The Simple Dollar Time Machine: November 14, 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, two years ago this week, and three years ago this week. I call it … the Time Machine.

One Year Ago (November 8-14, 2008)
The Readers Speak Out: Their 25 Best Actions for Saving Money I asked the readers for their single best action for saving money. They responded – big time. Here are the twenty-five top ones, all of which received multiple responses.

Accountability For a lot of people, accountability is a four-letter word.

Taking Dramatic Change One Day at a Time Whenever I want to make a major change in my own life, I find it works far better if I take that change one day at a time instead of committing to big, long-term things that may be impossible for me to reach.

Paying Others to Provide a Service: When Is It Frugal? I think it is if you’re directly replacing the time you’d spend engaged in that service with something truly more valuable to you. This requires a keen sense of how valuable one’s time is, something a lot of people don’t have.

Some Thoughts on the Small House Movement: Is It Something Worth Considering? I think the size of our house is about right (perhaps with slightly bigger bedrooms and perhaps one more bedroom to accomodate our next child), but I know couples without children that have substantially larger homes than we do.

Two Years Ago (November 8-14, 2007)
Should I Report Ethical Misconduct At Work? I don’t think it’s always as cut-and-dried as people want to make it out to be. If I see my boss taking some extra coffee, I’m not going to try to get him fired. But where’s the line?

Should You Report Sexual Harassment in the Workplace? Similarly, I don’t think it’s as black-and-white as many would like to think it is. Sexual harassment is wrong, but I’ve seen threats and blackmail involving sexual harassment for calling someone “dear.”

Toy Catalogs and Children: Are They a Good Match? As of yet, we have never plopped our kids in front of a toy catalog near the holidays. Here’s why.

Fun I must be a real bore if I talk about money all the time.

Melancholy and Spending I believe there’s a huge connection between low self-esteem, sadness, and a lack of control over your spending. A positive attitude makes it harder for advertising to work its magic.

Three Years Ago (November 8-14, 2006)
Review: The Millionaire Next Door The first book I ever reviewed on The Simple Dollar is still one of my favorites.

The Road to Financial Armageddon #8: Meltdown Here’s the story of how I hit financial bottom. It’s painful.

Building a Financial (and Personal) Idea Diary I use one of these every day. I keep a little spiral notebook in my front pocket.

Setting and Meeting Daily Personal Finance Goals Microgoals are a big part of personal finance success. In fact, The Simple Dollar would fail without daily goals.

Applying the Peak-End Rule to Personal Finance The peak-end rule pops up over and over again in life. If you can figure out how to use it to your advantage, it can really help you save money.

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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