The Simple Dollar Time Machine: May 8, 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 (May 2 – May 8, 2009)
The Logic of Up-Front Spending If you can spend a little more now to lower your long-term costs, it’s usually a good choice. This is the logic by which I usually encourage people to buy reliable automobiles and programmable thermostats.

My 25 Favorite Personal Finance, Career, and Personal Development Blogs I’ll be updating this list before too long, but it really won’t change too much from this list – perhaps five blogs rotating in and five rotating out or so.

Charting Personal Finance Progress, Internally and Externally For me, it’s the “internal” charting that really makes it work. I need to know inside of me that the personal finance choices I’m making are actually building a better long-term future for me.

A Step-By-Step Guide to Creating a Deal-Finding Homepage If you’re scavenging for a great price on something in particular, this is a great way to make a single page that helps you automatically find them. It’s pretty easy – Google does most of the footwork for you.

Rounding Up Debt Payments: Does It Really Help? It actually helps quite a bit. Even rounding up your payments to the nearest $10 can make a substantial difference over the lifetime of a large loan (like a mortgage, for example).

Two Years Ago (May 2 – May 8, 2008)
Making and Maintaining a Master Information Document Preparing this type of document can be incredibly useful for your loved ones in the event of your passing.

Taking a Deeper Look at Wants Versus Needs One of the biggest challenges of modern life is digging through the nonstop cues that we need certain things when, in fact, they’re merely wants.

Who Do You Work For? You don’t work for your boss. You work for yourself. You exchange your time for money and during that time, you do your best to satisfy your boss’s needs and your company’s needs, but also during that time, you should be building your own reputation and status.

Rinse and Repeat Most personal finance tactics work best if they simply become a normal part of your normal routine.

Is There an Overemphasis on College Savings When Discussing Children’s Education and Personal Finance? I absolutely think there is. Postsecondary success is built while children are young and simply herding them through it isn’t going to make a great success (unless they already have it in them).

Three Years Ago (May 2 – May 8, 2007)
Setting and Reaching Short Term Personal Finance Goals Short term goals are the most powerful ones for me. I often set goals to be completed in two weeks or a month just to save some serious money and to learn more about what works in my own life.

Not Quite There Yet: How To Deal With Not Meeting Your Goals And Set Yourself Up For Success The Next Time Sometimes you set a goal – and then you fail. Knowing how to deal with it is half the battle.

Seven Inexpensive Ways To Celebrate Mother’s Day Need some last-minute ideas? Here are several of them. (We’re using at least one of them tomorrow, possibly two or three).

26 Personal Finance Books – Ranked From Best To Worst This is a list of all of the books I reviewed during the first six months of The Simple Dollar, ranked in the order of their value (in my eyes). At this point, with hundreds of reviews, I’m not sure I could really fairly do this at this point.

Five Ways To Break A Shopping Addiction – And Five Ways To Help Someone Else With Their Addiction I believe that the constant “need” to purchase new stuff you don’t really need is a psychological addiction, one that can be broken with some care and perhaps some help.

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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