Updated on 10.24.13

The Simple Dollar Time Machine – May 23, 2009

Trent Hamm

Many newer readers of The Simple Dollar haven’t been exposed to the hundreds of great articles in the archives of the site, so I’m starting a weekly series (on Saturday) 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’m calling it … the Time Machine.

One Year Ago (May 17-23, 2008)
Frugality and the Impression of Poverty – Many people shy away from frugal tactics because they don’t want to appear “poor” to others. What I’ve found is that appearances are often completely deceiving.

The Essential Bookshelf: The Only Eight Books I’ve Kept (After Hundreds of Reviews) – These really are the eight best books I’ve read on personal finance, careers, and personal development. Since then, I’ve only added a few more to my permanent shelf, even though I review a book a week and read even more.

Make Your Own Kind of Music – Here’s how to find a musical instrument for free (or for little cost) and learn how to play it for free.

Using Twitter and Blogging to Motivate Yourself Towards Personal Finance and Other Personal Goals – I’ve used both tools to aid in my financial turnaround, as well as for improving my personal health.

The Big Sell-Off – One of the first steps in my financial turnaround was selling off a lot of items in the closet, things sitting around my apartment gathering dust. Here’s exactly how I did that, balancing effort with the amount of financial return I got for the items.

Two Years Ago (May 17-23, 2007)
Review: The Millionaire Mind – This is an excellent book on the psychology of both accelerating your earnings and keeping your spending under control along the way.

If You Take Home Anything At All… Seven Fundamental Tips – These are the seven best ideas I’d found from my research on The Simple Dollar during the early days.

Ethanol Blends: Are They Worth It In Your Tank? – Even if they appear to be a bargain, they’re often not.

A Frugal Saturday: Twelve Ways We Saved Money Yesterday – This is a great glimpse into how a frugal family actually lives.

Figuring Out Exactly How Much Your Time Is Worth – Your hourly wage at work doesn’t really tell the whole story. You might be surprised how little you’re actually willing to sell your time for.

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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  1. J. Money says:

    I’m digging this idea, esp that they’re the *best* posts from the time machine. Plus, it’s always cool to see how money principles never change over time. Good lookin’ out.

  2. MoneyEnergy says:

    Great series idea, Trent. Also, a note to everyone else: definitely make sure you read his “money meltdown and turnaround” story if you are new to the site! Very inspiring series of posts. Shows the power of what we can achieve when we realize we need to do it.

  3. JerryB says:

    Good idea, Trent. One of the first things I did on finding TSD was to go back and peruse the archives. There’s a lot of good information in there that bears the test of time and is well worth bringing back to the surface.

  4. Socialpanic says:

    I have only been reading a month but love going through your archives when I get time between 40 hrs a week at work and other obligations I was starting to wonder if I would ever scratch the surface of the content you got on here. This really does help.

  5. Betsy says:

    In my 1 year + reading of The Simple Dollar what I loved was how much depth there was to dig into as a newcomer. This just makes it even easier to find the nuggets. Thanks Trent!

  6. Sameer says:

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. Sometimes what you write kick the brain cells directly.
    I am a fan of meditation also and think it helps us a lot in having a constructive outlook towards life.

  7. marlene says:

    Have only been reading your articles a short time but I love them. I am 76 yrs old and did almost everything you suggest and was able to retire with over a million dollars without working but for 10 yrs in my life. YOUR IDEAS WORK!!

  8. Denise says:

    Trent, I just read your article about the clothes line and I wonder how you feel about this issue today? Has your thinking about frugal activites changed? This would be a good article, how do you feel about frugal things today verses a year or two ago? To be honest, I thought the article was silly and I dont know if I would have followed your blog if that article was the first one that I read. I am glad it wasnt, I enjoy most of your postings and respect the difference of opinion on the rest.

  9. Nice concept– I look forward to seeing the next grouping.

    I originally found you by your homemade bread post.

  10. Sunshine says:

    I like the idea of a retrospective. I’ve been reading from almost the beginning, but it’s nice to go back sometimes.

    I think Unclutterer does a daily/weekly sepearate post on older posts. I also like what Smittenkitchen.com does. She puts a link to a recipe from last year and 2 years ago right below her post but before her new recipe. I think for you, though, a separate post, either daily or weekly (my vote), would work great.

  11. Penny Squeaker says:

    Dear Trent,

    Today’s time machine article was a wonderful piece refreshing a great imformation into our databases.

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