The Simple Dollar Time Machine: December 5, 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 (November 29 – December 5, 2008)

Internal and External Signals We are surrounded by all kinds of signals about what to buy and what not to buy. Money success often comes from being aware of those signals and in control of them.

The Balance of Happiness and Saving for the Future Life is a balance, and it’s often hard to figure out exactly how to get it in balance. I think there’s one key thing to look for…

Review: The Reader’s Digest Penny Pincher’s Almanac If you’re looking for a giant collection of money-saving tips, this book will really hit the spot.

Cutting Down on the “Hidden” Costs of After-School Activities Most after school activities do have lots of little “hidden” costs – transportation, meals, and so on. Here are some tactics for trimming those costs.

The Backup Checking Account My wife and I have a backup checking account that we use in our local community. It works very well for our needs.

Two Years Ago (November 29 – December 5, 2007)
Everything You Ever Really Needed to Know About Personal Finance on the Back of Five Business Cards This is one of my best posts, ever. I remember putting this one together like it was yesterday…

Simple Frugality By The Hourly Rate I often like to use the hourly rate of saving money as a rule of thumb as to whether or not a particular task is worthwhile. Some of the things you expect to be good savers are actually bad – and vice versa.

Chasing the “It” Toy At Christmastime This year, it appears to be an electronic hamster. No matter the year, chasing the “it” toy is a frustrating and costly endeavor.

Twelve Great Gifts Under $10 I’d Love To See Under My Tree Some of these still hold true. In fact, I should refresh this list for 2009, because I’ve found lots of other little things to add.

An Inheritance of Collectibles I’m likely to inherit a couple of different collections from older relatives when they pass on in the future, so this is something I’ve thought about.

Three Years Ago (November 29 – December 5, 2006)
Building a Better Blog This is the index of a thirty-one (!) part series about what it takes to create a successful blog. This was basically the culmination of every lesson I’d learned about blogging and it’s these very ideas I used to build The Simple Dollar.

Weighing the Positives and Negatives of ING Electric Orange Checking This is something of a proto bank review, but not nearly as detailed as I want to make it. Still, not long after writing this review, we adopted Electric Orange as our primary checking.

Cash That Just Gathers Dust: A Technique For Paring Down Your Media Collection I remember quite vividly doing this very thing with our DVD and CD collection. At first, I purged them of the obvious stuff I’d never watch again, but after that, I used this technique to do a surprisingly large second purge.

Review: Make Your Kid A Millionaire This was my pick for the best book about parenting and money. It was only recently superceded by the excellent Raising Financially Fit Kids, but both books are well worth reading.

Money as a Social Barrier Quite often, people associate with others from a similar socioeconomic class. I’ve found that every time I’ve tried to make friends outside of that class, it’s been incredibly fulfilling.

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!

Loading Disqus Comments ...