The Simple Dollar Time Machine: May 29, 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 23 – May 29, 2009)
The Paradox of Thrift: Is Saving Money Bad for the Economy? Saving money, in the end, means you’re loaning it to other people, using a bank as a middleman. The money still flows through the economy.

Grocery Shopping 101: Quantity Surcharges and 10 Products to Watch Out For Sometimes, bulk purchases aren’t a bargain. You really need to be able to figure out the cost per unit to get the maximum bang for the buck at the store.

Six Great Healthy, Inexpensive, and Quick Summer Meals I love doing these type of meal writeups. Part of it, of course, is that I enjoy cooking, but I also like inspiring others to actually go into the kitchen and make a meal for themselves.

Preparing Your Information for Disaster The more prepared you are for a disaster (with really easy steps), the easier your transition through a disaster will be.

The Barter Economy: 14 Great Places to Trade Stuff Online I really like swap meets, whether online or in real life. The idea that I’m giving something of mine to someone who will actually use it and they’re giving me something I’ll actually use in exchange is just empowering.

Two Years Ago (May 23 – May 29, 2008)
The Big Sell-Off At the start of my financial turnaround, I sold off a lot of accumulated stuff. Here’s how I did it, including my choices on how and where to sell many of the items.

Baking Soda: My Favorite Frugal Substance I can go through baking soda like James Bond goes through martinis. There are just so many uses for the stuff.

Personal Finance 101: What Exactly Does It Mean to Own a Stock? A share of stock means you own a tiny sliver of a company. That may mean that you collect profits from the company or that you own some portion of the company’s assets if it fails and liquidates.

Do I Need Long Term Disability Insurance? Here’s a definitive answer: maybe.

On Saving to Splurge There’s nothing at all wrong with an occasional splurge. You just need to account for it a bit in advance so that when the opportunity comes, you can do it worry-free without dropping a bomb on your budget.

Three Years Ago (May 23 – May 29, 2007)
The “White Sheep” Syndrome: What To Do If You’re The Only Financially Sound Person In Your Family My best advice is to not be Superman. No matter how much you want to help, handing money to someone who is financially irresponsible hurts you and doesn’t help them.

20 Essential Tools For Getting Started With A Home, Garage, and Garden Consider this a “getting started” list, particularly for homewarming gifts.

Six Points of Advice If You’re considering Loaning Money to a Friend I’ll make it as simple as possible for you. Don’t.

Cheap Food, Expensive Consequences: How To Keep Your Family Healthy And Safe Without Spending A Mint My approach is to simply stick with raw ingredients. Yes, it adds time to your cooking, but it guarantees healthy and delicious meals.

Managing Regular Financial, Personal, and Social Tasks I’ve come to use Google Calendar for this. It really makes scheduling regular events incredibly easy.

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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