The Simple Dollar Time Machine – May 30, 2009

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, as well as the five best posts from two years ago this week. I call it … the Time Machine.

One Year Ago (May 24-30, 2008)
Anticipation Buying – Sometimes we buy things in anticipation of a need, not in response to an actual need. Is this actually a sensible way to buy things?

Personal Finance 101: What Exactly Does It Mean to Own a Stock? – A great discussion on what it actually means to own stock.

The Methods You Use to Deal with Ordinary Life Will Fail You As an Investor – Investing doesn’t work like everyday life. In order to succeed, you need to control the impulses that help you to succeed in normal life.

Do I Need Long Term Disability Insurance? – This turned into a surprisingly useful discussion on whether younger working adults (particularly parents) need it.

Baking Soda: My Favorite Frugal Substance – There are so many useful ways to use baking soda – and it’s so inexpensive!

Two Years Ago (May 24-30, 2007)
Review: The Random Walk Guide to Investing – This may be the most insightful guide into how the stock market works (and why you should just invest in index funds) that I’ve ever read.

The “White Sheep” Syndrome: What To Do If You’re The Only Financially Sound Person In Your Family – A surprising number of people find themselves in this very situation. Everyone around them is drowning in debt and very poor at managing their money – and it causes a lot of problems.

Defining The Middle Class Through Statistics: Upward And Downward Mobility – The New York Times reveals some statistics on people who are upwardly mobile – and people who are downwardly mobile. I pull three usable conclusions out of the data.

Six Points of Advice If You’re considering Loaning Money to a Friend – Loaning money to friends is usually a bad idea. Here are six things to think about if you’re even considering it.

My Kitchen Bookshelf – These are the books I use for cooking advice and recipes in my own kitchen. I wrote this before I discovered How to Cook Everything, which is the best one-stop cookbook I’ve yet found.

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

Eight 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 eight 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. 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.

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. 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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  1. Trent,

    The article that really caught my eye was “The methods you use in ordinary life fail you in investing”

    It’s one of the best posts I’ve read anywhere.

    What confuses me is…..why?

    What I take away is that these are probably the biggest reasons why people fail. We are used to certain things working in our “regular” life and naturally, we apply those lessons in investing too.

    Unfortunately, the results are dismal as you’ve pointed out.

    You should write a book on this….I’ll buy it!

  2. Karen M says:

    In the comments section of your cookbook post, you have some harsh words for How To Cook Everything, yet in this article you praise it. What made you change your mind? Is it worth buying, or is it not up to snuff?

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