The Simple Dollar Time Machine: June 19, 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 13 – June 19, 2009)
A Deal-Collecting Email Address I sign up for all of my shopping programs at various stores with a separate email address, and I give it permission to get all sorts of ads. Then, when I’m about to shop, I log into that email account and do some searching to see whether or not there are any discounts just waiting to be plucked.

The Time Cost of Investing: Does Obliviousness Pay Off? If you spend twenty hours a week to eke out another 1% of your investment, there are probably better ways to spend your time unless you have millions of dollars invested. That’s why index funds make a ton of sense.

Frugal Vacation Notes: Great Free Things to Do in the Dallas/Fort Worth Area I’m hoping to do a “free” travelogue like this for the Chicago area later this summer, but it largely depends on cooperation from the kids.

September 23, 2005 This is the day when I first started to get an inkling that I was in a bad place with my money and my career. It wasn’t the key moment that started the turnaround, but it was the day I started to grow up.

The Truth About Grocery Store Flyers They don’t always reveal bargains. Instead, you have to have some degree of sense about what an item actually costs in order to be able to really use flyers.

Two Years Ago (June 13 – June 19, 2008)
How We Organize Our Coupons and Execute Our Coupon Strategy This really is the easiest way to use coupons. Over time, we’ve clipped fewer and fewer coupons as we’ve come to find that bulk buying at warehouse stores usually beats coupons.

The Guardianship Question We found a solution to this question that works for us, but it didn’t come about without a lot of soul searching and thinking.

How To Write an Effective Thank You Note for Any Occasion A handwritten thank you note is always a very nice touch that goes a long way towards cementing a relationship. Such notes are almost always well worth the effort put into them.

Seven Ideas for Preparing Food at Home Cheaply with Minimal Space and Resources You don’t need a perfect kitchen to make great food. Heck, all you really need is a hot plate and a pan sitting on a table somewhere.

Are the Things You Buy Investments? It’s worth thinking of the things we buy through the lens of an investment. Is it increasing in value or decreasing? Are we getting more value out of it than we put in?

Three Years Ago (June 13 – June 19, 2007)
How To Get Off The Treadmill: A Detailed Guide To Becoming Self-Employed This is more or less the path I used myself on the way to self-employment. If you approach it with seriousness, passion, and desire, you can do it, too.

I’ve Loaned My Friend Money And Now It’s Eating Me Up Inside The best solution to this problem is to simply avoid loaning money to your friends. Friendships aren’t worth dying over thanks to lending money.

Financial Planning For A Life Of Volunteerism And Social Work Several people in my life who are very important to me have chosen a life oriented towards social work. Financially, it can be a very challenging path.

Prepaying On Your Home Loan Is Just A Conservative Investment An early payment on your home loan is the same as investing that much money at a rate of return equal to the interest rate on your mortgage. Most of the time, that’s a pretty good deal.

The Bulk Buying Debate Is it really worthwhile to buy stuff in bulk? It is – if you’re careful and thoughtful about it.

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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One thought on “The Simple Dollar Time Machine: June 19, 2010

  1. “An early payment on your home loan is the same as investing that much money at a rate of return equal to the interest rate on your mortgage.”

    Not quite. If I invest money in the market, in a savings account, or some other financial vehicle, and then six months from now I need that money back, I can sell shares/cash in bonds/withdraw my investment and have most/all the money in three days or less. If I invest in my house, I have to put my house on the market, wait for it to sell, and pay realtor commissions and possibly taxes in order to get my investment back. And then I have to find a new place to live.

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