The Simple Dollar Time Machine: December 19, 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 13-19, 2008)
The Two-Career Assumption Here are some deep reflections on the fact that it’s often assumed that both partners in a couple must have a career. In a nutshell, I think it’s completely nonsensical.

Synergizing Hobbies and Career for Greater Personal Success The best hobby is one that teaches you skills that you can use in a professional context. Finding one can be tricky, though.

Planning Ahead for Next Year’s Garden December and January are often the months where most of our garden planning for the coming year occurs. Here are some tactics to use for planning future gardens.

My Take on Christian Themes in Personal Finance Books I don’t mind them, but I think personal finance books are stronger if they don’t use scripture as the evidence for the ideas being presented.

Are You Insuring the Irreplaceable? Don’t spend your money insuring items that you would never replace if your house burnt down. If you’re paying good money to insure things you would never replace… the question is why.

Two Years Ago (December 13-19, 2007)
Maximizing That Hourly Rate: Figuring Out How to Best Utilize My Working Time Jobs work best when they provide you with a lot of income for your time invested. Here, I use three examples from my own life to show how to maximize this rate.

Frugality and Socializing: Finding Potential Friends Who Are Not Consumerism-Oriented Luckily, most of the friends I have now are not consumer-oriented at all. They’re mostly people who enjoy things like getting together for “game nights” or just hanging out.

Christmas, Money, Family, and Love The most valuable Christmas gift of all isn’t a material item that can be bought at the store. It’s something else entirely.

A Talk with My Niece How do you introduce good money ideas to teenagers? It isn’t easy. Here’s how I tackled one attempt at it.

A Frugal Man’s Christmas Wish List (With Ideas for Frugal Ladies, Too!) Here’s a nice list of Christmas gift ideas that appeal to the more practical side of me.

Three Years Ago (December 13-19, 2006)
Review: Your Money or Your Life This is a detailed review of the book that inspired me more than any other to turn my financial life around.

Rewriting Money’s 25 Rules: A Summary Money Magazine had a list of twenty five money rules, several of which I disagreed with. So I rewrote the whole list in a series of articles – this is the summary of the series.

What Exactly Is A Certified Financial Planner, And Why Should I Care? Does the phrase “certified financial planner” really mean anything of value to the average person? Yes — and no. Click through and see what I mean.

25 Gadgets That Actually Save Money Most of these truly do save money – a couple were thrown in to stir up some conversation about whether they really save money or not.

The Talk: Tips For Difficult Financial Discussions Most of these tips hold true for almost any financial discussion you’ll have with the people you care about.

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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