The Simple Dollar Time Machine: March 6, 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 (February 28 – March 6, 2009)
The Cost of the Psychology of New When I re-read this post, I was reminded of an email I received from a reader recently who didn’t like PaperBackSwap because she couldn’t get all of the newest releases on it. I pretty much never buy a new release in book form – I use the library for those. I don’t buy books unless I’m sure I’ll reread them multiple times. The cult of the new is expensive.

Depression Cooking I loved these videos – they were the best thing I’ve seen on YouTube, perhaps ever.

Personal Finance and 1,000 True Fans Planting the seeds of powerful relationships might cost you a little bit now, but it’ll reap huge rewards later on.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Building a Big, Healthy Emergency Fund Emergency funds are a vital tool for personal finance success, but many people have difficulty getting started with one. Here’s a guide to doing just that.

Do You Want to Be Rich? Being rich is not my goal (trust me, if it were, The Simple Dollar would be quite a bit different). Is it your goal?

Two Years Ago (February 28 – March 6, 2008)
The Stock Market Is Way Down This Year… Here’s Another Way To Think About It I look at stocks being down as an opportunity. The companies themselves haven’t changed a bit, but their cost is lower. That’s called a sale.

“Freegans,” Dumpster Diving, and the Limits of Frugality We all have some personal lines that we won’t cross. Yes, for me, dumpster diving to save money on food is one of them.

Financial Planning for Self-Employment: What’s Different? The biggest challenge with self-employment is that your income is very irregular. You don’t get that steady paycheck week in and week out and you have to plan accordingly.

Learning the Right Lessons from Your Mistakes When you make a mistake, it’s worth your time to step back and think deeply about why you make it. If you don’t, it’s easy to draw the wrong conclusion.

Six Ways to Break Free of the “Purge and Splurge” Cycle This type of cycle happens in anything that requires self-discipline, from spending control to dieting control. Here are some techniques to control it.

Three Years Ago (February 28 – March 6, 2007)
Personal Productivity and Personal Finance: Ten Techniques I Use To Juggle This Blog, My Money, My Work, and My Life I wrote this when I was simultaneously working a full time job, creating The Simple Dollar in my spare time, and juggling other personal needs as well.

An Average Day: Ten Tweaks I Made To My Daily Routine To Start Saving Money These little tweaks can help a lot when it comes to putting yourself in the right mindset at the start of the day.

PaperBackSwap: An Effective Way To Save Money On Books I can’t even tell you how much I’ve used PaperBackSwap over the last few years to save money on my voracious reading habit.

Ben Stein And I Explain Why I Just Bought Stocks Today, Even With Stocks Down 5% In The Last Week Similar to the above post, if you buy stocks when they’re down 5%, you’re essentially buying them when they’re on sale. The company itself hasn’t changed, just the sticker price has.

How Much Money Does Breastfeeding Really Save? It saves quite a bit, really, according to our real-world math.

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!

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