The Simple Dollar Time Machine: December 4, 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 (November 28 – December 4, 2009)
Some Thoughts on the Prosperity Gospel I have mixed feelings about the “prosperity gospel.” I don’t agree with the theology, but I do like it as a self-improvement tool.

Putting the “Important but Not Urgent” Tasks Above the “Urgent but Not Important” Tasks Mastering this, in my opinion, is a big key to personal success in every dimension of life. There are so many “urgent but not important” things in our lives and when we put them atop the “important but not urgent” things, we lose.

Why Are Oranges Always on Sale in December? Seasonal Food Sales and How to Take Advantage of Them I am always keeping an eye out for fresh produce on sale.

Two Years Ago (November 28 – December 4, 2008)

A Long December A long December and I’ve reason to believe that the next one will be better than the last.

Cutting Down on the “Hidden” Costs of After-School Activities Eating out, mall stops, buying beverages at the game – these were all part of after-school activities for me and they were all expensive. How can you cut that down?

Internal and External Signals If you can get a grip on all of those external signals, you can get a grip on some of the poor spending choices you make in your life.

Three Years Ago (November 28 – December 4, 2007)
Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance on the Back of Five Business Cards This is very concise summary of my perspective on personal finance.

An Inheritance of Collectibles What do you do if you inherit a collection of stuff that you don’t know much about? Here’s how I would handle it.

Simple Frugality By The Hourly Rate I often look at frugal decisions in terms of the value per hour that they provide. For example, if I can spend five seconds going across the room to flip a switch that controls four 60 watt bulbs and the lights then stay off for eight hours, that switch flip saved me about twenty cents. Figuring that for an hourly rate makes the value of that five seconds very high.

Four Years Ago (November 28 – December 4, 2006)
Money as a Social Barrier I think that if you’re finding money to be your social barrier, it may only be a proxy for something else.

Building a Better Blog for 2007 Here’s a compilation of my advice on getting a blog going. I put everything I ever learned about blogging to work here on The Simple Dollar and it seems to have worked out.

Is Living Cheap Really Worth It? Ask Alan and Bob If you can shave just a few percent off of your spending, it can have life-altering effects.

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 130,000 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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