The Simple Dollar Time Machine: December 12, 2009

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 (December 6-12, 2008)
Fifteen Tactics for Maximizing Your Investment in Reading for Personal Growth I’m a firm believer that a steady diet of reading is one of the best ways to make yourself into a intellectually well-rounded individual, which is of more and more importance in the information age.

The Best Moment of Your Day What was the best moment of your day? I’m willing to bet that it had little to do with spending money. Keep that in mind as you move through life – your best moments are rarely defined by stuff.

Review: Outliers Malcolm Gladwell’s book is a great analysis of what makes people truly great. The secret? Lots of hard work. Talent doesn’t really compare to obsessive practice.

Eighteen Tips for a Frugal (Not Cheap) Wedding A spectacular wedding doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg. Even back in our “big spending” days, we used many of these ideas at our own wedding.

The Expensive Ups and Downs of Christmas Christmas can be an incredibly expensive time of the year for all of us. Here are some things to keep in mind if it feels like the season is eating you alive.

Two Years Ago (December 6-12, 2007)
The β€œIt” Toy from the Perspective of a Parent Some thoughts on parents chasing down whatever the “must-have” toy is during the Christmas season. I largely consider it to be a fool’s errand.

Facing A Difficult Personal Finance Decision (Or Other Major Decision)? Try These Seven Techniques I use most of these techniques whenever I’m trying to make a difficult decision in my own life. It usually helps me get to the place I need to be.

Seven Unexpected Things I Read For Personal Finance Inspiration and Motivation I often find ideas and inspiration in the least expected of places. Everything you take in has the chance to trigger something worthwhile.

I Have A Wallet Full Of Credit Cards – Which Ones Should I Keep? If you’re having debt troubles, none of them. If you’re doing well but want to trim down your identity theft risk, then follow this advice.

Does Peer Pressure Keep Us From Succeeding? I’m a big believer that you’re roughly as successful as the average of your five closest friends. Thus, if you want to move up, you may need to find new friends and peers.

Three Years Ago (December 6-12, 2006)
Review: The Total Money Makeover A great one-shot review of Dave Ramsey’s seminal book on debt reduction and management.

The First Christmas Present You Should Buy If the stress of the Christmas season makes you a bear to be around, this is absolutely the first Christmas present that should be on your list.

Battling The Convenience and Costs of Fast Food Fast food is undeniably convenient – that’s the one big thing it has going in its favor. Thankfully, there are a lot of things we can do in advance to make healthier and tastier and cheaper things just as convenient.

Ten Ways To Save Money On Your Evening Commute As with any such list, these are each worth trying on their own to see which ones work best for you. I wound up incorporating several when I commuted each day.

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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