The Simple Dollar Time Machine: July 31, 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 25 – July 31, 2009)
Does Earning More Trump Frugality? To me, it’s kind of like asking if you still need a hammer after you buy a chainsaw. They’re both useful tools for getting the job done that can be used in concert for some amazing things.

Makers and Managers: What You Are, and How It Can Help Your Career I am 100% a maker. I do not like being a manager – at all. This fact actually explains a lot about my career path and the directions it has taken over the years.

John’s “Campground” – Some Thoughts on Investing with Added Personal Value John is investing his money in land – and, eventually, into the structures he’ll build on that land. He enjoys the process deeply and will someday have a great deal of financial value there.

Passion by the Hour In my eyes, the things you’re passionate about are the things that you can dump tons of time into while still deeply enjoying yourself. If you can channel that into earning income in some way, you’re far ahead of the career game.

Rule #7: Watch Your Progress – But Make It Fun. While keeping track of your progress towards big goals can be really empowering, it can also feel like drudgery. The best way is to keep your end goal in mind and recognize that you really are taking steps that will get you to where you want to be.

Two Years Ago (July 25 – July 31, 2008)
Some Thoughts on Being Broke and Being Poor I don’t address poverty on The Simple Dollar. I do address the state of being broke, which is more of a state of resource mismanagement than a lack of resources. The vast majority of people in the United States are broke, not poor. They have the resources needed to make it, they’re just dealing with the results of mismangement of resources in their past.

Overcoming a Habit of Lying to Yourself About Money Deceiving yourself is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Almost every time you see someone under a mountain of debt, some sort of self-deception is at the root.

Class Warfare and The Simple Dollar So often, people want to view personal finance advice as some sort of rich versus poor battle. In truth, both sides of the coin want the same things: more time and more security.

How to Deal with a Partner That Hides Money Problems Sunshine is the first step in the process – all of the issues have to be out on the table so that you have a starting point from which to build.

The Single Biggest Money Mistake I’ve Ever Made I think the real root of it all is that I listened to other people instead of to my own heart.

Three Years Ago (July 25 – July 31, 2007)
Which Is Best: Paying Off Debts Now – Or Avoiding Future Ones? Reasonable protection against future debts – i.e., an emergency fund – is an essential first step, but at some point you round the corner and start paying off the debts you have now.

Applying Jerry Seinfeld’s “Chain” Concept To Personal Finance The “chain” idea is still one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard. I’m using it right now with my piano lessons.

10 More Ways To Entertain Young Children For $1 Or Less (Without The TV) The best way to entertain your children in a valuable way is to just spend time with them. It really doesn’t matter what you’re doing.

Personal Finance In A Family Crisis For me, family crises are what emergency funds are made for. Sometimes, things happen – you have to fly to another part of the country to be with someone, fifteen sad people are sitting in a kitchen and someone has to come up with lunch, and so on.

Is It Worth Higher Prices For A Quality Shopping Experience? For me, once you reach a minimum level of quality – the store is clean and you can actually find what you’re looking for – then additional quality doesn’t really add anything beyond a higher price at the register.

If you’d like to browse through more of the archives, visit the chronology, where all posts are listed in chronological order.

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  1. Mary W says:

    Trent – I’d love to see an update on John’s campground.

  2. Deb J says:

    While all of the Time Machine posts are good I especially liked the one about John’s Campground. Like Mary I’d love to see an update. While I will not buy land due to disabilites, I do have a dream that I hope to someday be able to buy an RV and do some traveling. I like the way he is living the fun right now.

  3. Thomas says:

    Trent- I’d also like an update on John’s land, it seems he is getting to live out what the rest of us sit around daydreaming about. I’d say I have just enough jealousy to keep me motivated right now.

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