The Simple Dollar Time Machine: September 25, 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 (September 19 – September 25, 2009)
Business Card Doodles I had so much fun making this post because it was so far outside of what I normally do. Truly, though, I usually start my presentations on the back of business cards because I don’t think a slide should contain more info than you can fit on the back of a card.

Is Overmaintenance Costing You? Yes, most people run into trouble by undermaintaining their things, but the flip side can be costly, too. I’ve become an adamant follower of the manufacturer’s recommendations.

What Is a “Good Job”? I think there is no standard “good job.” The elements that define a “good job” vary greatly from individual to individual.

“Eighteen and Out” – Good Parenting or Bad Parenting? My parents more or less espoused this with me. I never lived under their roof again after I was eighteen years old, and I think it was very good for me.

Seven Things I’ve Learned from Doing It Myself More than anything else, though, doing things myself gives me the self-confidence to try doing more things myself. It builds on itself and gives you the self-motivation to gain a lot of useful little skills.

Two Years Ago (September 19 – September 25, 2008)
Overcoming a Routine of Bounced Check Fees, Overdraft Fees, and Payday Loans This is a rough routine to fall into, but people fall into it all the time. Here’s some advice on getting out.

The Twelve Biggest Personal Finance Mistakes People Make Over and Over Again They happen over and over again because they become so ingrained in people’s personal routines. That makes the ability to escape them very difficult and causes people to just repeat the same mistakes over and over.

Managing the Natural Ups and Downs of Your Workweek My peak writing days are Tuesday and Wednesday, like clockwork. I’ve learned that over time, so I often plan my week with that idea in mind.

How to Safely Build Your Credit History A good credit history can be very useful even if you never take out a dime of debt. Here’s how to build it if you have no credit at all.

The Psychological and Emotional Attachment to What We Have and What We Want It’s easy to get attached to the things that are ours, but there is great value in getting that attachment under control.

Three Years Ago (September 19 – September 25, 2007)
Making A Major Life Change: Is It Time For Kathy To Abandon The City? This post sponsored a lot of discussion. I often think people know what they want to do in their heart, but they allow others to convince them otherwise.

Why Does Everyone Preach About Index Funds? What They Are And Why They’re Good – From The Very Beginning Want to know what an index fund is? This is the place to start, from the very beginning.

Is The Value Menu Really A Value? Comparing The Homemade Double Cheeseburger To The McDonald’s $1 Version This story is still true – except that now the double cheesburger costs $1.29, moving the marker ever closer to the homemade version.

When A Frugal Life And Social Gift-Giving Come Into Conflict Like many of you, I feel very uncomfortable when I’m socially “required” to give a gift to someone. It feels cheap.

The Simple Dollar Guide To Eating Out For us, the real cost in eating out isn’t in the meal out, it’s in doing it in an overly spontaneous fashion. You pay for pure spontaneity – hard.

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 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. 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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