The Simple Dollar Time Machine: August 21, 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 (August 15 – August 21, 2009)
The Danger of Selling to Your Friends and Family When you try to sell to your friends or your family, you’re taking advantage of your relationship with them. They feel obligated to buy from you because of your relationship, but there’s often a sense that the relationship has been undermined.

The Real Lessons of “How Low Can You Go?” Last summer, I did a series of posts paralleling NPR’s “How Low Can You Go” series of low-cost recipes. Here are some of the things I learned from the series as a whole.

Why My Net Worth Is Now Negative Again Did I go into debt? No. I just recalculated my net worth with the realization that some of the things I own aren’t really liquid.

Are You a Money Victim? Whenever you blame others for your money problems, you’re a money victim. Don’t look for ways to blame others. Instead, look for ways to create a situation for yourself where other people’s inevitable problems don’t affect you.

Rule #10: Plan Ahead Every Time You Spend. The more I plan ahead for my expenses, the more financial success I seem to have. Every dollar should only be spent with some forethought.

Two Years Ago (August 15 – August 21, 2008)
The Big Debate #5: Chasing the Dreams or Chasing the Money? I lean hard towards chasing the dreams because passion is the one thing people will always pay money for.

This Is the Right Personal Finance Book for You! Obviously (tongue in cheek), the best personal finance book is this one, but here are some others to look at.

Fourteen Techniques for Improving Your Work-Life Balance Finding the right balance between the work you do and the things you work for is key to a happy life. When those two things get out of balance, it’s a very hard road.

What Features Are Most Important For Your Primary Bank? My Thoughts and Recommendations For me, great online banking, strong customer service, and minimal fees are key for any good bank. I really don’t care much about 1.5% interest versus 1.25% interest.

Winning the Battle Against Low Quality Generics While Still Saving Money I’ve had many great experiences with generics. I’ve also had some disastrous experiences as well – experiences that have taught me that I need to be careful with generics.

Three Years Ago (August 15 – August 21, 2007)
Tackling Breakfast: Healthy, Inexpensive, And Easy Meals To Get Me Started In The Morning Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it’s often easy to do it in a costly and (healthwise) disastrous way. Here’s how I tackle it instead.

A Frugal Dilemma: Inheriting Stuff You Wouldn’t Normally Use My advice? Sell it as soon as you possibly can unless you truly can find a use for it.

Should You Vote For A Politician That Promises Lower Taxes? Politicians often can’t connect what they promise on the campaign trail with what they can actually do once in office.

Losing A Friend Over Money If your spending goals start to diverge from your friends, you’ll find yourself in a difficult spot sooner or later. You’re better off handling it with maturity and sincerity.

30 Year Versus 15 Year Mortgages Continued: What About Income Tax? Income tax deductions shouldn’t be a major concern when you’re thinking about which mortgage to choose. Given how few people can actually deduct their home mortgage interest, you’re better off focusing on getting the best interest rate.

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. 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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