The Simple Dollar Time Machine – July 25, 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, as well as the five best posts from two years ago this week. I call it … the Time Machine.

One Year Ago (July 19-25, 2008)
Nine Ways the Status Quo Bias Is Costing You Money – And How to Turn That Ship Around The status quo bias constantly costs you money if you’re not careful. Here are some of the ways that you’re losing money due to your own natural psychological bias – and how to turn off that money spigot.

The Single Biggest Money Mistake I’ve Ever Made I’ve made some giant money mistakes before, but this is the biggest one of all. Here’s that mistake – and what I’m doing to fix it.

Reflections on Abandoning the 9 to 5, Four Months In At the four month mark after walking away from my first career, I was beginning to discover the realities of working for yourself. It’s not as easy or as great as it initially sounds.

Clothes Shopping for Frugal Families: Our Strategy I admit that these strategies don’t work as well for me since I’m 6’6″ (meaning selection is very difficult), but they work very well for our kids and for my wife.

Is It Ethical to Walk Out on a Mortgage? An interesting question, particularly after a two year period where many people have walked out on their mortgages. I think the answer depends on how you view the parties involved.

Two Years Ago (July 19-25, 2007)
Maximizing Frugality Is More Important Than Maximizing Investing (Unless You’re Already Rich) A bit of quick analysis shows that spending an hour shaving your spending returns bigger dividends than spending an hour focusing on maximizing your investing dollars – unless you already have an enormous bankroll.

Five Things My Nintendo Wii Has Taught Me About Personal Finance It’s taught me several valuable lessons, actually. I should write a similar one about my Nintendo DSi – it’s actually been a great investment for me.

The True Monthly Cost Of An Appliance If you sit down and crunch the numbers a bit, you might be surprised to find how expensive it is to merely have an appliance sitting in your home. Our freezer, for example, costs $11 a month just to sit there. That adds up.

Michael Wants A Ph.D.: A Deeper Look At Intermediate-Term Investing If you want to invest for a medium-term goal (around five years), how should you do it? I look at some of the options and come to the conclusion that you’re better off staying safe.

How Much Does It Cost to Grill? I crunch the numbers on my own home grill and I conclude that it costs about thirty cents more per meal to grill it than to just use the stove or oven in the house.

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. 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.

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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