The Simple Dollar Time Machine: April 10, 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 (April 4 – April 10, 2009)
Trimming the Fat from Your Work-Related Spending The act of working can be expensive: work clothes, eating out for meals during work time, travel, commuting, and so on. Here are some tactics for trimming that extra expense.

The Neighborhood Cooperative If you can find ways to share costs with your neighbors, you both win. Here’s some advice on how to get the ball rolling on such cooperation.

The Stroop Effect and Your Wallet Our mind does funny things. Here’s a great example of one of the quirks – and how it affects our spending.

Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance On Just One Page – Download My Personal Finance eBook for Free! This little document includes all of the key concepts and ideas that fill up my personal finance philosophy. Best of all – it’s free.

Rounding Up Debt Payments: Does It Really Help? It certainly does, even if you just round up to the nearest dollar. How much? Click into the article to find out.

Two Years Ago (April 4 – April 10, 2008)
Making Your Own Laundry Detergent: A Detailed Visual Guide Homemade laundry detergent is a surprisingly large money saver, especially if you do a lot of laundry. Here’s a detailed post discussing how I make mine.

The Value of Personal Trust In a world where we’re trained not to trust others, extending some personal trust can have a great deal of value.

Ten Killer Tactics for Developing a New Skill I make an effot to work on a new skill each and every day. I think it’s a very powerful way to grow as a person.

Inspired By Carrie, Our Experiments in Disposable Diapering The title here is a bit of a misnomer, as it describes our transitioning from disposable diapers to cloth diapers.

Personal Finance 101: Comparing Debts and Developing a Debt Repayment Plan If you have any trouble at all with managing your debts, this article is an absolute must-read.

Three Years Ago (April 4 – April 10, 2007)
The Tao of Setting Concrete Financial Goals Coming up with specific, rational goals and putting them down on paper is a huge part of personal finance success.

15 Ways Department Stores Try To Trick You Into Spending More Than You Need To – And 10 Ways To Fight Back Department stores use a lot of little tricks to subtly convince you to buy, buy, buy. Here are fifteen of those tricks, along with ten general tactics to minimize the impact of such psychological traps.

Orson Welles, A Zither, and Personal Finance The Third Man is one of my favorite movies of all time. Here’s how some of the ideas from the movie pop up again in personal finance and career management.

Short Term Savings – How To Plan For Upcoming Vacations, Auto Purchases, And So On Short term savings goals (three years or less) are incredibly useful for helping you make significant purchases like automobiles and vacations. It just takes discipline and some of the tactics in this article to help you come out on top.

Ten Financial Reasons To Turn Off Your Television – And Ten Things To Replace It With This is one of my most controversial articles. I believe television is one of the biggest enemies to personal finance and career success, if not the biggest enemy.

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 (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,

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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