.

Seven Ways I Use Evernote to Improve My Finances I use Evernote as a tool in many, many different situations and contexts. It’s most valuable to me as a tool for recording my thoughts and ideas.

The Total Money Makeover: Money Myths – The (Non)Secrets of the Rich The Total Money Makeover is the best book I’ve read strictly on the topic of paying down debt. Ramsey mixes evangelist, cheerleader, and advisor very, very well in this book.

Two Years Ago (July 4 – July 10, 2008)
The Difference Between a Job and a Career A job is something you do just to earn money in the short term. A career is something you build that will earn you money in the short and long term, regardless of the specific job.

Seven Websites That Saved Me Money in the Last Week I still use these websites (and others) to save money all the time. The internet has connected frugal people like nothing else.

A By-The-Numbers Look at Why Saving Is More Important Than Perfect Investment Choices If you save $100 a month, it doesn’t matter how good your investment choices are – upgrading your savings to $125 a month will annihilate any gains you might otherwise make. (That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do both, of course.)

The First Steps Away from Paycheck-to-Paycheck Living Paycheck-to-paycheck living is a dangerous place to be. It means you’re just a few steps away from financial apocalypse if you lose a job or suffer some other serious crisis.

A Look at the Startup Cost – And Why It’s Usually Good to Go Cheap at First I find it’s always the best bet to spend very little up front on a piece of equipment or an article of clothing if at all possible. If it turns out to not work well or not fit your interests or passions, you’ve not invested much. If you’re really into it, you can upgrade the item later on – after all, you don’t have much invested.

Three Years Ago (July 4 – July 10, 2007)
Ten Frugal Tips For A Great Grilling Experience Summer here means grilling – and lots of it. Here are some tactics I use to make it really go well.

The Gray Area Between Want And Need There are few things that are absolutely “needs” in life. Successfully separating them from “wants” is a key to personal finance success.

Treat It As A Bill: How I Made A Commitment To Saving Work For Me Automatic savings is one of the best things ever created. It simply allows you to save money and build up an account balance without really thinking about it at all.

What To Do If You Disagree With The Simple Dollar – Or Any Other Financial Guru Don’t just assume that someone has all the answers. Find out answers on your own. Read more than one source for anything you want to know about.

One Thing You Can Do Today That Will Put You In Better Financial Shape Tomorrow It’s really simple, but we fail to do it all the time.

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.

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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.

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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.

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  1. Pat says:

    I love math…LOVE it. A lot of my friends and family don’t though, and it makes me kind of sad because understanding numbers is so powerful. Like you said, many of them just shut down and don’t even try. I guess that’s why I’m “the numbers guy” in my family. I’m fine with that.

    Great simple math tips, but again I think people who are “afraid” of numbers wouldn’t even get your tricks, just because they tune everything out. What do we do then?

    Cheers, good stuff!

  2. Amy says:

    Regarding the last post you mentioned ‘One simple trick…’, it really works. I have been doing something like that for a while. The thing is that once you know you can do it once, you can then graduate to doing it once or twice a week, and before you know it, it has become a habit.

    For me, most of it had to do with bringing my own lunch to work. For the longest time it seemed such a chore that I just never did it. Then I decided that I would do it for just one day per week. Before a month was out, I realised that unconsciously I had stepped up to bringing it about >50% of the time, and by two months I was bringing it in almost every day. Doing that coincided with my having days where I spend no money at all. Saving about €150 per month from that one habit.

    Thanks for all the great posts. On another note – I loved your review series on GTD, especially your comments on how you apply different parts of it – ‘GTD in practice’.

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