The Simple Dollar Time Machine – July 4, 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 (June 28-July 4, 2008)
The Minimalist Kitchen: What You Need (and Don’t Need) to Set Up Your First Workable Home Kitchen You don’t need tons of things to cook well at home. In fact, you just need a few items – and the desire to start preparing your own food. Here’s a guide.

No Time for Frugality: Cutting Financial Corners with No Time Investment Many people claim they don’t have time to do anything to save money. In truth, we already have the time, because the best ways to save money involve just slightly tweaking what we already do.

Finding Inspiration for Financial Change What’s your motivation for making good financial choices? For some people, it’s hard to dig up a central reason, but central reasons can be powerful. Here are some ways to find inspiration for real financial change in your own life.

A Clever Trick for Automatically Finding Deals You Want at Amazon Amazon has tons of bargains, but there are so many things going on that it’s easy to lose the deals you actually want in all the noise. Here’s how to filter through all of that and find the stuff you actually want.

The Net Worth Mentality: The Road Less Traveled I often don’t know exactly how much I make. Why? I don’t worry about my paycheck – I just worry about my net worth. Here’s exactly what I mean – and why such a shift in perspective can be life-altering.

Two Years Ago (June 28-July 4, 2007)
Musings On Spending $3 On A Candy Bar This was such a humble, little, simple post, relating an experience I had with my wife and son on a rainy day. Yet, somehow, this one really struck a chord with quite a few people – it probably got me more mainstream attention than anything I’d written up to that point.

SmartMoney Magazine’s “7 Money Mistakes” – And The Simple Dollar’s “7 More Money Mistakes” This was an excellent little article in SmartMoney that I thought deserved some expansion – so I stepped up to the plate and did it myself.

Defining Minimum Acceptable Housing – And How It Varies From Person To Person What might work for minimal housing for a 23 year old single male fresh out of college is going to be vastly different than what a family of four needs. Don’t substitute other’s needs for your own – if you’re 23 and single, you don’t need a four bedroom house.

When Frugality Is Fun I’m much more likely to dive into a frugal project if it looks fun for other reasons. Take my homemade laundry detergent, for example. My wife is a chemistry teacher, so the homemade detergent became a project that we were able to dive into with gusto.

How I Made Brown Bag Lunches Work For Me Eating leftovers for lunch is a great way to save money, but many people go “Ewww…. leftovers…” Here are some ways to get around that little problem.

If you’d like to browse through more of the archives, visit the chronology, where all posts are listed in chronological order.

Eight 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 eight 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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