The Simple Dollar Time Machine: July 31, 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 (July 25 – July 31, 2009)
Does Earning More Trump Frugality? To me, it’s kind of like asking if you still need a hammer after you buy a chainsaw. They’re both useful tools for getting the job done that can be used in concert for some amazing things.

Makers and Managers: What You Are, and How It Can Help Your Career I am 100% a maker. I do not like being a manager – at all. This fact actually explains a lot about my career path and the directions it has taken over the years.

John’s “Campground” – Some Thoughts on Investing with Added Personal Value John is investing his money in land – and, eventually, into the structures he’ll build on that land. He enjoys the process deeply and will someday have a great deal of financial value there.

Passion by the Hour In my eyes, the things you’re passionate about are the things that you can dump tons of time into while still deeply enjoying yourself. If you can channel that into earning income in some way, you’re far ahead of the career game.

Rule #7: Watch Your Progress – But Make It Fun. While keeping track of your progress towards big goals can be really empowering, it can also feel like drudgery. The best way is to keep your end goal in mind and recognize that you really are taking steps that will get you to where you want to be.

Two Years Ago (July 25 – July 31, 2008)
Some Thoughts on Being Broke and Being Poor I don’t address poverty on The Simple Dollar. I do address the state of being broke, which is more of a state of resource mismanagement than a lack of resources. The vast majority of people in the United States are broke, not poor. They have the resources needed to make it, they’re just dealing with the results of mismangement of resources in their past.

Overcoming a Habit of Lying to Yourself About Money Deceiving yourself is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Almost every time you see someone under a mountain of debt, some sort of self-deception is at the root.

Class Warfare and The Simple Dollar So often, people want to view personal finance advice as some sort of rich versus poor battle. In truth, both sides of the coin want the same things: more time and more security.

How to Deal with a Partner That Hides Money Problems Sunshine is the first step in the process – all of the issues have to be out on the table so that you have a starting point from which to build.

The Single Biggest Money Mistake I’ve Ever Made I think the real root of it all is that I listened to other people instead of to my own heart.

Three Years Ago (July 25 – July 31, 2007)
Which Is Best: Paying Off Debts Now – Or Avoiding Future Ones? Reasonable protection against future debts – i.e., an emergency fund – is an essential first step, but at some point you round the corner and start paying off the debts you have now.

Applying Jerry Seinfeld’s “Chain” Concept To Personal Finance The “chain” idea is still one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard. I’m using it right now with my piano lessons.

10 More Ways To Entertain Young Children For $1 Or Less (Without The TV) The best way to entertain your children in a valuable way is to just spend time with them. It really doesn’t matter what you’re doing.

Personal Finance In A Family Crisis For me, family crises are what emergency funds are made for. Sometimes, things happen – you have to fly to another part of the country to be with someone, fifteen sad people are sitting in a kitchen and someone has to come up with lunch, and so on.

Is It Worth Higher Prices For A Quality Shopping Experience? For me, once you reach a minimum level of quality – the store is clean and you can actually find what you’re looking for – then additional quality doesn’t really add anything beyond a higher price at the register.

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 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. 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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