The Simple Dollar Time Machine: April 17, 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 11 – April 17, 2009)
Personal Finance 101: Charge Cards Versus Debit Cards Versus Credit Cards – Pros and Cons These terms aren’t interchangeable, though many people swap “charge cards” and “credit cards” as though they mean the same thing.

Nine Ways to Save Money at Your Desk in the Next Hour This is a perfect way to fill a lunch break at work, especially if you haven’t done any of these things before.

The Art of the Apology It’s hard to apologize, but apologies are almost nothing but beneficial in maintaining good, strong long-term relationships.

Nine Pieces of Free Software I Use Every Day These little pieces of software simply help me keep my day going.

The Little Benefits of Trying You’re almost always better off trying something that seems hard than just backing away from it and bringing in an “expert.” Quite often, the thing you’re timid about is easier than you think.

Two Years Ago (April 11 – April 17, 2008)
Building a Powerful Social Network in Your Immediate Area What do you do if you move to a new area without any sort of social network in place? Here’s some advice on how to build that network.

How Much Money Is “Walk Away From It All” Money? I view “walk away money” as being truly financially independent, as it means you are no longer chained to a particular job in any way – you can work on what fills you with passion.

8 Ways to Easily Reduce the Energy Consumption of Your Computer – and Save Big Money Computers can suck down a lot of energy, a consumption that shows up painfully on your energy bill. Here are some techniques for reducing that consumption.

Sunday Conversation #1 I enjoy such interviews with people doing their thing.

How Important is Fuel Efficiency When Purchasing a Car? It depends heavily on what you’re using it for. It’s much more important on a vehicle mostly used for commuting than it is on vehicles for other purposes.

Three Years Ago (April 11 – April 17, 2007)
Fifteen Free Things To Do During A Money-Free Weekend There are lots of entertaining things to do out there that don’t cost anything. Here are fifteen of them.

The Frugal Wedding Registry: Wedding Gift Ideas To Help Put That Special Couple On A Sound Financial Path Most wedding registries are filled with stuff that will often wind up gathering dust in a person’s home or eventually regifted. Why not give the couple something that will actually grow in value?

A Fresh Start: How To Organize All Of Your Financial Documents In A Filing Cabinet Financial document filing can be invaluable for keeping all of your records straight (think auditing or figuring out where your money is going).

The Dangers of Financial Paralysis – And How To Get Out Of The Rut If you spend too much time trying to choose the “perfect” option, you’ll lose money compared to simply choosing a very good option with some rapidity.

Some Thoughts On Voluntary Simplicity I’m a big believer in this philosophy and am moving more and more in this direction as time goes on.

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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