The Simple Dollar Time Machine: July 3, 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 (June 27 – July 3, 2009)
Personal Finance 101: Why Do I Need Credit At All? Credit isn’t itself a bad thing – in fact, it has benefits besides getting yourself into debt. Mishandling of credit, though, can be a very, very bad thing.

The Best Money Advice, in Ten Words or Less I asked my 5,000 (at the time) Twitter followers to give me their best advice in ten words or less. This was the cream of the crop.

The Cheap Garbage Bag Dilemma I don’t buy cheap garbage bags. Garbage bags are something that I just don’t skimp on. Here’s why.

Blending Work and Family: How We Do It Given that I work from home and Sarah’s been off of work quite often with maternity leave and summer breaks, the lines between personal and professional are really blurred in our lives. Here’s how we deal with that blurring.

Ten Great Ways to Make Powerful Visual Reminders of Your Personal Finance (and Other) Goals Many of our most challenging goals (like changing our spending or eating habits) require constant, powerful reminders to succeed. Here’s how to make those reminders so that you don’t fall off of the wagon over and over again.

Two Years Ago (June 27 – July 3, 2008)
No Time for Frugality: Cutting Financial Corners with No Time Investment There are many frugal tactics you can execute without investing even a bit of time. Here are a handful of them.

A Clever Trick for Automatically Finding Deals You Want at Amazon I use this trick for Christmas shopping and also for keeping my eye out for very specific items that I’d be willing to pick up at a very low price.

The Minimalist Kitchen: What You Need (and Don’t Need) to Set Up Your First Workable Home Kitchen You really don’t need thousands of dollars worth of stuff to have a killer kitchen. You don’t need much at all, in fact.

Is Time the Difference Between Big Spenders, Frugal Folks, and Cheapskates? I think it’s at least part of the difference. I think how people use their time is also really important.

The Net Worth Mentality: The Road Less Traveled If you want a powerful way to track your personal finance progress, net worth is probably the single best number you can use. I use net worth myself, but I don’t use non-liquid assets in counting that number (no cars, no home).

Three Years Ago (June 27 – July 3, 2007)
SmartMoney Magazine’s “7 Money Mistakes” – And The Simple Dollar’s “7 More Money Mistakes” Trust me, there are way more than fourteen money mistakes out there.

Guilty Money: How Much Do You Have To Spend Frivolously Before You Feel Guilty About It? I really don’t have to spend much at all. I don’t like to spend money frivolously. If I know I’m going to go someplace to spend money freely, I put $X in cash in my pocket and keep my spending in that range. For most purchases, I study them to death before making a move (in contrast to how I used to spend freely).

Musings On Spending $3 On A Candy Bar It’s amazing how something so small can really connect with something so big.

How I Made Brown Bag Lunches Work For Me Now that I work from home, I eat leftovers for most of my lunches. When I don’t eat leftovers, I usually make a sandwich out of whatever’s on hand.

Overspending on Children and How to Fight It My biggest weakness – and my son is learning how to exploit it – is when my children behave really well and do everything I ask, then calmly and quietly ask for a toy or something at the store. Even more painful, if I say “no,” they’re starting to learn to just go “okay” and continue being good and mild-mannered.

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 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. 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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