The Simple Dollar Time Machine: May 15, 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 (May 9 – May 15, 2009)
Seven Steps Towards Minimizing Your Junk Mail and Unwanted Calls These are nothing but a time-consuming (and on occasion, money consuming) nuisance. You’re just better off putting in a few minutes to get rid of this stuff now.

Some Thoughts on the Tightwad Gazette’s “Flexible Casserole Recipe” The basic idea behind this “casserole” is brilliant – it can help turn almost anything you have laying around the house into a meal, and quite often a tasty (and reasonably healthy) one.

Health and Money: The Power of Independent Steps The more things you can do on your own time to improve your health, the better off you are because you’ll be spending less on health care and improving your own quality of life.

Some Thoughts on Haggling Haggling really only works if you have the right personality. Of course, there are also some social consequences to haggling, too.

The Reliability Bell Curve: What Does “More Reliability” Actually Mean? Having something that’s “more reliable” isn’t a guarantee of a longer lifespan. Instead, it’s merely a very strong likelihood of it. How much is that likelihood worth?

Two Years Ago (May 9 – May 15, 2008)
Holding a Monthly Family Financial Meeting … And How It Can Benefit Your Marriage and Educate Your Children The best thing you can do to keep your finances straight is talk about it with your partner. The best way to teach kids about money is to talk to them frankly about it. Why not do both at the same time?

An Interview With Amy Dacyczyn, The Author of The Tightwad Gazette This is one of the best experiences I’ve ever had as author of The Simple Dollar.

Making Your Own Homemade Oatmeal Packets: A Visual Guide and Cost Analysis The biggest thing I would change now is to replace the oatmeal with steel-cut oatmeal. I’d also perhaps alter some of the ingredients a bit in a few of the flavor samples.

The Sucker Factor: The Cost of Being Unable to Say No – And How to Get Out of It If you can’t say no, then other people are going to walk right over you and step on you on their way up. You’ve got to learn how to control your own destiny.

The Battle Between the Stuff I Want and the Guilt I’m Left With I often feel very guilty when I spend money on stuff I want that I don’t really need. Here’s how I deal with that.

Three Years Ago (May 9 – May 15, 2007)
42 Ways That Going Green Saves A Ton Of Money There’s a lot of overlap between frugality and environmental responsibility.

Remembering The Flood of 1993 And What It Taught Me The Mississippi River Flood of 1993 did a real number on my hometown. We were directly unscathed, but many relatives lost their homes and several came to live with us for quite a while afterwards.

How Personal Productivity and Personal Development Are Connected To Personal Finance I think it’s impossible to separate personal growth from personal finance. Personal growth makes personal finance work.

Teaching Entrepreneurship and Investing: Eight Ideas For Parents Who Want To Instill Good Personal Finance Values One of my biggest goals over the next decade or two is to teach our children strong personal finance and entrepreneurial values.

Setting Up A House Buying Worksheet This worksheet was invaluable to us as we moved through the house-buying process.

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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