Today is the two year anniversary of the launch of The Simple Dollar. Last year, to celebrate the site’s one year anniversary, I selected my twenty five favorite articles of the first year of the site. I thought I’d continue that tradition by selecting my twenty five favorite articles from the second year of the site. These aren’t necessarily the best articles of the last year (though many of them are), merely the ones I enjoyed writing the most and also generated interesting discussion. Enjoy!
This is a handy visual guide to making homemade bread – I focused on making it seem as easy as possible. I tend to really enjoy these “photo diary” kind of posts because they let me step outside the box a little bit and do something different.
Early on with The Simple Dollar, I made a concerted effort to read and review a personal finance each week for a year. Here’s the top ten of all of those books (along with a ranked list of the other 42 books I read).
These are the tactics I use to keep up with my reading. I rarely have any problem getting and reading any book I want when I use these tactics in concert with one another.
I did this visual guide because, for a time, I was not only managing The Simple Dollar, but also working a full-time job and focusing on being a good parent to two young children and a good husband to my wonderful wife. That took some juggling, indeed.
5. Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance on the Back of Five Business Cards
This is perhaps the slickest and most concise summary of sound, basic personal finance that I’ve assembled. In fact, it’s the backbone of the speech I give at speaking engagements – really, not much matters beyond those five business cards.
It’s often surprising, when you step back and look at it, how much influence we allow the people around us to have in the choices of our day to day lives. Do many of those choices lead us to failure?
My hero is Warren Buffett. He lives frugally, invests better than anyone, and has given most of his wealth to worthy causes.
I really liked the discussion generated here, mostly due to my comment that I consider it okay to take notes from books.
9. Wallet Hacking: Six Tactics for Modifying Your Wallet to Minimize Your Spending and Maximize Your Time
I liked this one because it took a different look at something most of us think of as utterly commonplace.
This was something that took me a long time to overcome. I used to have a very strong tendency to want to always pick up the tab. It took some serious self-evaluation to realize it was only hurting me.
There are certain lines I won’t cross when it comes to saving money. Dumpster diving for food for my kids? That’s well across that line.
This is another fun “picture diary” post. Interestingly, I need to make another batch of this stuff very soon, as my current batch just ran out.
If you’re attempting to palm yourself off as a “personal finance guru,” I’m not sure that this is really a good way to do that.
My telephone conversation with Amy was one of the best experiences I’ve had since starting The Simple Dollar. It was truly fun.
I need to update this one a bit – I now have a few more books on my shelves that I’ve kept since writing this one. Most notably: I finally came across a free copy of Never Eat Alone.
Food preparation need not be expensive, and this pretty much sums up how to do it on the cheap. You can do most of this stuff in a dorm room.
Similar to the wallet post, I love looking at alternative ways to use things that seem intimately familiar and boring. The switch-flipping is just a great idea here.
This is a great way to use the Google homepage to automatically search Amazon for great deals on stuff of interest to you. I actually have this on my iGoogle homepage and utilize it every day.
I thought this to be a strong illustration of how the internet directly saves me money in an average week. I continue to use these sites (and several others).
It’s often hard to create a personal economic turnaround if you’re continually feeding yourself a giant money myth about your current financial status. Here’s how to break through.
This is another fun photo diary. I truly love attending the Iowa State Fair each year – it’s one of the high points of the summer for me.
This is my single favorite post I’ve ever written. Something about it just clicks with me.
This turned into one of my favorite discussions that has ever appeared on the site. I stick with my premise, though: a bad experience at a store can make you never want to shop there again at any price.
This is yet another photo diary, this time showing off some of the cost-saving measures we use with our own kids.
Here’s a strong reasoning as to why panic in the face of a financial downturn (like the one we’re in) is foolish. Be patient and avoid the fear.