The Simple Dollar Time Machine: November 13, 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 (November 7 – November 13, 2009)
Giving Experiences, Not Things, This Holiday Season For most people, the experience of Christmas is the best part, not the stuff that they receive. Keep that in mind this holiday season.

The Five Whys and the Power of Analyzing Your Life I find that the more often you use the “five whys” in your life, the more often you find yourself reaching conclusions, spending money, and doing things that are more in line with what’s really important to you.

Is the Dollar Store Really a Bargain? I’ve come to find that there is no store on Earth that has the cheapest prices on everything. Because of that, I usually end up suggesting that people focus on the store that offers the overall best prices on the specific things they regularly buy.

Two Years Ago (November 7 – November 13, 2008)
Walking Away to be a Stay-At-Home Parent This is an incredibly tough decision, and I think it’s one that every professional who has a child considers, at least a bit.

Taking Dramatic Change One Day at a Time Rather than focusing on the huge impact a major change you choose to make will have on your life, try focusing on just achieving that change one day at a time. What will you do today to achieve that goal?

On Good Debt and Bad Debt I don’t think there is a strict line between good and bad debt. I think all debt is bad, but some types of debt (like your first home’s mortgage) can be justified to an extent.

Three Years Ago (November 7 – November 13, 2007)
Lying to Yourself About Money (and Anything Else) When you fall into the habit of lying to yourself about your life, you reach a point where you can no longer trust yourself and rely on external forces to guide you, forces that you can’t really trust, either. You’re like a boat without sail or anchor, wandering the seas aimlessly.

Parental Enthusiasm and Childhood Branding It is utterly amazing to see how much impact the little actions of a parent can have on a child. If you’re excited about something they can comprehend, they often get excited about it, too.

Six Things I Look For At Yard Sales – And How I Get Them Even Cheaper There are certain things I always look for at yard sales, simply because I know they’ll always be a bargain.

Four Years Ago (November 7 – November 13, 2006)
Money Magazine’s 25 Rules to Grow Rich By – Reevaluated Money Magazine does a great job of promoting basic personal finance, but sometimes they promote specific things that are a bit sketchy, like the mutual fund du jour.

Remembering A Painful Childhood Experience – And Trying To Apply What It Means This still shakes me every time I think about it. It caused me to distrust a lot of things in life.

The Inspiration For The Simple Dollar This is still the inspiration for The Simple Dollar, though it’s grown over the years.

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

Ten Ways to Get More out of The Simple DollarUpdated!
This is kind of a FAQ for new readers and is posted each week along with the Time Machine. Here are ten 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 130,000 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. Become a fan of The Simple Dollar on Facebook. I put up questions and other materials about once every week or two on Facebook (so you won’t be flooded with Simple Dollar updates). Join in the conversation with other Simple Dollar fans and occasionally get some interesting freebies, too.

4. Follow me on Twitter. I post 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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!

9. 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”.

10. 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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